Igor Kurganov Wins WSOP Circuit Ring at Bally’s Las Vegas

Igor Kurganov won his first event related to the WSOP with this Bally's Las Vegas WSOP circuit win
Igor Kurganov won his first event related to the WSOP with this Bally’s Las Vegas WSOP Circuit win

Everybody who’s been following the poker scene for the past decade or so is familiar with the name of Igor Kurganov. Originally from Russia, but living and playing out of Germany, Kurganov has had some truly impressive results during his career, focusing mostly on high roller and super high roller tournaments.

A few days ago, he added another achievement to the already impressive list by taking down WSOP circuit high roller event at Bally’s in Las Vegas. His victory netted him just shy of $100,000, which is far from being Igor’s best result in terms of money, but the coveted ring will certainly fit in nicely in his trophy collection.

Igor Kurganov’s impressive tournament history

The man sitting on top of Russia’s All Time Money list achieved his biggest score back in April of 2014, when he finished third in a very tough field of EPT Grand Final in Monte Carlo. This result brought him just shy of $1.6 million.

In 2012, Kurganov claimed the victory in the 8-max Super High Roller which was also a part of EPT Grand Final and with that title he took home $1.4 million. His all time earnings stand at almost $10.5 million.

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One thing that is clear about otherwise somewhat enigmatic Igor is that he is not afraid to put his money on the line and mix it up with the best. The lack of fear combined with his proven poker skills have yielded impressive results.

Kurganov has over $10 million in career tournament earnings, but this was one of his only WSOP-related cashes
Kurganov has over $10 million in career tournament earnings, but this was one of his only WSOP-related cashes

Kurganov’s path to victory at Bally’s Las Vegas

The buy in for the WSOP circuit High Roller was really small compared to what Russian is accustomed, as it was only $3,250, but as the result clearly demonstrates, Kurganov approached it every bit as serious as he would a $100,000 event.

The event attracted a total of 101 players, generating the prize pool of around $300k. Igor was able to seize the chip lead early during the Day 2 of play and never looked back.  When the final table of eight was formed, there was another name that rang bell, that of Bryn Kenney. With total live earnings in excess of $9 million, Kenney represented the most serious threat to Russian’s claim to fame.

However, things did not go right for the California pro who could only master a sixth place finish good for $16,250. It was Kurganov who administered the final blow to send the short-stacked Kenney to the rail, both eliminating the dangerous contender and further extending his chip lead.

The final table

Igor pretty much dominated the final table from start to finish and would eventually find himself heads up against Arkadiy Tsinis. The local pro, with more than $1,000,000 in live tournament earnings, was not in great shape as he was facing not only the more experienced and fearless opponent, but also had to deal with a significant chip deficit.

Although things can turn around quickly in poker, it wasn’t meant to be this time around, as Tsinis ended up jamming his king-deuce offsuit into pocket queens of Kurganov and that was all she wrote. No miracle king to save the day for Arkaidy, who took home $56,182 for his runner-up finish.

Kurganov added exactly $99,899 to his bankroll and, more importantly, got the WSOP Circuit ring, which is the first (but probably not the last) in his collection.


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