GGMILLION$ Won by German Pro Leon Sturm for $293,000 

An exciting final table saw German crusher, Leon Sturm, win his second GGMILLION$ title and $293,000 as he overcame the overwhelming chip leader at the start of the final, Bulgarian player Alex Kulev. With a thrilling ending to the fast-paced final table, Charlie Carrel joined regular host Jeff Gross in breaking the action for GGPoker. 

Kulev the Player to Beat, Slowsby Leaves Quickly 

Heading into the final table, it was the Dublin-based high roller crusher Alex Kulev who was the chip leader, with 145 big blinds and two previous wins already under his belt. Kulev’s lead was one of the biggest ever seen in a GGMILLION$ final, with second-in-chips Duco Haven on just 55 big blinds on a quest for a fourth GGMILLION$ victory. 

Behind the top two, Chinese player Ding Biao (41BB), German player Leon Sturm (39BB), Bryn Kenney (31BB) and ‘Tedwina Slowsby’ (27BB) from Russia were all after a second win in this popular high stakes weekly tournament. Vietnamese player ‘boss n8[vn]’ started with 24 big blinds as they attempted to win their first GG MILLION$ title, with Austrian Johannes Straver (21BB) going for a third win. The short stack belonged to a Belarussian player, ‘Ilya Anatski’ (19BB), who was also going for a maiden title. 

‘Tedwina Slowsby’ from Russia was the first player to leave. All-in with pocket nines, he was called by Bryn Kenney as either the all-time money list leader or an imposter using his name turned over ace-queen offsuit. The flop of K-8-6 kept the Russian player in the lead, but an ace on the turn changed all that. Another eight on the river was no help for the at-risk player and ‘Tedwina Slowsby’ cashed for $40,590 in ninth place.

The Rich Get Richer 

With eight players left, Kulev was put in a golden position to make yet more chips. On the river of a board showing T-9-4-3-A, the Vietnamese player ‘boss n8[vn]’ shoved with just ten-eight of spades on a board showing three hearts. Holding three-four of diamonds, it wasn’t the easiest call, but Kulev made it, piling up just under 50% of the chips with a stack of 6.4 million (161BB), His nearest challenge,r Kenney, held 1.9m (49BB). The Vietnamese player left with a score of $51,975.

After an hour of play, only those two first players had busted, but two well played hands and a superb call by Duco Haven against Kenney changed the feel of the board. Haven brought in over a million chips on the second hand with just third pair and the board showing “three to a flush and four to a straight” in the words of co-commentator Charlie Carrel on the board. The hands left Bryn with just 12BB

Half an hour later, Johannes Straver was busted as his short stack shove with king-queen came at the wrong time. Leon Sturm called with ace-jack and the German survived with ease on a board void of paint. The hand sent Straver to the virtual rail in seventh place for $66,553. Out in sixth was Kenney, whose shove with pocket tens ran out of luck when it was called by Anatski with ace-three of clubs. The a flop came A-J-9 giving Ilya Anatski the lead but ‘Fake Bryn’ the flush draw. The card needed didn’t come in on turn or river and Kenney was out, cashing for $85,220.

Sturm Blows Away Kulev 

Down to five, an intense battle emerged, but the tension was broken when Ding Biao pushed it all in with ace-jack acting behind the preflop raise of Kulev, who called the all in with a suited king-ten. The flop of Q-3-2 kept Biao ahead, but the king on the turn changed everything, putting the dominant Bulgarian back into the lead with just one card to come. Biao couldn’t hit a ten for Broadway or an ace and crashed out in fifth place after a six fell on the river, cashing for $109,122.

Four remained, with Kulev (6.2m) ahead of Haven (3.5m), Anatski (2.3m) and Sturm (1.9m). Anatski would go next but in an extremely unfortunate manner. All-in with pocket kings pre-flop, the Belarussian lost to Kulev’s call with the queen-eight of hearts. The flop of 9-8-5 was followed by a jack, but as Carrel correctly declared, “It doesn’t look good for the kings”, and a ten on the river gave Kulev the straight. Too many outs? Not a bit of it, and Kulev piled up more chips than his two remaining opponents combined. 

Duco Haven was ousted in third place when a shove from Sturm in the small blind with queen-six of spades was called by the Dutchman in the big blind with ace-four offsuit. A board of Q-J-3-6-Q gave Sturm the full house and Haven $178,920. 

Straight into the heads-up battle, Sturm had pocket nines and Kulev ten-seven. On the flop of 8-7-3, Sturm bet and Kulev called. Another bet on a cold turn saw Sturm take a marginal lead as the two stacks – and two men were almost level. Sturm went into a big lead when he strongarmed with an open straight draw and the final hand was right around the corner. 

Soon, all the chips were in the middle. On a board of 8-4-2-6-9 with the club flush coming in on the river, Sturm bet with king-jack of clubs and Kulev shoved with just ace-high. Sturm made the call and the German had done it, winning his second GGMILLION$ title and the top prize of $293,361. For the overnight chip leader Kulev, it was a case of so close and yet so far away at the end. 

You can watch all the action in the company of Jeff and Charlie right here

GGPoker GG MILLION$ Tuesday 29th August 2023 Results:






Leon Sturm 




Alex Kulev




Duco Haven




Ilya Anatski




Ding Biao




Bryn Kenney




Johannes Straver 








‘Tedwina Slowsby’



2023 Week 22                                             2023 Week 24

About the Author: Paul Seaton has written about poker for over 10 years, interviewing some of the best players ever to play the game such as Daniel Negreanu, Johnny Chan and Phil Hellmuth. Over the years, Paul has reported live from tournaments such as the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas and the European Poker Tour. He has also written for other poker brands where he was Head of Media, as well as BLUFF magazine, where he was Editor.