When the main World Series of Poker wrapped up this July, it already looked like it was going to be hard for anyone to catch Mike Gorodinsky. He had a commanding lead going into the Main Event, and none of the players with the potential to catch him made it into the November Nine. That meant it was all going to come down to the World Series of Poker Europe.
Although Shaun Deeb and Brian Hastings managed to close the gap with two cashes for Deeb and a final table for Hastings, neither quite got there. Both were close enough to take the lead with even a small result in the either the Main Event or High Roller, which are still running, but both busted these events well before the money.
There was still a sweat to be had, as 6th and 7th players Ismael Bojang and Stephen Chidwick were both still alive in the high roller, though each would need a very good result to catch up – top two for Bojang, a win for the Chidwick. Mike Leah, in 8th, was also still alive, but not a contender; a win for him would have netted him 2nd, but no better. On the other hand, Gorodinsky himself had chips as well, and could secure his win simply by making the money.
Most of those players have just fallen in quick succession, with Leah and Chidwick dropping in 21st and 20th respectively, followed by Gorodinsky in 17th. Gorodinsky shoved with King-Seven offsuit from the button and was called by Jason Mercier in the small blind. Mercier turned out to have him dominated with Ace-Seven, and the flop brought an Ace to eliminate most of the suspense. The turn presented no backdoor possibilities, so Gorodinsky was effectively out before the river was even dealt.
With Gorodinsky’s elimination, the door seemed wide open for Bojang, if he could manage a top two finish. Although that possibility was still on the table as I began to write this article, the news has just come in that he is now out in 16th, only one spot ahead of Gorodinsky. It’s unfortunate, as he’d been enjoying a deep stack, but lost most of it to a 3-outer at the hands of Sam Chartier – Ace-Queen coming up behind Ace-Six. Shortly thereafter, he found himself all-in on a coin flip with Ace-Jack against Ole Schemion’s pocket Tens, but couldn’t win that race either.
And, just like that, it’s settled. There’s still plenty of money to play for in the WSOPE Main Event and High Roller, plus the minor matter of the November Nine, but the Player of the Year race is now over with. Gorodinsky wins with 2251.81 points. His fellow winners of the past five years, in reverse chronological order, are George Danzer, Daniel Negreanu, Greg Merson, Ben Lamb and Frank Kassela. Of the players remaining at this time, Jonathan Duhamel has the most left to gain; he is currently in 10th in the WSOP Player of the Year standings, but could do as well as as 2nd place with a win.
Alex Weldon (@benefactumgames) is a freelance writer, game designer and semipro poker player from Montreal, Quebec, Canada.