For most people who shudder at the thought of someone producing a deck of cards and set of chips, the idea of winning a World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet is akin to a chimerical dream. I imagine Lev Gottlieb falls into that category.
You won’t find Gottlieb in the Hendon Mob archives. You won’t find him sitting at the tournament tables in Las Vegas hunting for gold. But a few nights ago, Gottlieb could be found at the GGPoker tables, where he participated and won the first Championship event of the series.
Gottlieb won Event #43: $10,000 Short Deck No Limit Hold’em Championship to collect his first bracelet in his first cash, an amount worth $276,393. Based in Mexico, Gottlieb received the divine help of the Poker Gods when after coming into his heads-up duel with Mikitza Badziakouski facing a 5:1 chip deficit, the Belarusian began having technical issues. We will never know if those gremlins threw Badziakouski off-base, but Gottlieb did manage to overcome.
What’s beautiful about this story, is Gottlieb could have taken full advantage of Badziakouski’s technical challenges, but didn’t. Instead, Gottlieb agreed to sit out while GGPoker fixed the issue, a gesture of incredible goodwill given the heads-up match reportedly lasted more than eight hours!
It’s a defeat that will irk Badziakouski given his sizeable chip lead, personal drive and standing in the world of multi-table tournaments (only 12 people in history have ever won more money). However, there is plenty of time for Badziakouski to rectify the situation.
Here are the final table results.
Event #43: $10,000 Short Deck No Limit Hold’em Championship
- Lev “LevMeAlone” Gottlieb – $276,393
- Mikita Badziakouski – $210,249
- Sergi Reixach – $159,933
- Nobuaki “Sasa JHR” Sasaki – $121,659
- Dan “oiltrader” Shak – $92,545
- Chi Zhang – $70,397
- Bjorn “wong1324” Li – $53,550
- Carl “Swetomir” Schrader – $40,735
- Ami Barer – $30,987
Three more high stakes stars who ignored the humdrum of life to run deep in this thing include George Wolff (11th), Danny Tang (12th) and Jason Koon (15th).