Nadar Kakhmazov took down Event #35: No-Limit Hold'em 6-Handed for $580,338 to win his first bracelet and Russia's third of the 2017 World Series of Poker after Vladimir Shchemelev's victory earlier this week and Igor Kurganov's win as part of the tag-team event.
After coming into the day third in chips, he took advantage of other players faltering and stamped his trademark aggression and unreadability on proceedings, taking a huge chip lead into heads-up play, and besting a final table including bracelet winner Sam Soverel, November Niner Kenny Hallaert, and Faraz Jaka.
Six-handed play started with Faraz Jaka chip leading, but it didn’t take long for Hunichen to get his chips in the middle in search of a double-up. Eventually, he was called by Jaka, and Hunichen’s pocket jacks held against the overnight chip leader, leaving Jaka in search of a double.
Although Jaka was the table short stack, it was Christian Rudolph who was eliminated next when his king-queen failed to overcome the ace-queen of then chip leader Hunichen. Rudolph would take home $79,611 for his sixth-place finish.
It was then the turn of Jaka to look for a spot to double up. He got ace-nine in against Kenny Hallaert’s ace-king and, although there was a nine on the flop, there was a king as well, and Jaka failed to find another nine, exiting in fifth place ($112,585).
With this elimination, Hallaert closed the gap on Hunichen’s chip lead, and, when Sam Soverel doubled through Hunichen, it was Nadar Kakhmazov who took over the chip lead. The Russian would grow his chip lead until the elimination of Sam Soverel in fourth place ($162,257).
Soverel held pocket sevens against the pocket tens of Hallaert and, with no help on the flop, play was down to three-handed with Hallaert and Hunichen holding fairly equal stacks and Kakhmazov out in front.
Kakhmazov had already pushed his lead out further before the elimination of Hallaert. On a deuce-five-four-six board, Kakhmazov moved all in, putting the Belgian at risk. Hallaert eventually called with pocket sevens, but Kakhmazov had a set of fours. There was no help for Hallaert on the river and he exited in third place ($238,855).
Heads-up play started with Chris Hunichen doubling through his Russian opponent, but, after some aggressive play, the Russian forged another big lead in chips and finally closed it out for the title, WSOP bracelet, and nearly $600K in prize money.
|2||Chris Hunichen||United States||$358,677|
|4||Sam Soverel||United States||$162,257|
|5||Faraz Jaka||United States||$112,585|
"I am very happy," said Kakhmazov after his victory. "I have wanted to do this for three years but every time I lose two big pots deep in the tournament. I like it. I’m happy."
This has been a great summer for Kakhmazov, having taken down an event at the Venetian earlier this month for $440,029 and now his success here at the World Series.
"I try all the time to play better and better," he said. "It’s great for Russian poker.
"I'm going to play the 10K 6-Max now, and then the 25K PLO, the Main Event. I’m feeling too good!"