CardsChat Presents: Big Winners of the Week (April 4 – 10, 2021)

5 min read

Live poker may be coming back, but this week it was online play, mostly, that kept our eyes fixated. Specifically, GGPoker hosting its Spring Series, showed the site has staying power and is able to draw the big fields for high-dollar, multi-day events, with or without the WSOP. And they’re not alone. The Irish Open would go one more year online (thanks Partypoker!), and PokerStars showed they can still attract the high-roller pros, despite their focus on recs in recent years, as evident in their latest SCOOP.

Read more below about these and other notable victories that caught the attention of CardsChat News for the week ending Saturday, April 10, 2021:


Guillaume Nolet

Sunday Five Million
Spring Festival


Nolet opened the massive GGPoker Spring Festival with a bang, shipping the first seven-figure payday of the series. The Canadian online pro beat out 198 entries in the two-day, $25,500 buy-in event. He closed it out on Monday by winning a race (KQ beating pocket 10’s) against a tough player, Andras Nemeth. Nolet is known for his online poker success, but he also has more than $1.5 million in live tournament cashes, including $300,000 for winning a 2019 $10K at the Partypoker Millions South America.

(Image: Twitter/Pokershares)

Lev Gottlieb

Super Millions + Super Tuesday
Spring Festival


It’s getting harder and harder to keep a low profile. His online moniker and the lack of freely available pictures of him on Google or on social media might suggest he doesn’t want any attention, but we can’t help but shine a spotlight on Gottlieb this week. Last year’s WSOP Online $10K Short Deck champion won not one, but two $10,000 events in GGPoker’s Spring Festival this week, closing out both events on Tuesday. The first of his two impressive wins came in the Super Millions. The Spring Festival edition of the weekly MTT attracted 312 entries, which meant Gottlieb banked $586,075. At the same time ‘LevMeAlone’ was beating Pedro Garagnani heads-up, he was deep in Event #15, the $10,000 Super Tuesday. Gottlieb kept the momentum going long enough to top the 140-entry field and add another $320,728 to his daily winnings, for a very good day of multi-tabling.


Dario Sammartino

Super High Roller
Spring Festival


“Super Dario” has done it again. The Italian poker star who finished runner-up in the 2019 WSOP Main Event crushed another high roller, this one online at GGPoker. Sammartino, who has more than $14.5 million in live tournament cashes, and who came within a stones throw away from being a world champion, beat out 88 of some of the best poker players in the world in a $25,500 buy-in event on Wednesday, and he did so by outlasting a final table that included Nick Petrangelo, Christian Rudolph, and Mikita Badziakouski.

pavel veksler
(Image: PokerStars)

Pavel Veksler
‘Pavel Veksler’

Irish Open Main Event


It was a day of seconds on Wednesday as Veksler picked up his first Irish Open title. The 1,880-entry field was the second largest in the €1,100 main event’s history. It was also the second time it had taken place online due to COVID-19 restrictions. Veksler had to rise up from seventh place at the final table to ultimately beat Stoyan Obreshkov heads up, booking his second-biggest tournament score to date. Prior to that, the Mountain Team pro, known online as MountainRose, had final tabled a Sunday Million for $72,160 and won $503,440 after finishing fourth in the 2019 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Main Event. The €266K prize for this one translates to nearly US$316K.

(Image: WPT)

Wiktor Malinowski

SCOOP High Roller (8-Max)


Fresh from his heads-up challenge loss to Fedor Holz, Poland’s Malinowski won his first Spring Championship of Online Poker title in an 8-Max NLH. The high-stakes pro known as “limitless” certainly lived up to his name as he fired three bullets at the $10,300 High Roller event on Tuesday. The investment paid off as he proved his skills aren’t limited to cash games. Ironically, his recent heads-up foe, Holz, finished second in SCOOP’s other $10,300 High Roller just two days earlier. So, on this occasion, Malinowski was able to get one up on his rival.

Qing Liu
(Image: WPT)

Qing Liu

Deep Stack Extravaganza II
No-Limit Hold’em MonsterStack
The Venetian, Las Vegas


It’s starting to seem like hardly a month passes where Liu isn’t taking down something big at a Venetian DeepStack tourney series. It started in October with a $600 Venetian EpicStack (for $84K), then a $600 Venetian UltimateStack in February (for $105K), then a $5,000 WPT Venetian Main Event (for $753K) in March. Now, in April, a $400 Venetian MonsterStack. It was his sixth career victory. He topped an 827-entry field that generated a $275,391 prize pool (almost double its $150K guarantee), finishing off runner-up Alfredo Pacheco.

Eddie Bat
(Image: Twitter/HTXChampions)

Edward Batinga

‘Easter Special’ NLH
Lone Star Poker Spring Series
Champions Social Poker Club,


It may have been Easter Sunday, but that didn’t mean there wasn’t poker going on in Texas. This $175 event was part of the Lone Star Poker Spring Series at Champions. The tourney drew 154 entries. Texas’s “Eddie Bat” emerged as the day’s winner, picking up $6,100 and the largest recorded tourney cash of his career after agreeing to a heads-up chop. It’s a return to the winner’s photoshoot for Batinga at Champions, which is just one of several Houston clubs enjoying explosive growth in recent months. But that sweet smile of success? We’d recognize it anywhere.

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