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Uri Gilboa Becomes First-Ever Israeli European Poker Tour Main Event Champion

The 61-Year-Old Defeated A Field of 758 Entries To Win The EPT Sochi Main Event


Uri Gilboa has won the 2019 European Poker Tour Sochi 191,800 Russian Ruble ($2,931 USD) buy-in no-limit hold’em main event. The 61-year-old overcame a field of 758 total entries to become the first-ever EPT champion from his home country of Israel, earning $439,600 USD for the win.

Gilboa was also awarded 1,368 Card Player Player of the Year points for coming out on top in this event. This was enough to see him move into a tie for 41st place in the overall POY race standings, joining recent World Poker Tour Venetian main event champion Ben Palmer.

The fifth and final day of this event began with Zakhar Babaev as the chip leader with just six players remaining. Babaev sat with more than 150 big blinds, with his nearest competitor (Maksim Pisarenko) having just over 60.

Serafim Kovalevsky was the first player to be eliminated when his pocket sixes ran into the pocket eights of Babaev. Kovalevsky failed to improve and was sent home in sixth place ($86,240 USD). Vyacheslav Mizun followed him to the rail, with his flopped set of kings losing to the turned club flush of Gilboa to knock him out in fifth place ($113,456 USD). With that Gilboa moved into second place on the leaderboard behind Babaev.

Ivan Ruban got all-in with his pocket queens up against the ADiamond SuitKSpade Suit of Babaev. The board came down AClub Suit7Club Suit4Diamond Suit5Club Suit9Spade Suit and Babaev paired his ace to win the pot, eliminating Ruban in fourth place. He earned $143,248 USD for his deep run in this event.

A short-stacked Maksim Pisarenko three-bet all-in over the top of Babaev’s opening raise with KClub Suit8Spade Suit. Gilboa woke up with JSpade SuitJDiamond Suit and called. He flopped a third jack and held up from there to bust Pisarenko in third place ($189,840 USD).

Gilboa entered heads-up play with 13,360,000 in chips to Babaev’s 8,385,000. Heads-up play lasted 36 hands, with a number of lead changes along the way. By the time the final hand arose, though, Gilboa held more than a 32-to-1 advantage.

With blinds of 60,000-120,000 and a big blind ante of 120,000, Babaev moved all-in for 655,000 from the button with the 8Club Suit4Heart Suit. Gilboa made the quick call with AHeart Suit4Club Suit. The board ran out AClub Suit10Heart Suit5Diamond Suit4Spade Suit6Heart Suit and Gilboa’s two pair were enough to earn him the pot and the title. Babaev was awarded $267,792 USD as the runner-up finisher.

Check out the final hand of the tournament in a video clip that PokerStars LIVE
tweeted out:

Here is a look at the payouts and POY points awarded at the final table:

Place Player Earnings (USD) POY Points
1 Uri Gilboa $439,600 1368
2 Zakhar Babaev $267,792 1140
3 Maksim Pisarenko $189,840 912
4 Ivan Ruban $143,248 684
5 Vyacheslav Mizun $113,456 570
6 Serafim Kovalevsky $86,240 456
7 Francisco Benitez $61,600 342
8 Dmitry Yurasov $42,000 228

Winner photo credit: Neil Stoddart / Rational Intellectual Holdings Limited.