Russia's Artur Martirosian earned his third career Super MILLION$ title this week, good for $526,439.

High-stakes tournament superstar Artur Martirosian earned his third career GGPoker Super MILLION$ title after outlasting this week’s 270-entry field and a very stubborn final table to take home the first-place prize of $526,439.

Martirosian entered rarefied air on the GGPoker Super MILLION$ leaderboard with the win, joining Michael Addamo and Niklas Astedt as one of just three players to have won three or more career Super MILLION$ titles. The score also pushes Martirosian into the top 5 in Super MILLION$ career earnings with more than $4 million.

But history-making doesn’t often come easy and this particular final table was an especially tricky one. It was packed with tough competition, none of which were eager to get their chips in light. Daniel Dvoress, Isaac Haxton, Samuel Vousden, and eventual runner-up Markkos Ladev all stood in Martirosian’s way. And while a few bowed out somewhat early, the story became which player would hold on the longest as the blinds quickly escalated and stack depths depleted.

It took a little over thirty minutes for the first bustout to take place and even then, it was a classic cooler than ushered the first player to the rail. With the blinds at 40,000/80,000 (10,000 ante), Daniel Dvoress picked up AdAs under the gun and raised to 176,000. Haxton, with less than 20 big blinds, folded his AcQh in middle position but Lev ‘LevMeAlone’ Gottlieb had picked up KsKc and moved all-in for just over 1.3 million. The action returned to Dvoress and he snap-called with his aces. The flop came 9c5c3d, keeping Dvoress well ahead. The turn came the Jc, giving Gottlieb additional flush outs to try and crack Dvoress’ aces. But the 8d river was a brick for Gottlieb who finished in ninth place for $65,804.

Haxton’s earlier fold didn’t stop him from an early elimination though. A few hands later, Haxton raised to 160,000 from under the gun with the QdQc and when the action folded to ‘Pandora-box’ in the small blind with AcKd, they three-bet to 640,000. Haxton four-bet shipped his pocket queens and ‘Pandora-box’ made the quick call. The flop brought the As5d3s, pairing ‘Pandora-box’s ace and leaving Haxton looking for a queen. The turn was the 5c and the river came the Kc, ending Haxton’s day in eighth place for $85,338.

Timothy Nuter was grinding his short stack for the better part of two levels, and after slipping just a few big blinds, he built it back up to 10 big blinds at the 60,000/120,000 level. ‘Pandora-box’ opened to 252,000 from middle position with AcQh and when it folded to Nuter in the big blind with the Qd2d, he made the call. The Qc9c3d flop gave both players top pair. Nuter checked it over to ‘Pandora-box’ who checked it back. The turn was the 2s and Nuter led for 220,800 with his two pair which ‘Pandora-box’ called. The 3s rolled off on the river, counterfeiting Nuter’s two pair. Nuter led once again, this time for 720,000, leaving himself less than a small blind behind. When ‘Pandora-box’ raised, Nuter committed the rest of his stack, a necessary move that eliminated him in seventh place for $110,670.

The final six players took an even more measured approach to the action, keeping the chip stacks relatively close and avoiding higher variance spots. The chip lead got passed around and, as the blinds escalated, the players stubbornly stuck around and continued to battle back from the brink.

The blinds went all the way to 125,000/250,000 (60,000 ante) without a player being eliminated. Every stack depth became incredibly shallow with the overall chip leader holding just over 30 big blinds. Eventually, the cards dictated who would be the next to fall. Sylvain Loosli opened to 500,000 from under the gun with JcJd. Then Markkos Ladev picked up AcAh in middle position and three-bet to 1.25 million. It folded back to Loosli who, with just 12 big blinds behind, shipped all-in. Ladev called and the board ran out 8s8h3s2h6d to break the six-way stalemate and eliminate Loosli, who started the day as the chip leader, in sixth place for $143,521.

A few hands later, Dvoress open-shipped his final 2 million from the cutoff holding 9h9s. In the big blind, the chip leading Ladev called with his KhJc to put Dvoress at risk. The flop came 7s7c2h, putting Dvoress in good shape to double up and get back into contention. The 5c turn was a safe one, however, the river came the Ks shipping the pot to Ladev and shipping Dvoress out to collect his $186,124 fifth-place prize.

Samuel Vousden was next to battle Ladev, when he open-shipped his final 11 big blinds from the button with the As8s and Ladev three-bet moved all-in over the top with the AdQs. The board ran out 9s7d2h4c5h keeping Ladev’s kicker in play and sending Vousden home in fourth place, good for $241,373.

‘Pandora-box’ had been playing snug all day, but with just three left and Martirosian and Ladev both over 10 million in chips, there was no spot left for the Hong Kong grinder to ladder to. On the very next hand after Vousden was eliminated, Ladev raised the button with the Kd9s and ‘Pandora-box’ three-bet shipped their final 2.1 million with the Ad7d. Ladev made the call and the pair saw a flop of 9d6s3s which gave Ladev top pair and left ‘Pandora-box’ looking for help. That help arrived with the As turn, putting ‘Pandora-box’ back in charge with top pair. However, Ladev still had plenty of outs with the addition of a backdoor flush draw. The Qs river brought in that flush for Ladev and ‘Pandora-box’, who started the day fifth in chips, ended in third for a $313,022 payday.

With blinds now at 150,000/300,000, heads-up play didn’t last very long. Ladev started his match against Martirosian with a nearly two-to-one chip lead. But after Martirosian picked off a big bluff from Ladev, the Russian crusher took control of heads-up with an eight-to-one chip lead. On the final hand, Martirosian limped the button with the QcQh and Ladev shipped all in for his final nine big blinds with the Kd7h. Martirosian snapped it off and watched as the flop came Qd9c6c, giving Martirosian top set. When the As hit the turn, Ladev was drawing dead to second place, for which he earned $405,940.

Artur Martirosian finished the day with his third career Super MILLION$ win and took home the $526,439 first-place prize.

Super MILLION$ FInal Table Results (2/6)

  1. Artur Martirosian – $526,439
  2. Markkos Ladev – $405,940
  3. ‘Pandora-box’ – $313,022
  4. Samuel Vousden – $241,373
  5. Daniel Dvoress – $186,124
  6. Sylvain Loosli – $143,521
  7. Timothy Nuter – $110,670
  8. Isaac Haxton – $85,338
  9. Lev ‘LevMeAlone’ Gottlieb – $65,840