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Second WSOP bracelet for Anatolii Zyrin

1 November 2021

Anatolii Zyrin defeated Michael Lee heads-up in Event #55: $400 Colossus at the 2021 World Series of Poker to win his second bracelet and the $314,705 top prize. The event attracted one of the biggest fields at the WSOP with 9,399 generating a healthy $3,101,670 prize pool.

While it wasn't the largest cash of his career, Zyrin said this one felt like it was the most deserved. "The first one was more luck, but this one was won on skill. I had to defeat such a large field. Really strange feeling when you win against more than 9,000 people."

The Russian's previous WSOP bracelet came in 2019 when he defeated a field of 717 entries in the $1,500 Omaha Mix event.

This was the first time a WSOP bracelet final table was held in the King's Lounge, and it was due to the fact of how busy the other rooms were. But after seeing the energy from the rail who were able to get closer to the action, this may become more popular in the future. After the last hand of the tournament, Zyrin leaped into his boisterous rail that included many of his friends and girlfriend.

"It was amazing to have them here," Zyrin said about his friends. "I want to thank my friends, my girlfriend. I want to say hello to my parents, sister, brother, dog, everyone back home."

Zyrin was left grinning ear to ear with his girlfriend and translator standing by his side during his post-tournament interview.

Going forward, Zyrin will be sticking around Las Vegas for at least the next two weeks before heading back across the Atlantic Ocean for WSOP Europe which will be taking place starting Nov. 15 at King's Resort in Rozvadov. "I'm not sure what I will play before the Main Event, but right now I just need some sleep. I promised my rail that if I finished top three there would be a party, but maybe tomorrow."

There were 49 players that returned for the final day and there was no shortage of action right from the onslaught. Each player that returned was guaranteed a payout of $6,120. The pay jumps increased at a rapid pace with the final three tables being assembled within the first hour of play.

Once the final three tables moved into the King's Lounge, a rail started to form and they got louder as the day progressed. Some of the notables forced to the payout desk throughout the day included WSOP gold bracelet winners Brett Apter (26th place), Barbara Enright (25th place), and Carlos Chang (18th place).

It was just before the second break of the day that Robert Mather was eliminated on the final table bubble. The eliminations started to slow with the pay jumps becoming more significant. Jeffrey Stellwagon, Penh Lo, and Vincas Tamasauskas all exited in a timely fashion with a nice boost to their wallets.

Seven-handed play continued for over 90 minutes with a new short stack finding multiple double-ups. Eventually, Martin Gavasci ran his ace-jack into a red-hot Lee who woke up with ace-king in the big blind. That led to another two quick eliminations with Eric Kim and David Ripley finishing in sixth and fifth place respectively.

Phuoc Nguyen was left as the shortest stack while the other three players passed chips around the table. Nguyen finally found a lucky double up but it didn't last long as he was eliminated in the very next hand. With just three players remaining and the blinds escalating quickly, it was anyone's game.

Kevin Rand was part of the rollercoaster as he once held the chip lead but also spent some time on the short stack. Despite back-to-back double-ups, Rand still found himself at risk against Zyrin who proved time and time again how relentless he was. Zyrin flopped top pair against Rand and turned a straight to eliminate Rand in third place.

It wasn't the start that Zyrin was looking for once heads-up play began. Lee showed some fierce aggression which led to him holding nearly a two-to-one chip lead after the first few hands. However, Zyrin spotted a couple of timely check-raises on the river that ultimately cost Lee. In the final hand of the tournament, Lee was unable to escape a rivered straight when Zyrin turned a baby flush, bringing an end to Lee's incredible run.

Final Table Results
1 Anatolii Zyrin Russia $314,705
2 Michael Lee United States $194,450
3 Kevin Rand United States $147,595
4 Phuoc Nguyen United States $112,730
5 David Ripley United States $86,650
6 Eric Kim United States $67,025
7 Martin Gavasci Argentina $51,180
8 Vincas Tamasauskas Lithuania $40,885
9 Penh Lo United States $32,240

(Article courtesy of World Series of Poker)

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