Lev “LevMeAlone” Gottlieb, a virtually unknown player from Mexico, earned his first bracelet and $276,393 after defeating Mikita Badziakouski heads-up and a player field of 130 entries.
The only two events for international players on GGPoker is the $10,000 short no-limit hold’em and the $25,000 buy-in poker players’ championship with a $10 million guaranteed prize pool.
It is important to know that this is Gottlieb’s first victory in any tournament he has played, and his first recorded tournament cash. However, there isn’t much known about this short-deck poker professional outside the fact that he plays from Mexico.
On the other hand, Badziakouski, who came second in the tournament earned $210,249 after failing to also record his first bracelet; hence, his score made his total career tournament earnings to be $29 million.
Sergi Reixach came in third place. Badziakouski began the play with a better 5:1 chip advantage over Gottlieb. This resulted in a new start of an epic heads-up battle that lasted for 8 hours, according to the time stamps on the official live updates. Gottlieb matched-up Badziakouski’s stacks and the war between both players at the table changed to a new dimension completely.
Before finishing at the second place, Badziakouski began the final table with a little chip lead before controlling it short-handedly.
At the end of the day, Gottlieb unveiled a 3:1 chip lead of his own and defeated Badziakouski. Gottlieb’s A10 was up against Badziakouski’s KQ, but Badziakouski flopped top pair and Gottlieb responded with a gut-shot straight draw.
Gottlieb went up the straight draw in turn which gave Badziakouski two pair. However, the river couldn’t give Badziakouski a win. Hence, Gottlieb won the pot, the tournament, and the bracelet.
The only American native in the tournament was Dan “oiltrader” Shak who finished 5th for $92,545. Nobuaki Sasaki finished fourth for $121,659. Reixach took home $159,933 for his third-place finish.
Among the popular players to partake in the game were Danny Tang, George Wolff, Yuri Dzivielevski and Jason Koon, but they couldn’t reach the final table.
Ami Barer, Carl Schrader, and Bjorn Li finished at 9th, 8th, and 7th, while Badziakouski chipped-up just afterwards. Badziakouski defeated Saasaki to chip-up further to win a big pot three-handed against Reixach. However, Badziakouski smashed Reixach at the beginning of the next stage, thus putting Gottlieb at a big difficulty.
At some point in the game – when Reixach was defeated – Badziakouski was tipped to win. But Gottlieb outsmarted him by scoring an early double-up against Badziakouski’s straight, instantaneously placing him within an outstanding distance of the chip lead.
Gottlieb finally won the match six hours later when his chips defeated Badziakouski’s 66 in a pre-flop war.
Here is the final table result: