On August 14, the first WPT DeepStacks series held by partypoker in Sochi ended – read about its results and the winners of the two most expensive WPTDS events in this article.
WPT DeepStacks Sochi 2021 Brief
The WPTDS series in Sochi ran from August 6-14 and consisted of 13 events with buy-ins ranging from ₽15,750 ($ 215) to ₽245K ($ 3.3K). Excluding satellites, the tournaments collected 1,849 entries and a total prize pool of ₽110,678,220 (~ $ 1.5M).
Due to the difficult situation with entering the country and, in particular, the territory of the Krasnodar Territory during the pandemic, only a few foreigners from Armenia, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Turkey, Belarus and Abkhazia participated in the series. In addition, even one Frenchman, Francois Najjar, was spotted in the Main Event. However, none of them managed to win – all the winners represent the Russian Federation.
In the table below you can find a summary of each tournament in the series – they are arranged in chronological order.
|Tournament||Bai-in, ₽||Inputs||Prize fund, ₽||Winner||Winner prize, ₽|
|Ladies Event||15,750||22||299,880||Ekaterina Asmolova||127,680|
|Super Bounty||28K||129||3,122,560||Amani Ezatulla||225,750|
|Turbo Big Stack||20.8K||70||1,862,000||Dmitry Rikhard||429,100|
|High Roller||245К||97||21,076,160||Vyacheslav Balayev||5,500,740|
|Big Stack||53.9K||108||5,027,400||Evgeny Starinkov||1,327,900|
|Turbo Stack Super Bounty||38.5K||130||4,322,500||Aren Bezhanyan||474,250|
|Pot Limit Omaha||30.8K||32||821,200||Nikolai Fal||318,150|
|Turbo Bounty||23.1K||139||2,773,050||Vadim Gabriel||243,600|
|Main Event||119К||413||42,432,670||Maxim Skripkin||8,400,000|
|Omaha Bounty||30.8K||52||1,383,200||Pavel Shiryaev||206,500|
|Bounty Hunter||30.8K||101||2,686,600||Dennis Matson||238,000|
How Vyacheslav Balaev managed to win High Roller
The most expensive in the series was High Roller – with a buy-in of ₽245K, it collected 97 entries and ₽21,076,160 of the prize pool, from which ₽5,500,740 was taken by the winner Vyacheslav Balaev.
Vyacheslav is practically a newbie offline: he has played 100 live poker in 2019, having managed to issue 21 ITMs before WPTDS Sochi, 10 of which are the finals of the EAPT, EPT and Amber Poker Championship. Winning the High Roller was the second in his career – in November 2020, he won the EAPT Grand Final Hold’em tournament, earning ₽2,417,100 – and earned the best-cash.
In an interview after the victory, Vyacheslav Balaev told the secret of his calmness during the final:
It’s hard to sleep in Sochi, and yesterday I also came over-excited from the fact that I went to the finals of an event that was dear enough for me, and as a result I could not even close my eyes for an hour. Because of this, I didn’t even have excitement today, although we played at the television table and there was a lot of money at stake.
In addition to iron calm, Vyacheslav was helped to win by the skill of drawing coins – unexpectedly for himself, he knocked out fourth opponents from the final, and even when he slipped down the stack to 3-max, he was able to successfully unwind:
I am very glad I won! I have been playing offline for only a year, during this time I had 5 or 6 finals, but this one is one of the two most interesting, including because of the opponents. Good guys. Alexander Shevlyakov is a strong cash game player, Alexander Denisov, Dmitry Gromov – it is doubly pleasant to win with such a squad.
During the game, Vyacheslav was wearing a protective mask with a Mexican flag – he brought it straight from Mexico and put it on as a stylish accessory. When asked if she helped him win, Balaev replied that he did not believe in auristic techniques, preferring to rely on skill.
The championship for Skripkin is the first offline victory
The Main Event became the second most expensive WPTDS Sochi event. With a buy-in of ₽119K, he collected 413 entries and ₽42,432,670 in the prize pool, from which ₽8,400,000 went to Maxim Skripkin.
Although Maxim designed his first offline ITM back in 2016, he did not have a single first place before winning the WPTDS Main Event – the highest for Skripkin was the second place in Colossus at WSOP Circuit Russia 2019.
At the final table of the Main Event WPTDS Sochi Maxim came out as the chip leader – from the outside it seemed that the game was going easy for him. As Skripkin later admitted in an interview after the victory, everything was much more complicated:
The path to victory turned out to be very difficult for me. On the third day I came in short stack and, with great difficulty, was able to advance to the final. At the same time, I did not manage to knock out a single player at the final table – I tried to save chips and play carefully, due to which I won in the end. My parents, girlfriend, friends are watching me – I am very glad that I became a champion!