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Vladas Burneikis won his first World Series of Poker bracelet, and he did so in a tidy six hours of work — if he registered for the first hand dealt — in Event #49: $500 Turbo Deepstack No Limit Hold'em on GGPoker. Burneikis won $192,523 plus a WSOP Europe package valued at $15K after topping a field of 2,978 in the speedy event.
The Lithuanian, who previously had $208K in live cashes, had less than $11K of that come in WSOP events.
Event #49 Final Table Results
|1||Vladas "apuokos" Burneikis||Lithuania||$192,523|
|2||Pierre "Malaska" Merlin||France||$147,052|
|4||Brendan "doji" Sheehan||Ireland||$76,022|
|5||Jeff "allin donk" Cormier||Canada||$54,660|
|6||Ezequiel "lafiera8" Waigel||Argentina||$39,301|
|7||Zhewen "Polkadot" Hu||China||$28,258|
|9||Jimmy "KOBE_BRYANT8" Guerrero||France||$14,608|
At the final table of this event, he overcame some experienced opposition like Boris Kolev, Jeff Cormier, Ezequiel Waigel, Guillaume Nolet and Jimmy Guerrero. All of those outlasted a slew of recognizable names who cashed, the likes of Steve O'Dwyer, Juha Helppi, Asi Moshe, Pascal Hartmann, Danny Tang and Jack Sinclair.
It was clear right from the early stages of the final table that this one was going to come down to Burneikis and Pierre "Malaska" Merlin. By the time it was seven-handed, they were the only two with more than a handful of blinds.
One player who did an admirable job laddering was Brendan "doji" Sheehan, who was the shortest stack to start the final table with only about five big blinds, yet he managed to sneak into fourth-place money as others fell by the wayside.
Burneikis and Merlin took turns knocking everyone else out until they were heads up with fairly even stacks. However, fortune only looked one way in this match and that was toward Burneikis. He caught several lucky breaks, including pulling out a miracle chop with six-five suited against sixes after a queen-ten-eight flop.
Unable to get back in it even in the spots that looked to be lined up for him, Merlin had to accept a second-place payout of a still-handsome $147K for getting by nearly 3,000 opponents.
That wraps up PokerNews' Event #49 coverage, but be sure to come back in two more days for Event #50: $2,100 No Limit Hold'em Bounty Championship.
It was an unlucky run heads up for Pierre Merlin.
First, he lost a big pot where he turned two pair only to get counterfeited on the river.
Then, he got in against preflop and had to chop when the board two-paired and each player played the board.
Finally, he shoved all in with for about five big blinds and was up against . The board ran , leaving him dead even before another queen arrived on the river.
Pierre Merlin shoved all in from the small blind and Boris Kolev called off in the big with . Merlin had the best of it with and the runout brought the tournament to heads-up play.
On a miniscule stack, Brendan Sheehan got it in with but couldn't overcome the of big blind Vladas Burneikis.
Action folded to the small blind, where Pierre Merlin jammed. Jeff "allin donk" Cormier snapped with only to stare into Merlin's .
Things got hairy for Merlin as the board came but a safe river hit.
Vladas Burneikis shoved in the small blind and Ezequiel Waigel called off 7.4 million in the big with . Burneikis was live with and flopped an eight to bust Waigel.
Vladas Burneikis raised to 2.4 million and Zhewen Hu shoved for 10.4 million in the big blinds. Burneikis called with and it was a flip versus Hu's .
The flop left Hu drawing thin and no eight or straight emerged on the turn and river.
Vladas Burneikis raised to 3 million in middle position. Big blind Guillaume Nolet shoved for 9 million with and found himself flipping against .
The board was all Burneikis.
Pierre "Malaska" Merlin raised all in from the cutoff and Jimmy "KOBE_BRYANT8" Guerrero called off for 6.8 million in the big blind with .
Merlin was dominated with and things looked rough on the flop. However, running and gave him a straight.