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World Series of Poker Online: Lev Gottlieb Earns $10,000 Short Deck No-Limit Hold'em Title

In First Recorded Tournament Cash, Virtual Unknown Player From Mexico Defeats Mikita Badziakouski Heads-Up To Earn $276,393


A virtual unknown poker player won a World Series of Poker bracelet in one of the summer’s biggest buy-ins.

Lev “LevMeAlone” Gottlieb earned his first bracelet and $276,393 in the $10,000 short deck no-limit hold’em championship on GGPoker’s international-facing online WSOP series in the early hours of Wednesday morning. He defeated a stacked field of 130 entries and bested high roller regular Mikita Badziakouski heads-up.

There is only one other event with a $10,000 buy-in, a heads-up no-limit hold’em event, and a $25,000 buy-in poker players championship with a $10 million guaranteed prize pool. Both of those events are for international players on GGPoker.

Not only is it Gottlieb’s first bracelet. Not only is it his first tournament victory. It’s his first recorded tournament cash. Needless to say, there isn’t much known about this apparent short deck wizard outside of the fact he was playing from Mexico.

For Belarus’ Badziakouski, he earned $210,249 for his runner-up finish, falling just shy of his first bracelet. The score brought his career tournament earnings to just shy of $29 million.

After Sergi Reixach was eliminated in third, Badziakouski started heads-up play with a better than 5:1 chip advantage over Gottlieb. It was the beginning of an epic eight-hour heads-up battle, according to the time stamps on the official live updates. Gottlieb eventually evened out the stacks and the battle saw several lead changes.

Eventually, Gottlieb opened up a 3:1 chip lead of his own and finished off Badziakouski when the two were all in preflop with Gottlieb’s ASpade Suit10Club Suit up against Badziakouski’s KDiamond SuitQSpade Suit. Badziakouski flopped top pair, but Gottlieb flopped a gutshot straight draw.

Second-place finisher Mikita Badziakouski at the 2018 Big One For One DropGottlieb drilled the straight draw on the turn, which gave Badziakouski two pair. The river didn’t give Badziakouski a full house and Gottlieb won the pot, the tournament and the bracelet.

Dan “oiltrader” Shak was the lone American native at the final table. He finished fifth for $92,545. Nobuaki Sasaki finished fourth for $121,659. Reixach netted $159,933 for his third-place finish.

The top 17 players finished in the money for a min-cash of at least $23,915. Danny Tang, George Wolff, Yuri Dzivielevski and Jason Koon were among the notables to cash, but fall short of the final table.

Badziakouski came into the final table with a sizable chip lead, but laid low early on before taking control of it short-handed. Ami Barer was eliminated in ninth, Carl Schrader fell in eighth and Bjorn Li busted in seventh while Badziakouski chipped up just slightly.

But Badziakouski eliminated Sasaki to chip up further and won a massive pot three-handed against Reixach with a straight to accumulate nearly two-thirds of the chips in play. Badziakouski busted Reixach at the start of the next level, leaving Gottlieb at a massive disadvantage.

Reixach’s elimination looked like it was the start of a Badziakouski bracelet victory, but Gottlieb scored an early double up with a full house against Badziakouski’s straight, immediately putting him within striking distance of the chip lead.

He scored that double about 30 minutes later when his AHeart SuitQSpade Suit bested Badziakouski’s 6Club Suit6Heart Suit in a preflop confrontation. About six hours later, the bracelet was Gottlieb’s.

Final Table Results:

Place Name Earnings
1 Lev Gottlieb $276,393
2 Mikita Badziakouski $210,249
3 Sergi Reixach $159,933
4 Nobuaki Sasaki $121,659
5 Dan Shak $92,545
6 Chi Zhang $70,397
7 Bjorn Li $53,550
8 Carl Schrader $40,735
9 Ami Barer $30,987