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Boris Kolev Wins Final Bracelet of 2021 World Series of Poker

Bulgarian Wins $5,000 No-Limit Hold'em Eight-Max for $511,184 to Close Out the Series


The 2021 World Series of Poker wrapped up Tuesday night with Bulgarian poker pro Boris Kolev winning the final bracelet of the series.

Kolev topped the $5,000 no-limit hold ’em eight-max event, defeating a field of 531 entries to win $511,184 and his first WSOP bracelet. Kolev earned the win just a few weeks after a close call in the $10,000 no-limit hold ’em six-max event where he finished seventh for $62,505.

Uri Reichenstein lost to Kolev heads-up but wraps up an insane finish to the series as the Israeli made three final tables in the final week of the 2021 WSOP. Reichenstein finished third in the $3,000 pot-limit Omaha six-max event and fourth in the $10,000 no-limit hold ’em super turbo bounty. His three most recent final tables accounted for a combined total of $574,882.

Aside from Reichenstein, the final table also featured Spanish pro Ramon Collilas, who was fresh off a 14th place finish in the $10,000 no-limit hold ’em main event for $380,050, and longtime American pro Lee Markholt.

In Kolev’s eyes, it didn’t matter who else was at the final table. He told WSOP reporters after the fact that he thought it was his tournament to win from the start.

“I started to tell people I’m going to win the last tournament,” said Kolev. “It’s crazy because somehow I knew but I could not prove before the tournament.”

Reichenstein and Kolev came into the nine-handed unofficial final table with the two biggest stacks and neither was in jeopardy of busting early in the final table.

In fact, both players found themselves surging up the counts after high-stakes American pro Justin Liberto busted in ninth. Kolev got lucky to eliminate the short-stacked Markholt in eighth when his KDiamond Suit3Diamond Suit drilled a king on the flop against Markholt’s 7Diamond Suit7Spade Suit before Reichenstein went on an absolute tear.

Reichenstein eliminated George Wolff in seventh, Niko Koop in sixth, and Z Stein in fifth over the next hour of play, establishing himself as the massive chip leader four-handed, while the eventual champion was third and holding just north of 3 million chips compared to Reichenstein’s 14.29 million.

Four-handed play was where Reichenstein hit some road bumps, however. He doubled up Huy Nguyen twice and Kolev once. Nguyen actually briefly moved into the chip lead, but stacks were fairly even and after Kolev doubled through Nguyen, it was Kolev sitting on top of the leaderboard.

Eventually, levels went up, blinds got bigger, and stacks got shallower, which forced two quick eliminations and left Kolev and Reichenstein heads-up for the title.

In a battle of the blinds between Kolev and Colillas, Kolev moved all in from the small blind and Colillas called from the big blind. The 2019 PokerStars Players Championship winner was all in for about 5,000,000 with a big blind of 300,000. He showed AHeart Suit6Heart Suit and was in the lead against Kolev’s 9Spade Suit7Club Suit.

A nine came on the flop, however, which moved Kolev into the lead and left Colillas drawing very thin. The turn and river brought no help for Colillas and he was out in fourth.

Just a couple of hands later, it was a battle of the blinds between Reichenstein and Nguyen with Reichenstein moving all in from the small blind and Nguyen calling off his stack in the big blind. Nguyen called his last 12 big blinds with KSpade Suit10Spade Suit and was in the lead against Reichenstein’s JClub Suit8Heart Suit.

The flop and turn kept Nguyen’s king-high in the lead, but the 8Diamond Suit came on the river to eliminate him in third and leave Kolev heads-up with the slightest of chip leads.

Kolev dominated heads-up play, however. He rivered a straight with J-9 on a J-10-4-Q-8 board and got two streets of value to open up a sizable chip lead. He followed it up by getting river value with A-9 on a K-J-J-4-A board, making his chip lead about 5.5-1.

Reichenstein doubled up once, but it ended up being a mere bump in the road for Kolev. Kolev rivered a flush with JClub Suit6Club Suit on a board of ASpade SuitAClub Suit5Club SuitKSpade Suit4Club Suit and picked off a bluff to end the tournament. He check-called three streets, including a river jam from Reichenstein, who showed QDiamond Suit7Spade Suit and exited in second.

Final Table Results:

Place Player Earnings POY Points
1 Boris Kolev $511,184 1,680
2 Uri Reichenstein $315,936 1,400
3 Huy Nguyen $222,310 1120
4 Ramon Colillas $158,972 840
5 Z Stein $115,558 700
6 Niko Koope $85,411 560
7 George Wolff $64,207 420
8 Lee Markholt $49,107 280

Photo Credit: WSOP/Hayley Hochstetler