Chess Champ Tsinis Wins WSOP $1,500 NL Event

Ukrainian poker pro Arkadiy Tsinis has just won WSOP Event 38: $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em, after overcoming a field of 2,192 players over three days to capture his first gold bracelet, as well as collecting the $540,000 first place prize.
Tsinis was foremost known as a world class chess and backgammon player before switching over to poker in 2004. With his latest victory in Vegas Tsinis has now earned $798,992 from live tournaments and has cashed a total of 11 times at WSOP events.
Arkadiy Tsinis also became the 3rd Ukranian to win a WSOP bracelet at this year’s series, along with Eugene Katchalov and Oleksii Kovalchuk.
Tsinis currently lives in New York and was helped making the transition from chess to poker by fellow chess expert and good friend Ylon Schwartz, who has earned $4,318,775 throughout his live tournament career. As Schwartz explains:
“There’s not a great living in chess unless you’re in like the top 20 in the world. The transition from chess to poker is pretty simple since chess is infinitely more difficult.”
“You’re trained to sit and you’re trained to study and you’re trained to memorize things which are all applicable to poker. It’s cute to be a chess player and be broke when you’re in your 20s but when you hit 30 you’ve got to switch.”
The final table of nine got off to a slow start but things then dramatically changed for Arkadiy Tsinis, who found himself all-in in a three way pot. Tsinis held pocket queens to his opponent’s A-K and K-K, but winning on a Q-10-7-10-8 board helped propell Tsinis into the chip lead, while eliminating two players from the competition.
Arkadiy Tsinis then went on to send another two players to the rail on his way to winning the event, including a four hour heads-up battle against Michael Blanovsky who picked-up $336,253 for his runner-up finish.

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