Vadzim Godzdanker won the Event #1 $1,100 MPP Open to Luxon Pay Mediterranean Poker Party for a cool $150,000. The Belarus victory came after a colossal one-on-one battle with Italy Alessio Isaia as the chip lead swung between the two players.
After 90 minutes of one-on-one play, the winning moment came when Godzdanker pushed with a suited king nine and was called by Isaia’s ace-jack.
Godzdanker hit a king on the flop and had to dodge Isaia’s 12 outs on the river to secure victory much to the delight of Godzdanker’s wife who screamed so loudly the chandeliers shook in the magnificent poker arena from Merit Royal Diamond Hotel and Casino in northern Cyprus.
Start of the day chipleader Selahaddin Bedir eventually finished in third place after being chipleader for most of the day. After losing a few big pots, the big Turkish player was knocked out after throwing the ace-queen against Godzdanker’s ace-king and couldn’t improve.
Event #1 $1,100 MPP Open – Luxon Pay Mediterranean Poker Party
Talk to PokerNews via a translator, Godzdanker could not believe they had won the tournament. “I don’t understand how I won, but I’m sure the excitement will come with time.”
The champion was the chip leader in the turbo flight which was held on Sunday evening and ran until 4am local time on Monday morning. PokerNews asked if they had managed to sleep before starting again at noon on Monday. Godzdanker revealed: “I relaxed in my room watching Manchester United v Liverpool which helped me fall asleep.”
Godzdanker is a regular player at Casino Sochi where he won a side event at EPT Sochi in 2020 and also plays in his hometown of Minsk. Originally they weren’t planning to come to North Cyprus until they were convinced by a group of friends to come. PokerNews asked how he enjoyed the Merit Royal Diamond Resort “I loved my stay here, I enjoy the good food, the scenery, the beautiful mountains and the sea. I plan to come back here again and again.”
Iosebi Laperashvili was the first casualty of the day. Timour Margolin all-in on the flop with middle pair and Laperashvili called with a straight flush draw. The remaining community cards were bricks and the Georgian was eliminated.
Finishing in eighth place was Raoul Iancovici from Romania who was the short stack at the start of the day. They shoved under the gun with the king and met Bedir’s pocket aces and took home $18,000, their biggest ever payday and moved them into the six-figure mark for live earnings.
Two-time WSOP winner Margolin had a topsy-turvy day. Starting day seven in chips, the Israeli briefly took the chip lead but lost a huge chunk of his stack when he rolled pocket jacks against Godzdanker’s pocket kings. Godzdanker finished the job a few hands later when they caught Margolin bluffing and Margolin finished in the same position they started the day.
Eleftherios Sinnos The stack shrunk throughout the day and ended up with less than a big blind before shoving from the button. Bedir’s pair of sevens was the center pin of a straight nine that beat the Cypriot’s pair of eights to eliminate him in sixth place for $28,000. This was the second cash in a month above $20,000 for Sinnos.
Cypriot companion Frederic Anastasiade who started the day second in chips was the next to fall off the court when he pushed with a pair of fours and was called twice. When the cards were revealed at the showdown Ben Herchkovich turned over a pair of nines to win the pot. Hershkovich was eliminated shortly after finishing fourth after knocking the ace-queen into Godzdanker’s pocket jacks to win $46,000.
This concludes coverage of the Mediterranean Poker Party opening event. Stay tuned PokerNews for additional coverage of the Merit Royal Diamond Hotel .