Ukraine's Kovalchuk Wins WSOP Omaha/7 Card Stud Hi-Low Despite Not Knowing Rules

Ukraine's Kovalchuk Wins WSOP Omaha/7 Card Stud Hi-Low Despite Not Knowing Rules  Ukrainian Oleksii Kovalchuk has won his second career WSOP bracelet, after taking down Event #42: $2500 Omaha/Seven Card Stud Hi-Low for $228,014. In so doing, the 22-year-old becomes the Ukraine’s first ever player to accomplish such a feat, whilst also taking his live career earnings to $2,123,866.
Last year, Oleksii Kovalchuk won his first bracelet at the $2,500 NLHE Six Handed Event, but this time around he defeated a field of 393 players over three days to capture a gold bracelet in the poker variant in which he confesses to not having any experience. As Kovalchuk elaborates:
“I asked my friends what starting hands are good. They explained it to me so I was waiting for those hands and looking as I play at the table. It’s poker though. Anyone can win. I just thought a little bit more in every hand because I was really thinking what to do since I was not familiar.”
To his amazement, the crash course he received from his friends in Omaha/Seven Card Stud Hi-Low paid off big time, even managing to outlast a slew of seasoned pros along the way. These included Scott Seiver in 33rd ($4,845), Bryan Devonshire in 12th ($12,892), Jeff Lisandro in 10th ($16,325) and Norman Chad in 6th ($36,093).
Eventually, Oleksii Kovalchuk went heads-up against Germany’s George Danzer with both players fairly even in chips. After falling behind to a 2 to 1 disadvantage, Kovalchuk staged a comeback and reduced his opponent to a short-stack before delivering the final blow. Following his remarkable piece of beginners luck, a perplexed Oleksii Kovalchuk stated:
“It’s like a fairytale. A guy who sits in the tournament and doesn’t know the rules and wins. How can that happen? How do you explain that?”
The final table payouts were as follows:
1. Oleksii Kovalchuk – $228,041
2. George Danzer – $140,825
3. Mark Gregorich – $90,829
4. Danny Ratigan – $65,812
5. Yuval Bronshtein – $48,347
6. Norman Chad – $36,093
7. Wing Wong – $27,313
8. Tim Burt – $20,966

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