Russian Star Azamat Lamkov Wins Mediterranean Poker Party Main Event for $1 million

The latest major title on the live poker circuit has been won by a skilled professional at the top of his game. Russian player Azamat Lamkov got the better of his fellow countryman Kirill Shcherbakov at the last as four Russians made the final table in Northern Cyprus at the Merit Royal Diamond Hotel close to the Turkish border. With a million dollars up top, a vast field of 1,260 entries meant a bumper prizepool of over $6 million was fought for in one of the most glamorous locations in the poker world.

Big Names Battle into the Money

With 192 players being paid, some big names reached the money without really getting to the business end of the drama. David Miscikowski cashed for $8,500 in 180th place, the 2020 WSOP Online Main Event winner Stoyan Madanzhiev won the same amount in 146th place, before Yiannis Liperis (115th for $9,500), Robert Heidorn (67th for $16,500), Kully Sidhu (39th for $24,300), Matas Cimbolas (28th for $27,500), Alex Keating (25th for $31,000), Stephen Song (14th for $53,000) and Oliver Weis (10th for $62,000) all just missed out on the eight-handed final table.

The first person to leave the final was Yuhang Chen, as the Chinese player who started second-lowest in chips on just 12 big blinds and way behind the chip leader, Shcherbakov, on 84 bigs, left first for a score of $78,300. All-in pre-flop with A♣ Q, he lost to Shcherbakov’s pocket fives after being unable to hit either of his high cards.

Next to go was the Kazakhstan player Assyl Tleuzhanov. He lasted considerably longer but eventually got unlucky to leave for $100,000 when his leading hand of A♠ 6♠ pre-flop was overtaken by German player Leon Sturm’s J 10 post-flop, a board of 4♠ 2♠ 4 10 8♣ starting so well but turning out to be a sickener for the Kazakhstani.

Larsen Can’t Last

With seven remaining, Norwegian player Birger Larsen was saved by the river to survive before Russian Gamir Gabdullin departed. Raising for effectively his whole stack and calling it off soon after, Gabdullin’s A 7♠ fell to Sturm’s A 9 as a king-high board with nothing to help the at-risk player fell, sending Gabdullin home with $125,000.

Sturm had a big lead with 166.7 million chips, his nearest challenger being the eventual winner Lamkov with 78.7 million. Sturm even dropped a little only to win it back with the next elimination, Mihai Niste heading home in sixth for $170,000 when his 10♣ 5 lost to Sturm’s J 9 with all the chips committed pre-flop again. This time, a board of A♠ 7♠ 4♣ 6 2 played out and Sturm was big dog with only five left in the hunt.

Five became four in premium-on-premium fashion when Birger Larsen’s A Q♣ was crushed pre-flop and post by Shcherbakov’s K♠ K. A nine-high board came and that reduced the field to four, sending the Norwegian Larsen home with a score of $225,000. Sturm still led by some way, but all that was about to change as the final yards of a long race loomed.

Storm Hits Sturm as Lamkov Leaves it Late

Three Russians, one German and a whole heap of action. Leon Sturm slid down the counts, then doubled up before Iurii Suvorov lost out to his countryman Lamkov. All-in with Q 7, Suvorov was behind Lamkov’s A 10 and even had the same suit, so a flop of 10 4♠ 3 didn’t even leave the backdoor swinging open for a flush draw. A turn of 2♣ and river J♠ ended Suvorov’s interest in the event as he left with $320,000.

Leon Sturm went next. The German shoved with J J and was well ahead of his called Lamkov with A♠ 6♠. but a flop of A 8 2♠ changed everything and after the K turn and 10 river, Sturm was on his feet to collect $440,000 in third place having led the field with four remaining.

Heads-up, both players went for a short break, with Lamkov marginally ahead. When they returned, Shcherbakov initially got the better of the opening exchanges, but Lamkov won a massive pot with a wheel straight on the turn, making money when Shcherbakov hero-called with just A♣ K which hadn’t paired. Soon it was all over, as Shcherbakov called off his remaining chips with J 8♠ on a flop of J 10 2♠. He was ahead of Lamkov’s flush draw with Q 2. It remained that way after the 3♠ turn but a 8 on the river gave Azamat Lamkov the flush and $1 million up top, Kirill Shcherbakov having to settle for $680,000 in second place.

2024 Mediterranean Poker Party $5,300 Main Event Final Table Results:
1stAzamat LamkovRussia$1,000,000
2ndKirill ShcherbakovRussia$680,000
3rdLeon SturmGermany$440,000
4thIurii SuvorovRussia$320,000
5thBirger LarsenNorway$225,000
6thMihai NisteRomania$170,000
7thGamir GabdullinRussia$125,000
8thAssyl TleuzhanovKazakhstan$100,000
9thYuhang ChenChina$78,300

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