The 2018 World Series of Poker has crowned yet another bracelet winner at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino and it was Ognyan Dimov that took home the lion's share of the $2,245,050 prize pool and coveted gold bracelet in Event #17: $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em 6-Handed.
Four former bracelet winners returned to the final table on the ESPN feature stage, but it was 2015 EPT Deauville Main Event champion Dimov that faced Antonio Barbato in an all-European heads-up. Both were supported by a boisterous rail and the Bulgarians ended up celebrating the third WSOP bracelet for their country, as Dimov followed in the footsteps of Nick Jivkov and Simeon Naydenov to claim his maiden bracelet and $378,743 for his efforts.
“I read up on all of the players. Of course, you don't expect to face bad players on the final table, that's what you expect, bracelet winners and big names in poker. I am not afraid of that," the Bulgarian said when asked about the stacked final table line-up.
Dimov was all smiles in the interview after his victory. “I tried to stay calm and felt good playing. Obviously, everyone saw that I ran pretty amazing, but you have to run like this to win a tournament. I can't complain.”
Four-handed, Dimov pulled into a commanding lead after hero-calling against Ryan D'Angelo before sending all his remaining opponents to the rail.
“I got hands in the right moments and made one sick hero call when we were four-handed, which was like 15 minutes ago.”
When asked about the clash with Nick Schulman shortly after, Dimov added the following.
“Well, it was pretty standard, I got lucky again.”
While Dimov has just won his first bracelet, the Bulgarian already has an EPT title to his name. “I love it here, I came here (Las Vegas) two years ago for the first time and also last year and this year, and I hope to come back to play. I come here to win bracelets and I am really happy that it came true.”
Dimov also confirmed that he will be playing the rest of the WSOP this summer and had a few remarks in jest for his Bulgarian rail, which ended up in a winner shot with two dozen countrymen.
“Well, that I am a really nice and good guy, everybody loves me. ... No, I am kidding, it is because they are really bad at poker and busted the Millionaire Maker (laughs). We are on the other side of the world and we are going to be a tight group and cheering for each other. Whoever was on the final table, the same people would appear and I really appreciate their help."
Before the event, his heads-up opponent Barbato had just shy of $38,000 in cashes on the live poker circuit and took home $233,992 for his efforts. Nick Schulman ended up third with fellow bracelet winners Ryan D'Angelo, Joey Weissman and Yue Du below him in the payouts.
Final Result Event #17: $1,500 No-Limit Hold'em 6-Handed
|Place||Winner||Country||Prize (in USD)|
|3||Nick Schulman||United States||$163,785|
|4||Ryan D'Angelo||United States||$116,118|
|5||Joey Weissman||United States||$83,396|
About the event:
The tournament created a field of 1,663 entries and 264 hopefuls bagged up after Day 1 with Bart Lybaert in the lead and the money bubble looming, as just the top 250 spots were paid. It took only 20 minutes on Day 2 to ensure a min-cash of $2,249, and from there on out, the eliminations kept coming at an electric pace and just 27 players bagged up.
Among those to bust in the money on Day 2 were such big names as Chance Kornuth (184th, $2,342), Barry Greenstein (155th, $2,453), defending champion Anthony Marquez (120th, $2,835), Jeff Madsen (78th, $3,984), 2014 WSOP Main Event champion Martin Jacobson (64th, $4,608), and Adrian Mateos (61st, $4,608).
The WSOP bracelet winners Adrian Buckley and Tristan Wade were among the first to depart on Day 3 and they were soon joined on the rail by Pierre Calamusa (13th, $19,469) and Hon Cheong Lee (12th, $25,342). After four casualties in half an hour including Day 1 chip leader Bart Lybaert (8th, $44,750), Day 3 came to an early end after just over six levels of play and the remaining six hopefuls including four WSOP bracelet winners and an EPT champion returned for an extra day to determine the champion.
Action on the Final Day
In the very first hand of the day, Yue Du defended his big blind against a button raise by Nick Schulman and check-shoved a jack-high turn with ace-deuce suited for the nut flush draw. Schulman called with king-jack for top pair and the river paired the board to eliminate Du in sixth place.
Start-of-day chip leader Joey Weissman had a rough first few levels and dropped to the bottom of the counts before he doubled through Schulman to get back into contention. Antonio Barbato doubled through Ognyan Dimov and Weissman sent over a big portion of his stack to Ryan D'Angelo before he hero-called a jam by Dimov on the river of a king-high board. Weissman was shown ten-four suited for a flush and his pocket queens ended up second-best to reduce the field to the final four with Dimov and D'Angelo at the top of the counts.
A failed bluff by D'Angelo vaulted Dimov into a commanding lead and he never looked back, sending all three remaining opponents to the rail in quick succession. In back-to-back hands, he claimed the stacks of D'Angelo and Schulman to enter heads-up with a 9-1 lead. D'Angelo lost a flip with pocket nines against king-jack, while Schulman's ace-ten was ahead of ace-eight until the river brought an eight to let the Bulgarian rail erupt in celebration.
The heads-up duel with Barbato lasted all but 16 hands and the Italian ended up moving all in for his last seven big blinds with ace-nine and Dimov called with king-six. A six on the flop and a king on the river sealed Barbato's fate and he couldn't pull off the miracle comeback.
That brings an end to the PokerNews live reporting for this event, but several other WSOP tournaments are already underway right now to determine another champion in Las Vegas.