The second event on the WSOP Paradise schedule was always going to be an exciting one. With a million dollars to the winner and $5 million in the prizepool, the drama was guaranteed along with the seven-figure top payout at Atlantis. In the end, a final table featuring the man with the most cashes in WSOP history saw Brazilian player Allan Mello make a million and win his first-ever WSOP bracelet.
Roland on the Ropes
With just nine players making the final table in an event that saw an amazing 3,496, one name stood out among the others as the camera bulbs flashed and players lucky enough to reach the last table of hundreds in operation took their seats. An overall prizepool of $5,233,000 had exceeded the $5 million guarantee and Roland Israelashvili was hoping to put his record of 463 WSOP cashes and 10 WSOP Circuit rings in the shade, having never won a WSOP bracelet.
Here’s what the final table looked like in Atlantis.
— Matt Hansen (@MattyBet) December 5, 2023
Sadly for Israelashvili – or narrative – fans, the American was the first to leave the nine-handed action. All-in with for exactly 10 big blinds, Israelashvili was behind Nazar Buhaiov’s from the start and the Ukrainian’s superior hand held through the board to eliminate the record casher in WSOP events for a latest score of $50,000.
Mello led as the final 10 in the event had started playing at the last table in the tournament. The Brazilian only had 62 big blinds, however, and with American Clemen Deng not too far behind him on 54 big blinds, this was not going to be a waltz to victory. After Arnauld Enselme busted in eighth for $65,000 with a dominated king-queen to Buhaiov’s ace-queen, the field was only seven.
Seven Nation Army Dismissed
With seven remaining, each player represented a different country at what was a truly continental final table. The Brazilian Mello was joined by a Ukrainian and a Norwegian, as well as players from Poland, France, Lithuania and the United States. It was the Lithuanian Kasparas Klezys who busted next, winning $81,100 when his couldn’t overtake Mello’s with all the chips committed pre-flop. A king on the flop didn’t finish the matter, with Klezys also flopping cards to a gutshot. That never came in, however, as turn and river bricked and only half a dozen were left chasing the bracelet.
Soon, the last American sitting was walking to the rail too. Clemen Deng cashed for the first six-figure sum of the event when he won $103,500 in sixth place, his all-in pre-flop and unable to hold against Mello’s Th], which flopped a ten and with no card higher coming, saw it through to take a convincing lead with five left.
Nazar Buhaiov’s bid to retake that lead got close when he eliminated French player Maxime Parys in fifth for $128,000. The French player shoved for 14 big blinds with but couldn’t overtake Buhaiov’s as a board of came to send the Ukrainian into a strong second place and the French player home.
Mello Makes a Milly
Down to four, Polish player Maksim Vaskresenski was the unfortunate player to miss out on the podium places. He shoved for 19 big blinds with , and Mello was delighted to call with , dominating his opponent and seeing it through after a board of sent the Polish player home with $158,500.
In third place, Norwegian player Morten Norland was short when he shoved with . Mello snapped him off with and saw it home easily to take a vital lead into the heads-up with 128 million chips. As Norland went to the rail to collect $263,500 in third, Buhaiov had to plan on a way of overcoming both the chip stack and momentum of the runaway chip leader.
If Buhaiov had hope, it got stronger as he flipped the script to go into a 6:1 chip that turned out to be false. All-in with , Mello struck a miraculous river when needing to hit a three-outer against Buhaiov’s . The flop of was a shocker for the Ukrainian and in real terms, despite still holding a 3:1 lead, he never really recovered.
All-in with a bluff of ten-high on the river for 35 million chips, Buhaiov’s final action was one of desperation, but Melo made the call with just a pair of sevens, second pair on the board but one that led to him banking a cool million dollars, as Buhaiov had to settle for second place and $593,500.
|WSOP Paradise Event #2: $1,500 Millionaire Maker Final Table Results:
Want to back a player in Paradise? Invest in some of the best poker players on the planet via our exclusive PokerStake WSOP Paradise page.