Aleksejs Ponakovs wins WSOP High Roller after defeating Phil Ivey

Home » Aleksejs Ponakovs wins WSOP High Roller after defeating Phil Ivey

The WSOP is in full swing, with events finishing up left and right in Las Vegas. One of the most recent tournaments to come to an end was the $100,000 High Roller NLH. Listed as Event #42, the tournament had 62 entries with a prize pool reaching just over $5.9 million. In the end, it would be Aleksejs Ponakovs and Phil Ivey going head-to-head. Ponakovs would eventually claim the first place finish and his second WSOP bracelet of his career.

Getting to the Final Table

The road to the final table would be a good one for Ponakovs. He would start on day one by claiming a big hand against Michael Addamo and winning helped boost his overall chip count. He eventually gained the second spot in chips and would start the next day in that position. After losing a bit, Ponakovs would build up his lead once again as the remaining players converged at the final table.

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As the final day took place, Phil Ivey was trying to earn his next gold WSOP bracelet. A win would signify his 11th bracelet and his first in the no-limit hold’em category. Both Ivey and Ponakovs would play well, making it to the final two where they had to play each other to see who would claim the title.

The round started with Ponakovs holding over 50% of the chips, but Ivey would eventually land a two-to-one lead after taking down a bluffed hand. It looked like Ivey was going to seal the deal, but it just wasn’t meant to be.

Gaining Ground to Claim the Win

Ponakovs was not giving up and the chip lead by Ivey would not last long. Two more poker hands would give Ponakovs the lead back and the final hand would go down. Both were all in on the hand and Ivey had an open-ended straight. Ivey did not get the card he needed on the river, so the hand went to Ponakovs as well as the win.

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Ponakovs was excited to have won the event, claiming his first WSOP bracelet during a live event. He won his very first bracelet during an online event last November. To the poker pro, the win seemed unreal, and he said it was sure to realize the win later as the outcome of the matchup starts to sink in.

Final Table Results

Place Player Prize
First Aleksejs Ponakovs $1,897,363
Second Phil Ivey $1,172,659
Third Ben Heath $805,024
Fourth Gregory Jensen $571,896
Fifth Michael Moncek $420,944
Sixth Talal Shakerchi $321,437


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