Boris Kolev
Boris Kolev won the second-largest prize of his poker career to date in Northern Cyprus this week at the EAPT Grand Final.

The Eurasian Poker Tour (EAPT) held its Grand Final this week at the Merit Royal Diamond Hotel and Spa in Northern Cyprus. After a marathon 13-hour final day, the rising Bulgarian poker star Boris Kolev lifted the trophy and celebrated a victory worth $430,000, the second-largest of his poker career so far.

Levin Goes with a Dream

Just 16 players made the final day of the EAPT Grand Final, which had 1,565 total entrants, meaning a $2m guarantee turned into a $23m+ prizepool. When the nine-handed final table began, it was the Brazilian player Ueberton De Aquino who held the lead and a big one it was, with his pile of 65.8 million chips in front of him. That represented 65 big blinds with the limits at 500,000/1,000,000, and at the other end of the scale was Kolev, the eventual winner, who began the day on just 6.2 million – six big blinds and a dream.

First to leave was Adrian Strobel, who cashed for $45,000 in ninth place. All-in with Kh7h, he lost to Iurii Brechalov’s Ac4c when a board of Kc8h5d9sAh played out, giving the German the lead on the flop but ripping it away from him on the river to reduce the field to eight as the Russian leapt up the leaderboard.

Out in eighth place was Belarussian Artision Lasouski, who moved all-in on a board of Qc7s3s9cKc holding Qh7h for a flopped two-pair. Called by Andrey Pateychuk with a better two-pair of KhQs. Lasouski was out for a score of $63,000. Soon, seven became six when Dmitrii Levin put almost all of his chips into the middle pre-flop, then committed the rest on the Td9c3h flop with his hole-cards of AcJs. He was called quickly by Pateychuk with QhQc and no help on turn or river eliminated Levin for $78,000.

Pateychuk Pushed Out

Pateychuk was in control, but Chris Puetz wasn’t far behind him. The German called off the shove of Iurii Brechalov with AdKs holding 5h5c. The Russian Brechalov needed help for his Big Slick, but it didn’t come on the ten-high board, and Puetz once again took a big pot, Brechalov departing with $93,500.

Kolev was still bottom of the chipcounts but had more than quadrupled his stack to 26.2 million. With blinds doubled from where they were, that represented 13 big blinds, with Puetz on 57 bigs at the top of the leaderboard. Kazakhstan’s Almas Umarov was short too and he three-bet shoved with pocket fives this time. Called by De Aquino with pocket queens, the board of Ah8s3s4dKc sending the Kazakhstan player home with $117,000.

It was the Russian Pateychuk who left next. All-in with KsKh on a flop of Kc8d4s, he’d called off his stack correctly against De Aquino’s Jc6h. Incredibly, however, a turn of 5h was followed by a 7c river that gave the Brazilian a highly improbable runner-runner straight and sent Pateychuk to the rail with $155,800.

Kolev Becomes King After Heads-Up Deal

Down to three players, play went on for some time without anyone leaving. That was before Puetz three-bet shoved with 6h5h and was called off by De Aquino with AcQh. The flop of Jh5c4c put Puetz into the lead but after a Js on the turn, a Qc river flipped the script and the German was out.

That hand gave De Aquino the chip lead and that stayed the case for the opening exchanges. Everything changed on a board of 8s7s6cJd when Kolev check-shoved for his 123 million chips with Jc7c. Two-pair was good against De Aquino’s 8h6d for a worse two-pair after a 3h landed on the river and that pot of 288 million put Kolev into an almost unassailable lead of 10-to-1 in chips.

In the next hand, De Aquino shoved with 7c5c and Kolev called with Kd3d, quipping: “Let’s go home.” He got his wish after a board of Qd4s3c2s8d helped neither man and Kolev’s king-high pronounced him the champion for $437,000, with De Aquino happy to take home $358,000 after the two men agreed a deal prior to heads-up play that left pay equal with $79,000 extra put by for the winner.

Kolev, a two-time WSOP bracelet winner could celebrate his second-biggest career score, and with over $3.7 million in tournament earnings, the Bulgarian’s rapid rise to prominence in live poker continues.

EAPT 2024 $2,200 Grand Final – Final Table Results:
Place Place Country Prize
1st Boris Kolev Bulgaria $437,000*
2nd Ueberton De Aquino Brazil $358,000*
3rd Christopher Puetz Germany $210,000
4th Andrey Pateychuk Russia $155,800
5th Almas Umarov Kazakhstan $117,000
6th Iurii Brechalov Russia $93,500
7th Dmitrii Levin Russia $78,000
8th Artsiom Lasouski Belarus $63,000
9th Adrian Strobel Germany $45,000