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World Series of Poker -- Oleksii Kovalchuk wins $2,500 Six-Handed No-Limit Hold'em Event

Kovalchuk Takes Home $689,739 and his First Gold Bracelet


Oleksii Kovalchuk Oleksii Kovalchuk won his first gold bracelet in Event No. 26 ($2,500 six-handed no-limit hold’em) at the 2011 World Series of Poker and it was the second bracelet won this summer by a player who can claim the Ukraine as his country of origin. The first was won by Eugene Katchalov in the opening days of the tournament series. “I feel very happy. I do not know what to say. I do not think about the money. The money is second to me. I wanted the gold bracelet and to win,” said Kovalchuk after the win. He continued to say this about poker in his native Ukraine, “There are many cash games going. There are not too many tournaments. Most of them get about 200 people. It happens maybe once every three months.”

Through the conclusion of this tournament, the national origin (birthplace) of winners has been:

United States (13)
Great Britain (3)
France (2)
Canada (2)
Ukraine (2)
Israel (1)
Russia (1)
Honduras (1)
Indonesia (1)

Kovalchuk was taught the game by his father four years ago and now he is ready to make his mark on the poker world. He takes home $689,739 in prize money in addition to the gold bracelet.

Kovalchuk topped a final table that included Dan O’Brien, Chris Moorman, and Anton Ionel, who finished as the runner up. Deep finishes were booked by Will Failla (seventh place) and Anthony Lellouche (10th place).

Here is a look at the elimination hands as featured on’s summary reports:

Anthony Ruberto Eliminated in 6th Place ($84,549)

Anthony Ruberto came to the final table as the short stack and after a shaky start he was the first to go in 6th place. Anton Ionel opened the pot for 57,000, Anthony Ruberto reraised to 187,000 and Anton called.

The flop came 9Spade Suit 8Club Suit 2Heart Suit, Anton checked, Ruberto bet 247,000, Ionel check-raised all in and Ruberto called all in.

Ruberto turned over KSpade Suit KDiamond Suit for an overpair but Ionel showed 2Club Suit 2Club Suit for bottom set.

The turn and river were the 9Diamond Suit and the 2Spade Suit, giving Ionel quads on the river. Anthony Ruberto was eliminated in 6th place ($84,549) while Ionel Anton moved up to 3.3 million in chips.

Mazin Khoury Eliminated in 5th Place ($121,416)

Anton Ionel raised to 57,000 before the flop, Mazin Khoury reraised all in and Ionel called.

Khoury turned over ASpade Suit QDiamond Suit and was behind Anton’s ADiamond Suit AClub Suit.

The board came KHeart Suit QSpade Suit 7Club Suit 10Diamond Suit 10Spade Suit, no help to Mazin Khoury who was eliminated in 6th place ($121,416).

Dan O’Brien Eliminated in 4th Place ($179,162)Dan O'Brien

Dan O’Brien began the level as the short and couldn’t really get much going. In his final pot of evening, O’Brien raised to 60,000 from under the gun and Oleksii Kovalchuk called from the big blind.

The flop came KDiamond Suit 5Spade Suit 5Diamond Suit, Kovalchuk checked, O’Brien bet 70,000, Kovalchuk check-raised to 140,000, O’Brien three-bet to 250,000, Kovalchuk shoved and O’Brien called all in.

O’Brien turned over KClub Suit QSpade Suit for top pair against Kovalchuk’s 8Diamond Suit 6Diamond Suit flush draw.

The turn and river were the 3Diamond Suit and the 9Diamond Suit, giving Kovalchuk a flush on the turn. Dan O’Brien was eliminated in 4th place ($179,162).

Chris Moorman Eliminated in 3rd Place ($271,800)
Chris Moorman

With Dan O’Brien eliminated in 4th place, Chris Moorman entered the level as the short stack and quickly got it all in before the flop with KClub Suit JSpade Suit against Oleksii Kovalchuk’s KHeart Suit 9Spade Suit,

The board came QHeart Suit 10Diamond Suit 5Club Suit 7Diamond Suit JHeart Suit, giving Kovalchuk a straight on the river. Chris Moorman was eliminated in 3rd place ($271,800) while Oleksii Kovalchuk took the chip lead going into heads-up play.

Anton Ionel Eliminated in 2nd Place ($428,140)

Anton Ionel began heads-up play with the chip lead, but Oleksii Kovalchuk quickly stole stole it after raising Ionel out of a 2 million pot. Kovalchuk then won another huge pot for 3 million after rivering a full house, taking a near 2:1 chip lead over Ionel at that point with 6.8 million to 3.5 million.

Kovalchuk then began to really put the pressure on and whittled Ionel down to just 1.5 million before he took his last stand with AClub Suit 6Spade Suit.

Kovalchuk button-raised to 150,000 Ionel moved all in for about 1,500,000 from the big blind and Kovalchuk called with 7Heart Suit 7Club Suit.

The board came 9Spade Suit 7Diamond Suit 5Heart Suit 10Heart Suit 10, giving Kovalchuk middle set on the flop and a full house on the river. Anton Ionel was eliminated in 2nd place ($428,140) while Oleksii Kovalchuk won Event #26, the the gold bracelet and the $689,739 grand prize.