GGMillion$ Won by Danilo Velasevic for $331,000

This week’s GGMillion$ was a rollercoaster ride for some of the best poker players in the online poker world. Taking some time for the fuse to light, the sparks eventually started to fly as an epic show brought the fireworks to a conclusion late into the night. Danilo Velasevic from Serbia took the title after finally ending the hopes of the last of three Brazilian players at the final table, Rodrigo Sirichuk.

Brilliant Brazilian Falls from Grace

This week, regular host Jeff Gross was joined by ‘The BensBenz’, so-called ‘Mr. Beast of Poker Stakes’ and king of the giveaways, as well as a tournament and cash game player with over two decades in the game. 

Chip leader when play began was ‘23RUDY23’, a GGMillion$ regular, with 99 big blinds. Romania-based ‘MY1980’ was second in chips on 73 big blinds, then there was a drop to two Brazilians, with Bruno Volkmann (54BB) and Rodrigo Sirichuk (48BB) both in with a great chance. Serbian player Danilo Velasevic (47BB) completed the top half of the players. 

A little lower down the leaderboard was Belarussian Mikalai Vaskaboinikau (42BB), with Niklas Astedt (32BB), Pedro Padilha (19BB) and short-stacked Russian Nikita Kuznetsov (11BB) bringing up the rear. Partly due to stack depth and otherwise down to the short stacks doubling up, there was no elimination for over 35 minutes. When it came it was a surprise. 

Brazil’s Bruno Volkmann had a nightmare first couple of levels and left in ninth place for $47,330. Sliding from over 50 bigs to the roundest number of all, Volkmann was committed pre-flop with king-queen of diamonds, only to run into the resurgent Russian Nikita Kuznetsov’s pocket aces, one of which was a club. The flop of T-9-5 gave Volkmann a sliver of hope but two of those cards were clubs and while no miracle jack arrived, clubs did on both turn and river to give Kuznetsov an important pot and doom Volkmann to the door.

Kuznetsov Kills Then Gets Killed

One Brazilian of the three that made the final table was gone 30 minutes in, and it was another 30 minutes before the next one fell. Pedro Padilha hadn’t come into play third in chips like Volkmann. He’d been short and that depth of stack caught up with him eventually. After losing with pocket nines to Astedt’s tens in the previous hand, Padilha shoved for three big blinds with ace-ten of spades and looked in good shape to double through Velasevic’s ace-eight. The cards didn’t see it that way, however, with a flop of 9-8-6 changing everything. A five on the turn and three river sent the Brazilian home for $60,364. 

Velasevic didn’t stop with the scalp of Padilha. Niklas Astedt, otherwise known as ‘Lena900’ online, started in seventh place and ended in the same position, shoving with pocket jacks and being called by Velasevic with pocket queens. The board gave the Swede no help as it came 8-7-2-Q-9 to leave Astedt drawing dead to the river, as he left with $76,987. 

Belarussian player Mikalai Vaskaboinikau was the next player to be busted, taken out in sixth place for a score of $98,187. All-in with pocket nines, he was cut down in spectacular fashion by Russian adversary Kuznetsov with pocket kings, the board of J-8-5-K-A as ruthlessly brutal as the previous knockout had been for Astedt. 

Kuznetsov will likely be disappointed to have failed to use that hand as a springboard. All-in soon after with queen-jack, the Russian called off his stack pre-flop against a three-bet shove from Sirichuk with ace-king. It was the wrong move and was punished as such on the board as it came T-6-3-A-7 to send the Russian player home in fifth for $125,225.

Epic Heads-Up Ends Brave Sirichuk Battle

Four players remained and the chip leader was Velasevic with 8.16 million chips. Second in chips was the Brazilian Sirichuk with 4.42 million, with overnight leader ‘23RUDY23’ (2.97m) and ‘MY1980’ (1.42m) trailing behind. The next hand, Sirichuk won a 1.7M pot from the leader, hitting runner-runner flush, which was followed by ‘MY1980’ losing their stack. All-in with king-nine of diamonds pre-flop against the shove of Velasevic, the chip leader had the luck as a flop of 9-8-5 with no diamonds was followed by a queen on the turn and jack on the river gave Velasevic a straight to slay the Romania-based player for $159,709 in fourth. 

Sirichuk was constantly getting it in good and managed to double up through the leader when his ace-king beat Velasevic’s ace-queen. The defining moment in three-handed play came when the overnight leader, ‘23RUDY23’, shoved with ace-eight from the button and was called by Velasevic in the small blind with ace-king. The board was no help to the Montenegro-based player and they cashed for $203,688 in third place.

Heads-up, Velasevic had a commanding 3.3:1 chip lead but it was anything other than a quick kill. Through a series of small pots, Rodrigo Sirichuk took the lead in the tournament as his heads-up experience – especially in previous GGMillion$ battles – looked set to prove pivotal. Velasevic came back swinging, however, and an hour after heads-up play started, the stacks were level. 

Slowly, the Serbian managed to crawl back into a lead similar to what he’d had at the start of the final battle. Raising with jack-nine, Velasevic pondered the call when Sirichuk shoved with ace-king. Eventually, the Serb clicked call and hoped to hit for victory. The flop of T-6-2 wasn’t encouraging, and a five of spades on the turn meant that Velasevic was only an 11% for the win to come on the river, with Sirichuk on a better flush draw too. The offsuit jack on the river was a bolt from the blue, and gave Velasevic his first-ever GGMillion$ win, relegating the redoubtable but luckless Sirichuk to runner-up in the record setting longest GGMillion$ of all time. 

Watch all the action play out in a thrilling encounter on GGPoker right here:

1stDanilo VelasevicSerbia$331,315
2ndRodrigo SirichukBrazil$259,778
5thNikita KuznetsovRussia$125,225
6thMikalai VaskaboinikauBelarus$98,187
7thNiklas AstedtSweden$76,987
8thPedro PadilhaBrazil$60,364
9thBruno VolkmannBrazil$47,330

2024 Week 11                                          2024 Week 13

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.