Alex Bilokur turned into a poker freight train here at Event #28: $10,000 Pot-Limit Hold'em, completely dominating heads-up play as he turned a nine-to-one chip deficit into $398,567 and his first World Series of Poker gold bracelet. Bilokur already sported a solid poker resume with nearly $3 million in tournament cashes, including taking down a PCA High Roller event in 2012. Now, the Russian has added the pinnacle of poker tournament accomplishments to that list of successes.
We began the day with 10 players, quickly saying goodbye to Dan Shak after he ran his aces into Chino Rheem's set. Rheem held the chip lead as the official final table began.
We saw short stacks Barny Boatman and Richard Lyndaker bow out soon afterward, and Pratyush Buddiga got set over set by Ismael Bojang to bust in seventh. Todd Brunson then exited in sixth when he couldn't improve an open-ended straight draw and overcards against a smaller pair.
Rheem was unable to hang onto his chip lead, bleeding off chips until busting in fourth just after Ismael Bojang took fifth. Rheem flopped top two but sent his stack over to the bottom set of Matt O'Donnell on a flop. It looked like that was going to be the pot of the tournament, as O'Donnell had his last two opponents covered multiple times over.
When O'Donnell ousted Alexander Venovski in third, it looked like heads-up play was a mere formality as O'Donnell had just over 4.3 million to Bilokur's just under 500,000. However, Bilokur completely took over the match with a small-ball style, continually limping buttons and inducing aggression from O'Donnell when Bilokur held superior hands. After just over 100 hands, he'd claimed the championship.
Thanks for tuning in to PokerNews' coverage of another championship event here at the 2014 WSOP.