The PokerStars Championship made its way to Russia for PokerStars Championship Sochi which has just wrapped up. The Main Event saw a guarantee of RUB 150,000,000 be offered with a buy-in of RUB 318,000 (approximately US$5,590) which saw a total of 379 entries for the event across six playing days including two Day 1 flights. The winner would be set to receive 29,100,000 RUB (approximately US$514,893) while a min-cash in 55th place would net a player 735,000 RUB (approximately US$13,000)
Three Canadians managed to qualify for the Main Event via PokerStars’ Spin & Go qualifiers, but only one, Jamie Stephens, made the trek. Unfortunately for Stephens, he was unable to cash the Main Event but had an enjoyable experience nonetheless. PokerNews Canada report Anthony Charter got the opportunity to sit down with Stephens for an interview.
There were a lot of Team PokerStars Pros that managed to make it out to Sochi for the event with Chris Moneymaker, Felipe Ramos, Luca Pagano, and Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier all representing the big red spade. Of the list, only Moneymaker and “ElkY” managed to bag chips at the end of Day 1 and both made deep runs in the tournament with Moneymaker finishing in 15th place for 1,815,000 RUB (approximately US$32,000) while “ElkY” finished one pay jump higher in 13th place for 2,055,000 RUB (approximately US$36,000).
Other well-known pros to enter the tournament were Nacho Barbero who busted two spots shy of the money when his ace-king suited fell to pocket jacks, and Russians Maxim Lykov (42nd — 735,00 RUB) and Alexander Lahkov (11th — 2,055,000 RUB). American Jason Wheeler also made the journey to Sochi and ended Day 1b as the chip leader with 180,800. His run ultimately ended a little short when he was eliminated in 33rd place for 885,000 RUB.
The week belonged to Russians Pavel Shirshikov and Vladimir Troyanovskiy who ended up battling it out heads-up for the title. Troyanovskiy, who was coming off a third-place finish in the PokerStars National High Roller, ended up coming away as the runner-up in this event, collecting $18,450,000 RUB (approximately $326,453 USD), while Pavel Shirshikov walked away with the victory, the trophy, the honour of being named the first PokerStars Championship Sochi Champion, and 29,100,000 RUB (approximately $514,893 USD).