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World Series Of Poker -- Konstantin Puchkov Wins Event No. 31

Defeats Al Barbieri In Three-Hour Heads-Up Match To Claim First Bracelet


Konstantin PuchkovKonstantin Puchkov (pictured left) won event No. 31 ($1,500 H.O.R.S.E) at the 2010 World Series of Poker after a grueling three-and-a-half hour heads-up match with Al Barbieri. Both players traded the lead several times but there was only one all-in during that span which resulted in Barbieri’s elimination. The win was Puchkov’s first WSOP bracelet and first cash in a WSOP event, netting him $257,134.

The three-day event drew 828 players, accumulating a prize pool of $1,117,800. There were 80 places paid with 80th place receiving $2,869. Notables who cashed in the event include Lex Veldhuis (25th), Jeff Shulman (34th), Pat Pezzin (37th), Maria Ho (42nd) and Jason Mercier (44th).

The final day saw 24 players return to play down to a champion, including the defending champion of this event, James Van Alstyne. Van Alstyne would not repeat as he made his exit in 14th, joining other notables Chip Jett (9th), Allen Kessler (13th) and Jon Turner (24th) as day-three casualties.

Play at the official final table began slowly as it took a couple of hours before Robert Mizrachi became the first casualty of the night. Another hour went by without a single elimination but with the arrival of level 25, the eliminations came swiftly as four players hit the rail. Play then slowed again as it took another two hours to eliminate Dustin Leary in third place.

When heads-up play began, Barbieri held a 1-million chip lead and he soon expanded it, but Puchkov avoided elimination on more than one occasion with timely pots and he eventually took a big chip lead of his own. It was then Barbieri’s turn to display his stubbornness as he came from almost 2 million chips down to even up the match. Finally, just after sunrise, Barbieri was thrown overboard as Puchkov made a boat in seven-card stud eight-or-better to secure his first bracelet.

Here are the official final table results:

1. Konstantin Puchkov — $257,134
2. Al Barbieri — $158,839
3. Dustin Leary — $107,979
4. Ken Lennaard — $75,149
5. Hani Awad — $53,386
6. Andrew Revesz — $38,698
7. Blake Cahail — $28,604
8. Robert Mizrachi — $21,551

Here are the elimination hands as reported on’s live updates:

Robert MizrachiRobert Mizrachi Eliminated in Eighth Place ($21,551)

In hold’em, Robert Mizrachi raised to 80,000 and Dustin Leary made the call from the big blind. The two players saw a flop of KClub Suit 5Spade Suit 4Diamond Suit and Leary led out with 40,000.

Mizrachi raised all-in, just 11,000 more to Leary. Leary made the call and turned over KHeart Suit 9Heart Suit for top pair and was ahead of Mizrachi’s QHeart Suit QDiamond Suit.

The board failed to improve Mizrachi’s hand on the turn and river and he was eliminated.

Blake CahailBlake Cahail Eliminated in Seventh Place ($28,604)

In seven-card stud eight-or-better, Blake Cahail called a raise on third street by Al Barbieri. Cahail was all in after that call and here were their boards:

Cahail: (6Club Suit 4Heart Suit 9Heart Suit) AClub Suit 10Spade Suit JHeart Suit 4Spade Suit
Barbieri: (KHeart Suit KDiamond Suit 4Diamond Suit) 7Diamond Suit 10Diamond Suit 6Diamond Suit 8Heart Suit

Barbieri started with kings in the hole but improved to a diamond flush on the river and Cahail was the second player eliminated from the final table.

Andrew Revesz Eliminated in Sixth Place ($38,698)

Andrew Revesz had a severe short stack and he put it all in against Hani Awad and Konstantin Puchkov in seven-card stud eight-or-better.

Puchkov and Awad bet on the side until seventh street, when a Puchkov bet drew a fold from Awad. Puchkov showed a diamond flush while Revesz could only show a pair of threes and he was eliminated.

Hani Awad Eliminated in Fifth Place ($53,386)

Hani Awad and Al Barbieri got involved in a hand in seven-card stud eight-or-better. Awad found himself all in of fifth street and was showing ASpade Suit 2Club Suit 3Club Suit. He then caught the 2Heart Suit on sixth street.

Barbieri was ahead with his 7Club Suit 4Diamond Suit 3Diamond Suit 4Spade Suit showing and turned over another four for trips. Awad confirmed he was drawing dead as he did not even look at his river card and he made his way to the rail.

Ken LennaardKen Lennaard Eliminated in Fourth Place ($75,149)

Ken Lennaard and Dustin Leary got involved in some seven-card stud eight-or-better action that saw Lennaard all in by sixth street. Here is how their boards ran out:

Lennaard: (6Diamond Suit 3Club Suit AHeart Suit) 6Club Suit 10Heart Suit JDiamond Suit 8Club Suit
Leary: (AClub Suit 8Diamond Suit 10Club Suit) 4Heart Suit 10Diamond Suit 9Spade Suit QClub Suit

Lennaard’s pair of sixes were ahead until the river when Leary caught a pair of tens. Lennaard could not improve or make a low and he was eliminated.

Dustin Leary Eliminated in Third Place ($107,979)

In seven-card stud, Dustin Leary was all in by fifth street against Al Barbieri. Leary had made a pair of jacks by fifth street and was ahead of Barbieri’s board (KDiamond Suit QSpade Suit) 3Diamond Suit 5Diamond Suit 7Diamond Suit.

Barbieri caught the KHeart Suit on the river to make a better pair and Leary bricked on his final two cards sending him to the rail, leaving Barbieri and Konstantin Puchkov to battle for the bracelet.

Al BarbieriKonstantin Puchkov Wins Event No. 31 ($257,134), Al Barbieri Eliminated in Second Place ($158,839)

After more than three hours of heads-up play and numerous lead changes, the end finally came just past sunrise.

In seven-card stud eight-or-better, Al Barbieri found himself all in on fifth street against Konstantin Puchkov. Here were how their boards ran out:

Puchkov: (ASpade Suit 7Spade Suit 9Spade Suit) 2Club Suit 2Spade Suit 7Club Suit 2Heart Suit
Barbieri: (4Heart Suit 4Diamond Suit 8Diamond Suit) QDiamond Suit 3Heart Suit 5Club Suit 10Diamond Suit

Barbieri started with pocket fours but Puchkov hit every card from fourth through sixth street to make a full house, leaving Barbieri drawing dead by seventh and he was eliminated in second place, giving Puchkov his first WSOP bracelet.