Mikita Badziakouski returned for Day 2 of Event #4: $50,000 No Limit Hold’em as chip leader and sailed through to victory with aggressive play and a little heads up deck-based help against eventual runner-up Artur Martirosyan.  He collected $765,000 after seeing off a star-studded final table, whittled from 45 entries, to add yet another high roller trophy to his already bulging cabinet.

Recap all Live Reporting coverage from this event here and check out the full final table stream on PokerGO here.

A total prize pool of $2,250,000 was awarded on today’s seven-handed final table, the largest generated so far at the partypoker LIVE MILLIONS Super High Roller Series Sochi.  The first payout went to Wiktor “limitless” Malinowski, the online specialist running king-queen into the ace-king of Martirosyan on the second hand dealt.

While Badziakouski relentlessly picked up pots, Martirosyan too was active in the early stages of the final table, overtaking the Belarusian just before Cary Katz was eliminated in sixth place ($135,000).  Katz was playing his second final this week (having finished fourth in Event #1: $25,000 Short Deck for $105,000 on Saturday) but never got the momentum going for a trophy run on this one.  His eliminator, Sam Greenwood (who won a preflop flip with king-jack vs. Katz’s pocket sixes), had ducked and weaved his start-of-day short stack into what was now an above average one, prompting a tablemate on the stream to call him a “short stack ninja.”

Sam Greenwood was to see all his hard work undone shortly after Katz’s exit, however, as he ran ace-queen into Badziakouski’s pocket kings, finishing 5th for $180,000. While Sam was one of three players to have already banked more than $20 million in live earnings (the others the eventual winner and Katz), the Greenwood family continued to be represented on the table by Luc, who went on to finish third, winning $337,500.

Before Luc Greenwood’s exit, Aaron Van Blarcum hit the rail in fourth place.  Another premium for Badziakouski, this time ace-king, knocked out Van Blarcum who, now short himself, had made his move with ace-nine.  This was Van Blarcum’s third final table of the series; considering there have only been four events it has been a blistering performance so far by the American, who added $225,000 to his winnings with this finish.

Artur Martirosyan and Mikita Badziakouski

It took under 15 minutes to lose these three players from the final, which was suddenly heads up, the two early risers battling for the title through three levels.  It looked at one point that Martirosyan was out for the count, after a queen-high river hero call that backfired, but he rallied to challenge Badziakouski all the way to a dramatic finish.  The final hand saw Martirosyan, having flopped trips, one card away from a double to snatch the chip lead, but Badziakouski called his river shove with a gutshot/flush draw combo draw and hit his flush on the river to end the tournament.

Martirosyan, hitherto a bit of an unknown quantity, picked up $495,000 for his second place finish, adding to the $87,000 he took for sixth place in Event #2: $25,000 No Limit Hold’em.  Badzikouski, meanwhile, despite self-describing as a “fish” as he made the final call, has now upped his total live earnings to nearly $27 million.

Full Payouts:

Place  Prize
1  Mikita Badziakouski Belarus  $765,000
2  Artur Martirosyan Russia  $495,000
3  Luc Greenwood Canada  $337,500
4  Aaron Van Blarcum United States  $225,000
5  Sam Greenwood Canada  $180,000
6  Cary Katz United States  $135,000
7  Wiktor Malinowski Poland  $112,500

Tomorrow’s live stream (7am EDT/2pm local time) features the final of the $50,000 Short Deck (live reporting from Day 1 can be found here) and coverage will resume along with the cards up broadcast on PokerGO.

Mikita Badziakouski, Artur Martirosyan, Sam Greenwood, Cary Katz, Wiktor Malinowski, Aaron Van Blarcum, Luc Greenwood