Zisimopoulos Wins 3 Events at Poker Series in CyprusMarch 14, 2018 11:48 am
The Merit Poker Top Guns recently concluded at the Merit Crystal Cove Hotel-Casino in Kyrenia, Cyprus, in the Turkish occupied part of the Eastern Mediterranean island. The tournament series ran from Feb 21st to Mar 5th, and featured 28 events with buy-ins ranging from $100 to $5,000.
Stealing the headlines, however, was Georgios Zisimopoulos, who enjoyed a miraculous series after taking down three individual tournaments for a combined payout of $92,491. The player from Greece also managed a further four cashes for $41,825, making his remarkable performance one for the ages.
Commenting upon his expectations heading into the competition, Zisimopoulos said that he was looking forward to enjoying the island’s beautiful weather and beaches, as well as the juicy fields at the Merit Poker Top Guns, which he described as soft. At the end of his incredible run, Zisimopoulos subsequently joked that “everybody was calling me champion.”
Since cashing in at his first live tournament back in 2010, the Greek player has certainly proved himself to be a formidable force, and heading to Cyprus had just shy of $2 million in earnings, including having made three WSOP final tables. These include a runner-up finish at the 2016 WSOP $3,000 Six-Max event for $104,646, a 3rd place finish at the 2017 WSOPE €550 PLO event for €23,979 ($28,245), and the same year a 4th place finish at the WSOP $1,000 No Limit Hold’em – Tag Team event for $23,159.
He also has an enviable record online, having amassed $3,005,877 in winnings under the screen name Zisimo7, all but $38,690 of which was won on PokerStars. Needless to say, Zisimopoulos is well-known on the poker circuit, but the player is also much liked and respected, and as he explains:
“I’m a pretty active player and pretty social, so you can say I’m easy to remember.”
Talking about what makes the Merit Poker Top Guns such a draw for the pros, Zisimopoulos said that the fields are 90 percent comprised of Turkish, Lebanese and Israeli players, many of which, presumably, are largely amateurs.
On Feb 22, Zisimopoulos started his initial run after entering the $275 NLHE Re-buy & Add-on event, with 80 entries and 185 rebuys resulting in a prize pool of $60,950. At the end of the one day tournament, Zisimopoulos then defeated his last opponent Joseph Haddad (United Arab Emirates) to claim a top prize of $18,280.
Next, Zisimopoulos took part in the $1,100 NLHE Mix-Max event, which included 101 entries and 44 re-entries, and on Day 2 arranged a deal after reaching three-handed play to see him lock up a win worth $28,200.
Finally, the player put some of his winnings towards entering the $800 NLHE Warm Up, with the three-day tournament attracting 185 entries and 122 re-entries to smash its guaranteed prize pool of $125,000 by $81,181. All eyes were firmly on Zisimopoulos at this stage, especially after he reached the final table in pole position, and once more he marched forward onto three-handed play, this time agreeing a lopsided chop in which he received $46,011 and the title, while the other two players settled for $26,000 each.
Memorable Two Weeks
Although Zisimopoulos has enjoyed incredible runs online in the past due to the sheer volume of games he plays, in the live arena the pro said that this certainly represented his most fiery heater to date.
Interestingly, Georgios started playing poker for a living after a knee injury put a stop to his soccer career, although he already had some experience of the card game from a few years earlier. Commenting upon how he managed to develop his game so quickly and string together so many impressive results, Zisimopoulos said that he spent a lot of time discussing hands with other respected pros, including a number of German grinders, which helped to propel his game to the next level.
These days, Georgios Zisimopoulos says that he expends much of his efforts competing at live tournaments, although he is still very much active online, and that he is now looking forward to heading over to the 49th World Series of Poker in Las Vegas this summer. The competition runs from May 29th to July 17th, which should provide him with plenty of opportunities to add to his burgeoning bankroll, with the prospects of a winning a gold bracelet adding an extra incentive for the talented pro from Greece.