WSOP 2015: Eli Elezra is the Top Stud But Mike Gorodinsky is the Poker Players Champion WSOP 2015: Eli Elezra is the Top Stud But Mike Gorodinsky is the Poker Players Champion


Mike Gorodinsky has won the Poker Players Championship for a $1,270,086 pay day. As important as that life changing sum of money may be, the WSOP bracelet and the prestige associated with winning this particular event are stuff of many professional players’ dreams.

“I feel amazing,” Gorodinsky said after his win. “This is literally something that I’ve gone to bed dreaming about, and it’s just cool to legitimately realize a dream. So it’s just an amazing day. An amazing five days. “

Gordinsky went into heads up play with a small chip lead over underdog Jean-Robert Bellande. Coincidentally, Bellande was the runner up when Gorodinsky won his first WSOP bracelet two years ago.

David “ODB” Baker took third place with Ben “Sauce123” Sulsky in fourth.

The victory was enough to vault Gorodinsky to the top of the GPI WSOP Player of the Year race unseating Paul Volpe who has held the top spot for most of the Series.

Event #45: $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em

After running for an unscheduled fourth day, the bracelet in event #45 finally went to Upeshka De Silva who crushed the final table with the elimination of seven out of eight final table players.

He wins $424,577 and his first gold bracelet after defeating Irishman Dara O’Kearney heads up. The two players were the only ones to survive to the final day, and the match ended with a classic race, 2-2 against A-K. Two pairs on the board counterfeited O’Kearney’s pocket deuces to give the victory to De Silva

“This is surreal, that’s the best way to describe how I feel right now,” De Silva said later. “I waited my whole life for this. When you imagine how the last hand will be played out, that’s what I experienced. It was like a dream coming true.”

Event #46: $3,000 Pot-Limit Omaha 6-Handed

Vasili Firsau has become a recognizable name at this year’s WSOP as his name keeps appearing high up on the leaderboards. Now he has sealed his reputation with his first bracelet in the $3,000 Pot-Limit Omaha 6-Handed event, to take home first prize money of $437,575.

The event needed an extra session as tough competition extended play. The original field of 682 players could only reduce to four players at the end of its scheduled time.

“This is great for me and a great feeling to win this,” Firsau said. “I had many bad years here and this time to come and win – it feels amazing.”

The Belarussian player found himself heads up against Nipun Java, whose second place finish earned him the biggest WSOP cash of his career. $270,509 is some consolation for missing his best chance so far at winning a WSOP bracelet.

Event #47: $2,500 No-Limit Hold’em

Phil Hellmuth’s deep run in this event looked like a good chance for a record breaking 15th WSOP bracelet, but the Poker Brat busted out in 16th place. The finish added to his record of 112 cashes in WSOP bracelet events.

Of the five players who survived the day, Timur Margolin from the Ukraine has the chip lead, with Matt O’Donnell in second and old school pro Andy Black in third place.

The first player to bust today can still boast a six figure payout as fifth place prize money is $115,637. The bracelet winner will receive a very hefty $551,941 for the win.

Event #48: $1,500 Seven Card Stud

Eli Elezra has joined the elite ranks of three-time bracelet winners after gaining victory in the $1,500 Seven Card Stud event.

“This one was really special to me,” Elezra said. “It’s the game many of us grew up on and it’s played by the most experienced players. When I won the Deuce-to-Seven [in 2013] that was very nice, but I really take extra pride in this one because so many well-known players have won it before me.”

Elezra became known to millions of fans after his appearances on the TV show High Stakes Poker, where his run-ins and banter with Sammy Farha entertained the audience and provided an insight into some very loose and aggressive high stakes cash game play.

The third place finisher was Alan Cunningham who missed out on a chance to win his sixth WSOP bracelet. The runner up was Benjamin Lazer who has now been runner up twice in his four WSOP finishes.

Elezra’s winnings of $112,591 were low by WSOP standards. The event drew a field of only 237 players.