The 30-year-old poker pro from Moldova finally claimed his first title from the WPT after a runner-up finish in Prague three years ago
It took three years for Pavel Plesuv to improve his runner-up finish at the WPT Prague. The player finally scooped his first title from the series last night, and he did that in a spectacular manner. Plesuv, a 30-year-old poker pro from Moldova, took down the first-ever WPT Seminole Rock ‘N’ Roll Poker Open for $504,820 in prize money as well as a shiny guitar pick trophy.
The player entered the six-handed final table of the tournament as the chip leader and only lost his advantage for a very short time throughout that closing stage of the game. Jim Gilbert took the lead early in the day but could not keep it for long as Plesuv managed to regain control. From that point on, the eventual winner only extended his advantage to make sure that he would win the event this time.
The final table of the event featured only one former WPT champion – Ravi Raghavan. The player entered the final day of action as the short stack and could not really improve his situation. It was actually Plesuv who ended Raghavan’s hunt for a second title. The player collected $103,310 from the prize pool for his deep run.
Jeremy Joseph then felted Chris Kennedy in fifth place. The latter took home $135,505. Four-handed play was when Plesuv really built his stack and pulled well ahead of his rivals. The eventual champion won several big pots, including one against Marius Gierse, which resulted in the latter’s elimination. Gierse received $179,710, while Plesuv assumed control over two-thirds of all chips in play.
Joseph went out next after failing to hold up against the soon-to-be-champion. His share of the prize pool totaled $240,945.
Plesuv entered heads-up against Gilbert with an 8-1 chip advantage. Both players were vying for their first titles from the WPT and both had previously recorded runner-up finishes in WPT Main Events.
As mentioned earlier, Plesuv was the runner-up of the 2015 WPT Prague. As for Gilbert, he finished second in the WPT Borgata Poker Open in 2015.
Despite his massive chip disadvantage heading into heads-up last night, Gilbert put up quite some fight during the match, trying to survive for as long as possible and gain momentum in a hunt for the title. In his post-victory interview, Plesuv said of his opponent that he had put him to the test a lot, “jamming a lot of [his] limps” and “chipping up a little bit more and more.” The champion further said that he had patiently waited for a big hand to finish off his opponent and it took quite a while before a big hand was dealt.
When that big hand finally came, Plesuv moved all in with [Ad][Js] and Gilbert called quickly for his final 9 million with pocket nines. The board ran out [Ac][Qs][3c][Jc][Qh] and Plesuv locked up the pot and the title with two pair. Gilbert had to settle for the runner-up finish and $326,565 in prize money.
Of how it felt to be member of the elite WPT Champions Club, Plesuv said that it was pretty awesome. The player also recalled finishing runner-up in Prague, noting that back then he entered heads-up with a big chip lead, but still the title eluded him. He said he felt pretty awesome that the same did not happen in Florida last night.
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