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Gaming Guru

David Schoen

Mike Gorodinsky wins WSOP Poker Player's Championship

26 June 2015

Mike Gorodinsky won the $50,000 buy-in Poker Players Championship tournament at the World Series of Poker early Friday at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino.

Gorodinsky, a professional poker player living in San Diego, took home $1,270,086 and the Chip Reese Memorial Trophy, named in honor of the late poker pro from Las Vegas. He defeated Las Vegas resident and former “Survivor: China” contestant Jean-Robert Bellande after a 3½-hour heads-up duel.

“I feel amazing,” Gorodinsky told “This is literally something that I’ve gone to bed dreaming about, and it’s just cool to legitimately realize a dream. So, it’s just an amazing day. An amazing five days.”

The tournament, which had the second-largest buy-in of this year’s WSOP, is one of the most coveted titles as participants play 10 variations of the game.

Gorodinsky, who was born in St. Petersburg, Russia, entered the six-player final table in second place and was the short stack when three-handed play opened. But Gorodinsky won two straight big pots — one in the Seven-card Stud round and one in No-limit 2-7 Single Draw — and went on to eliminate David Baker in third place.

The chip lead changed hands several times during heads-up action between Gorodinsky and Bellande before Gorodinsky took control in the final hour. The final hand came in Pot-limit Omaha as Gorodinsky’s set of eights held up against Bellande’s two-pair.

It was the second career WSOP bracelet for Gorodinsky, who vaulted to the top of the WSOP Player of the Year standings with the victory. Gorodinsky has cashed in five events this summer and reached four final tables, including a second-place finish in the $10,000 Razz Championship when Phil Hellmuth won his record 14th career bracelet.

“I’d like to think that I’m playing really great, that I’m making all the right decisions,” Gorodinsky said. “But you know, the cards are hitting me in the face. I’m running really good. And I’ve been really focused on playing, I’ve been putting in my hours, and it’s paying off.”

Bellande earned $784,828, the largest live tournament payday of his career. Bellande has never won a WSOP bracelet, and this is the second time he finished as runner-up in a WSOP-sponsored event.

The Poker Players Championship drew 84 of the world’s top mixed-game players for a prize pool of $4,032,000.
Mike Gorodinsky wins WSOP Poker Player's Championship is republished from