4The first three champions of the 2020 MILLIONS UK festival have been crowned and what deserving champions they are. Nikolay Ponomarev, Kahle Burns and Paul Siddle have written their names into poker’s history books, have padded their bankrolls significantly, and got a nice shiny trophy for their mantlepieces.
Nikolay Ponomarev Denies Bertrand Grospellier Maiden MILLIONS Victory
Russia’s Nikolay Ponomarev denied team partypoker’s Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier an impressive victory in the $1,100 MILLIONS UK Mini event, a tournament that saw 1,030 players buy-in. Ponomarev was the last man standing and turned his $1,100 investment into a career-best $150,000.
Some 148 players receive a slice of the prize pool. These included Sam Grafton, Dietrich Fast, Paul Jackson, and Team partypoker’s Jeff Gross, Bruno Fitoussi, Roberto Romanello, Ludovic Geilich, John Duthie, and Philipp Gruissem.
Each of the nine finalists banked at least $10,500 for their effort. Romania star Alexandru Papazian was the first to fall. Gary Miller, former MILLIONS UK Main Event champion Maria Lampropulos and Mukhtar Taysi joined him on the rail.
British grinder Ben Winsor followed suit before MILLIONS South America champion Marty Mathis ran out of steam and fell in fourth-place for $48,500.
Start of the day chip leader Serkan Ersoy busted in third for a $65,000 addition to his bankroll, which left Grospellier and Ponomarev to battle heads-up for the title. It was a fight Ponomarev ultimate won, scooping $150,000 and leaving Grospellier to collect the $93,000 consolation prize.
Kahle Burns’ Incredible Form Continues in the Super High Roller
Australian pro Kahle Burns’ incredible form continued in the $25,000 Super High Roller. Burns won two World Series of Poker bracelets in 2019 and now has a MILLIONS trophy after topping a ridiculously tough field in this Super High Roller event.
Team partypoker’s Kristen Bicknell had an expensive afternoon, busting twice. Bicknell was sent to the registration desk to re-enter when a clash with Yair “The Wolf” Bitoun didn’t go her way. Burns then sent Bicknell to the showers when late registration had closed.
Luke Reeves started the day as the overwhelming chip leader but he was still the unfortunate soul to burst the money bubble. Reeves three-bet shoved with pocket fours over a raise from Igor Kurganov. Kurganov made the call with queens, which held, and Reeves exited in sixth-place.
Last year’s Super High Roller champion Steve O’Dwyer was the first player to collect some prize money, namely $75,000. O’Dwyer was joined on the rail by Norway’s Preben Stokkan then Ben Heath, a super-talented player who won his first WSOP bracelet in a $50,000 buy-in event this summer.
This left Kurganov and Burns to lock horns one-one-one for the title and the lion’s share of the prize pool. The final hand saw Kurganov all-in with pocket fours against the ace-ten of Burns. Kurganov’s low pair remained best on the flop, although Burns picked up a gutshot straight draw. That straight came in when the jack of hearts landed on the turn. A meaningless ten on the river completed the hand, busted Kurganov, and saw Burns win yet another major live poker tournament.
Paul Siddle Makes Up For Runner-Up Finish In Devilfish Cup
Paul Siddle banked the biggest score of his career in September 2019 when he finished second to Rick Trigg in the latest edition of the Devilfish Cup. Siddle locked up $200,000 as part of a heads-up chop with Trigg, but so desperately wanted the title.
Siddle now has that title after he triumphed in the $2,200 MILLIONS UK Warm Up. It was a compact field but Siddle still received $23,835 for his victory, plus a pretty cool trophy. Siddle defeated Daniel Habib heads-up, leaving the runner-up to secure a $20,665 payday.
Earlier at the final table, Emran Hussain fell in sixth-place for $4,000 before satellite specialist Tom Hall busted in fifth for $6,000. Thomas Muehloecker banked $8,660 for his fourth-place exit before Andrew Wool turned $2,200 into $12,500 with an impressive third-place exit.
Still To Come: MILLIONS UK Main and a Massive Live-Streamed Cash Game
Day 1B of the $5 million guaranteed MILLIONS UK Main Event kicks off at 13:00 CET on January 9th.
Israel’s Philipp Zukernik topped the Day 1A chip counts with a 5,875,000 stack, narrowly ahead of Anton Johansson of Sweden on 5,525,000. Others who made it through on the first of two starting flights included Team partypoker’s Joao Simao, Kristen Bicknell, and Anatoly Filatov. Also through to Day 2 are such luminaries as Marvin Rettenmaier, Niall Farrell, Sam Grafton, Steve Warburton, Steven van Zadelhoff, and Tom Middleton.
You can watch the PokerGO live stream of the Day 1B action from 16:00 CET. Head to partypoker LIVE where you can claim a free seven day trial of the excellent PokerGO service.
You then need to head to the partypoker Twitch channel from 19:30 CET on January 9th because there is a massive £100/£200 Pot-Limit Omaha cash game taking place in Trickett’s Room. Sam Trickett is taking on the likes of Rob Yong, Luke Schwartz, Leon Tsoukernik, Yair “The Wolf” Bitoun and more. It’s definitely not to be missed.
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