The WPT World Online Championships Main Event might be over, but the race for titles hasn’t stopped. With side events and championships still left to play, Mikita Badziakouski became the latest player to take his place in the spotlight.
Badziakouski topped the list of recent winners with a victory in the $25,500 High Roller Championship. The Belarusian led from the start of the final table on September 22 and never lost his way.
Although his victory was fraught with tough challenges, Badziakouski came through the fire to pick up a WPT World Online Championships title and more than $1 million.
Badziakouski Waits as Short Stacks Fall
Just as Badziakouski started and finished on top, Ali Imsirovic maintained his position throughout the final table. Despite hopes of a spin up, he started the finale in seventh place and hit the rail in the same spot.
— Ali (@aliImsirovic) September 21, 2020
His demise came at the hands of Daniel Rezaei and a classic Hold’em showdown. Imsirovic opened with A♣ K♥ and Rezaei three-bet with pocket jacks. Imsirovic returned fire and moved all-in, leaving Rezaei to call.
The 7♠ 9♥ 6♥ Q♦ 3♥ board wasn’t enough to save Imsirovic. With that, the first player was out and the final table was down to six.
Next to fall was Aleksei Barkov. The Russian qualified for the $25,500 event via a $265 satellite. However, any dreams of a Moneymaker-style victory were dashed thanks to a run of hands that saw him fall from 100 big blinds to 16.
His final push was a blind vs. blind battle (see video below). Moving all-in with K♥ 5♥ from the small blind, Barkov could only watch as Alexandros Kolonias called with sixes. Despite pairing his five, Barkov couldn’t finish the hand in front, hitting the rail in sixth place for $197,667.
Daniel Rezaei was the next player to lose his stack before Badziakouski made his move. After sitting back and watching the short stacks fight, he imposed his will on the final four with pocket nines.
Mark Demirjian was happy to call a pre-flop raise with J♠ 10♦, but the flop wasn’t kind. With the board showing 9♣ 10♥ 8♣, a flurry of bets and raises resulted in Demirjian committing his stack.
Although he had outs, Badziakouski was ahead with a set of nines. That set turned into a full house after the K♠ and K♦ hit on the turn and river.
Deal Earns Badziakouski WPT World Online Championships Title
That hand cemented Badziakouski’s position, but it would take 2.5 hours for three players to become two. Eventually, however, Kolonias slipped away, leaving Badziakouski to battle Jason Koon for the title.
Koon had been relatively quiet up until that point, but he found his voice heads-up. Despite having 17 big blinds to Badziakouski’s 149, he managed to negotiate himself $30,000 more than second place was worth.
In the end, both players were happy to cut a deal and stop playing. Koon banked more than $800,000 without a fight, while Badziakouski picked up another seven-figure payday and a WPT World Online Championships title.
WPT World Online Championships $25,500 High Roller Result
- Mikita Badziakouski – $1,062,730*
- Jason Koon – $810,869*
- Alexandros Kolonias – $549,793
- Mark Demirjian – $380,652
- Daniel Rezaei – $259,979
- Aleksei Barkov – $197,667
- Ali Imsirovic – $155,060
*Denotes a deal.