Andrey Zhigalov Wins 2018 WSOP $1,500 H.O.R.S.E.

Russia’s Andrey Zhigalov joined the club of WSOP gold bracelet winners last night after outlasting a massive field in the $1,500 H.O.R.S.E. The player, who has been flying all the way from his homeland to attend the WSOP’s every edition over the past several years, also added $202,787 to his poker bankroll.

A fan of mixed-game formats, Zhigalov navigated quite comfortably through the tournament’s field. However, he admitted he was better at some of the games than the others. Razz is the young Russian’s strongest game, as he himself told WSOP staff moments after his victory, and it helped him accumulate chips and make up for those he lost in other games.

Zhigalov said that it has been a long-time of his to win a gold bracelet from the WSOP. Last night’s win marked the player’s 16th cash from the series. And he made only two of these by playing No-Limit Hold’em.

Winning a H.O.R.S.E. event is never an easy task. Participants in these tournaments need to be good at multiple poker games and to be prepared to face some of the world’s toughest players. Winning the 2018 WSOP $1,500 H.O.R.S.E. proved to be a challenging task for Zhigalov, as well.

The player found himself playing in a field of 731 participants. He also ended up playing an additional fourth day after a strenuous heads-up battle on Day 3 of the tournament.

Heads-Up Action

Zhigalov and Timothy Frazin were the two players to survive the event’s three days of play and to face each other in a final heads-up battle. Two-handed action began on Day 3 and was expected to be completed that day. However, things turned up a bit different, as neither player wanted to give up on the title without putting their best effort.

Two-handed play began with Frazin holding a commanding chip lead. It should be noted that the player dominated action in the final stages of the final table, which helped him enter heads-up with sizable advantage of 3.78 million in chips to Zhigalov’s 1.65 million.

Chips and the chip lead then began to swing back and forth and this lasted more than three hours. Zhigalov himself said that he felt exhausted toward the end of the ordeal and was actually the one to call for an additional fourth day of play as two-handed action had extended late into the night.

While the Day 3 portion of heads-up might have been lengthy and strenuous, the two finalists needed just 20 minutes on Day 4 to end it all. Zhigalov and Frazin were playing Razz when the final hand of the tournament was dealt. Frazin went all in for his last 300,000 and Zhigalov called, taking the opportunity to finally claim the gold bracelet. He apparently made the right decision as a couple of minutes later he became WSOP’s brand new gold bracelet winner. Frazin took home $125,336 for his runner-up finish.

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