IPT Malta: Georgios Zisimopoulos wins IPT Malta and €142,205!
The final table of IPT Malta had it all, crazy bluffs, big suck-outs, and above all, some wonderfully skilful displays from those involved. Greek PokerStars player Georgios Zisimopoulos deservedly took the title after playing nearly perfectly, particularly after the tournament went short-handed.
Zimsimopoulos, an Economics graduate from Athens University had previously had runner-up finishes in side events in London, Berlin and Prague while he has won nearly $2 million online including a WCOOP Omaha event for $100,000.
The tournament started with a bang when EPT champion Julian Track and Frederik Reusch both picked up aces in the very first hand, predictably getting all their money in the middle preflop. This quickly set the tone for the final table - a very aggressive one and Track was soon to become a victim of this action.
Michael Feil had opened to 165,000 at 40,000/80,000 with K♠T♠ before Track made a positional three-bet to 365,000 from the button with 5♣3♣. In the big blind, Zisimopoulos four-bet to 755,000. Feil got out of the way and the onus was back on Track. Perhaps aware of Zisimopoulos' reputation and the money on offer, Track shoved all in for just shy of 5 million chips, figuring there was no way that Zisimopoulos could call without an absolute monster hand.
The problem for the German was that Zisimpoulos had picked up a real hand - A♣A♥. Nevertheless, Track still gave the Greek player a sweat, the board came 8♣T♣4♥9♥5♥ and Zisimpoulos faded the flopped flush draw. Track soon lost a flip to compatriot Reusch and the tournament was quickly knocked down to seven players.
Ezio Nisoli was the tightest player at the table and coming back after the break, the Italian player had just four big blinds remaining. He pushed from the button with K♦8♥ but Jaroslaw Sikora called in the small blind with T♦T♣. Nisoli couldn't find a king on the J♣5♥Q♣A♥ board and he went out in 7th place, winning €29,800.
Georgi Abuladze quickly followed the Italian player out of the door, pushing for his last 13 big blinds with A♣7♠ from under-the-gun. Jaroslaw Sikora made the call with 7♥7♣ and an ace-less board left the tournament with just five players remaining.
Action continued for around an hour and a half without much incident beyond Reusch doubling through Michael Feil and Nicolino di Carlo dominating the action. When the break came, the players debated for an hour on whether they could come to a deal. Eventually one was made where €28,000 was set aside for the winner with the following prizes for the remaining players:
Nicolino Di Carlo - €119,585
Georgios Zisimopoulos - €114,205
Michael Feil - €101,260
Jaroslaw Sikora - €97,975
Frederik Reusch - €97,675
Immediately following this, Reusch pushed for his last 3.7 million (blinds 100,000/200,000) and Sikora made the call with K♠K♥. Reusch showed 3♠3♦ and the board came an unhelpful A♥A♦5♣J♠4♥.
At this point di Carlo was still the chip lead but he relinquished it to the Greek player has Zisimopoulos picked off several bluffs - including one where he donk-led the river for just 200,000 with Q♠J♣ on a K♦3♣Q♥A♣5♦ board. Di Carlo responded by raising to 2.8 million but Zisimopoulos snap-called. The Italian let out a wry smile and turned over 7♣6♥. Zisimopoulos would not lose the chip lead for the rest of the night.
It was all skill for Zisimopoulos, he had a little bit of luck too. Michael Feil had been all in with A♦9♣ on a 4♠9♥5♦ flop against Zisimopoulos' T♥9♠ but after a J♥ turn, the T♠ on the river gave the Greek player two pair leaving Zisimopoulos with two-thirds of the chips with play three-handed.
Di Carlo went out in third, four-betting all in with 9♥9♦ against Zisimopoulos A♥J♥ for a pot worth almost half the chips in play. The board came A♦8♠3♣4♠2♠ and Sikora found himself heads-up for the title with just 15 big blinds but at an 8:1 deficit.
Predictably, the heads-up battle didn't last long but Zisimopoulos needed to hit a three-outer once again, similar to his elimination of Feil. Sikora open-shoved for 12 big blinds with A♦K♦ and Zisimopoulos made the call with A♥4♦, there was a four on the 6♥4♠2♠ flop and the T♣ turn and 2♣ couldn't produce a king for the Polish player. Sikora finshed taking €97,975 for second while Zisimopoulos took the extra €28,000 to boost his final earnings in this tournament to €142,205.
Event #4, €1K IPT Malta Main Event
Places paid: 191
1. Georgios Zisimopoulos (Greece) PokerStars player €142,205*
2. Jaroslaw Sikora (Poland) PokerStars player €97,975*
3. Nicolino di Carlo (Italy) €119,585*
4. Michael Feil (Germany) PokerStars player €101,260*
5. Frederik Reusch (Germany) PokerStars player €97,675*
6. Georgi Abuladze (Estonia) PokerStars Qualifier €39,000
7. Ezio Nisoli (Italy) €29,800
8. Julian Track (Germany) PokerStars Qualifier €21,000
*Denotes deal five-handed