Daniel Smiljkovic Wins WSOP Online 6-Handed Championship for $423K

Daniel Smiljkovic
Daniel Smiljkovic won the WSOP Online $5K 6-Handed Championship for $425,553.

Daniel Smiljkovic entered the final day of GGPoker WSOP Online Event #8 ($5,000 6-Handed NLH Championship) with a healthy chip lead that he never relinquished as he sailed to victory, earning an online career-high score of $423,426 and his first World Series of Poker gold bracelet.

The 479-entry field generated a prize pool of more than $2.275 million and featured a who’s who of online poker talent. Notable names including Super MILLION$ crusher Thomas Muehloecker, former #1-ranked Niklas Astedt, and 2020 WSOP Main Event champion Damian Salas were all eliminated just a few spots shy of making the money. Daniel Negreanu streamed his way to a cash and was joined by the likes of Brazilian Pedro Padilha, Kevin Martin, Anatoly Filatov, Galen Hall, and last year’s GGPoker WSOP Online Main Event champion Stoyan Madanzhiev.

By the end of Day 1, only nine players were left, and once Roman Hrabec (9th, $32,218) and ‘DontTIltGG’ (8th, $37,451.71) were eliminated the final seven players converged at the final table. Mere minutes into play, Aki Virtanen hit the rail when his 3s3h couldn’t outrace Xuming Qi’s AdJd on the Jh7h5cJsqc] board. Virtanen’s seventh-place run was good for $60,489.34.

With six left and the blinds at 40,000/80,000 (10,000 ante), the chip stacks were polarized with three players sitting on dangerously low chip stacks and looking to double in order to get back in the thick of things. Five hands after Virtanen’s bustout, the first of the final six fell. Smiljkovic put in a raise from under the gun to 160,000 with the Ah4h and Yonatan Koko, next to act, moved all-in for just shy of 191,000 holding Ac4s. On the button, Qi made the call with 8s8d, and Smiljkovic completed as well. The flop came Js5d4d and the action checked through. The turn was the 7d and, again, both Smiljkovic and Qi checked. The river came the 3d and when both players checked a third time, Qi’s pocket eights were good and Koko was eliminated in sixth place for $83,662.13.

At 50,000/100,000 (12,500 ante), Qi put in a raise from the cutoff to 200,000 with the AhQd and George Wolff three-bet shipped his final 12 big blinds on the button with his TsTh. Christodoulos Christodoulou called the shove from the small blind holding AdKh and when the action returned to Qi, they called as well. The flop came Qs2cJh, keeping Wolff’s pocket tens in the lead and both Christodoulou and Qi checked. The Tc hit the turn and while Wolff improved to a set, Christodoulou hit a gutshot straight draw. Christodoulou led for just 200,000 into the pot of 4 million and Qi flat called. The river was the Kc, improving Qi to a straight as well and when Christodoulou, again, bet 200,000, Qi made the call and the pair chopped the pot as Wolff’s set was second best. Wolff finished in fifth place and collected $115,712.02.

The elimination of Wolff was good news for Marius Gierse who was sitting on just four big blinds and would, at the very least, ladder a pay jump of roughly $45,000. On Gierse’s big blind, Qi opened from under the gun to 200,000 and when it folded back to the Austrian, he defended, leaving himself fewer than two big blinds behind. The flop came Ts5h2s and Gierse checked to Qi who moved all-in for more than enough to cover Gierse. Gierse folded, leaving himself just one hand to try and come back. From the small blind on the next hand, Gierse put his final 165,000 in the middle with Qs7h and Qi quickly called holding Kh9s and the board ran out KsJd4h7s9d, shipping the small pot to Qi and sending Marius out in fourth place for $160,040.02. Combined with his third-place finish in the GGPoker Super MILLION$ just one day prior for $198,800, Gierse took home more than $358,000 in a 24-hour span.

At three-handed Smiljkovic held a better than 2:1 chip lead over both Qi and Christodoulou and for the better part of 20 minutes the two shorter stacks took turns passing chips back and forth and taking over second place. For Christodoulou, his key final table hand took place when the blinds were at 70,000/140,000 (17,5000 ante). On the button, Qi raised to 280,000 with the 7c4c and Christodoulou found AsAd in the small blind and made it 420,000 to go. Smiljkovic let go of his big blind and Qi called the min-raise. The flop came 4s4h3h giving Qi trips and leaving Christodoulou’s aces needing help. Christodoulou led out for 280,000 and Qi flatted. The turn was the Td and Christodoulou led again, this time for 560,000. Qi raised to 1.4 million and Christodoulou, having Qi covered, instantly shipped. Qi snap-called and showed Christodoulou that he was about to have his aces cracked. The river was the 8s sending the massive 8.4 million pot to Qi and leaving Christodoulou with just over 1 million in chips.

Despite finding a quick double two hands later, Christodoulou hit the rail in third place just four hands later when he moved all-in with Qd7d and Smiljkovic called with AdKh and the board ran out QhJhJd5sKd. Christodoulou took home $221,349.35 for the third-place finish.

The heads-up battle between Smiljkovic and Qi didn’t last long. Over the course of 15 minutes, Smiljkovic steadily chipped away at Qi’s stack, applying pressure in key spots and showing down big hands in others. By the time the final hand played out, Smiljkovic turned his lead into a 10:1 advantage. With blinds at 80,000/160,000 (20,000 ante) Qi open-shipped the button holding 8d6d and Smiljkovic called for the win with his KhQh. The As3s3c flop kept king-high in the lead. The 4h turn changed nothing and when the Qc river hit, Qi’s run was over in second place which was good for $306,145.45. Smiljkovic ended up with a career-high online cash of $423,426.16, and his first WSOP gold bracelet.

GGPoker WSOP Online Event #8 Final Table Results

  1. Daniel Smiljkovic – $423,426.16
  2. Xuming Qi – $306,145.45
  3. Christodoulos Christodoulou – $221,349.35
  4. Marius Gierse – $160,040.02
  5. George Wolff – $115,712.02
  6. Yonatan Koto – $83,662.13

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