King Kulev Wins GGMillion$ as Rudolph is Beaten Late

Bulgarian player Alex Kulev won the top prize of $363,836 as he grabbed the bragging rights at this week’s GGMillion$ final table. In a stunning climax, Alex Kulev got the better of Christian Rudolph in a huge pot with almost all of the chips on the line, as players such as Andrii Derzhypilskiy and Bert Stevens also made the final nine.

Gross and Heath on Comms as Final Starts Fast

With $1.79 million in the prize pool, Jeff Gross was joined by British high roller regular, and former GGMillion$ final table player, Ben Heath to run through the action on a dramatic night at the online felt. Heading into the action, the chip stacks were shallower than in previous weeks, with chip leader ‘lucky chicken’ from China having only 70 big binds. Bulgarian player Alex Kulev was second in chips with 63 big blinds, while German Christian Rudolph (51BB) and Alex Garcia (50BB) weren’t far behind.

Others to make the final table included Mexico-based ‘LevMeAlone’ (43BB), Andrii Derzhypilskyi (38BB), Bert ‘girafganger7’ Stevens (25BB), Nikita Kuznetsov (22BB) and Volodymyr Palamar (12BB) who began the action as the short stack. Palamar may have started shortest, but he wasn’t the first player to leave, as the second hand saw the Russian Nikita Kuznetsov bow out in ninth place for $51,976. 

All-in with ace-jack offsuit, Kuznetsov lost to Rudolph as the German’s pocket tens prevailed through a board showing 8-6-6-4-2 sent the Russian player home. That strengthened the German player Rudolph’s cause as he leaped into an early lead. That was still the case as the next thirty minutes of play saw no eliminations, but did have Palamar, the short stack at the start of play, get himself right back into contention, bumping his stack up to 2.6 million, third in chips of the eight remaining.

Stevens Can’t Seal Another MILLION$ Win

Bert Stevens isn’t just a poker legend but a GGMILLION$ legend specifically. Stevens may have won plenty of these events in the past on GGPoker, but he missed out this time. With all the stacks between 1 million (Stevens) and 3.9m (Rudolph), the British player took a shot at an important pot, shoving from the button with pocket sevens after Rudolph had raised with ace-queen. The German called it off and a board of A-8-4-9-Q slew the United Kingdom player, as he slid out in eighth for $66,289. 

Another twenty-five minutes passed with the chips moving around the table before Alex Garcia found himself flipping for survival, all-in with ace-king pre-flop. But again, Rudolph sent another to the rail, as he put his opponent to the test with pocket jacks. The flop of 9-6-4 kept him ahead and after a nine turn and four river, Garcia went out in seventh place for $84,544. 

As Jeff Gross described, the pot going to Rudolph left the German with “an absolute pile” of chips. Sat on 7.87 million chips, Rudolph’s closest challenger was ‘lucky chicken’, miles back on 2.82m. Although it was unknown then, the broadcast was more than halfway through one of the fastest final tables to date in the GGMillion$, Ukrainian player Andrii Derzhypilskiy was next to bust, opening from first position with pocket eights. A raise from Alex Kulev with pocket queens got all the chips in, and a board of A-K-3-A-2 sent the Ukrainian to the rail for $107,825.

One King to Rule Them All

With five players remaining and only 22 minutes until what would be the end, the overnight leader left the party in dreadfully unlucky fashion. All-in with ace-nine pre-flop for a pot worth 3.3 million – one that would have put them second in chips – Chinese player ‘lucky chicken’ lost out in fifth place for $137,517 to Alex Kulev’s ace-eight. A safe flop of A-A-K was followed by an eight on the turn and three on the river as the Bulgarian was extremely fortunate to add to his stack instead. 

Kulev, now up to 6.1m compared to Rudolph’s 8.1m, was on a roll, and took out Palamar in fourth place for $175,385. This time, Kulev had the dominating hand, with his suited ace-ten ahead of Palamar’s suited ace-nine. That wasn’t the case when a nine landed on the flop to flip the script, but there was a sour ending to proceedings for the Ukrainian as no sooner had he gone from needing one of three outs to needing to fade three cards was the situation reversed. A ten landed on the turn to give Kulev the better hand once again and a three on the river confirmed the Bulgarian would be taking another vital pot.

In the very next hand, ‘LevMeAlone’ got it in with pocket threes and was called by Kulev with pocket sevens. A clean board of A-8-2-K-T left play heads up as the Mexico-based player departed for a score of $223,682. With 90 minutes of action only in the bank, a long, protracted heads-up might have been predictable, but instead, it was all over in ten minutes despite the chips being more like a great pizza base – both deep and even. 

As the final duel began, Kulev was the leader with 9.71 million to Rudolph’s 8.96 million chips. The Bulgarian had gained a few by the time he bet from the button with king-jack suited in spades. Rudolph raised with a suited king-six of hearts. On a flop of A-K-7, with one heart, saw action continue to the turn which presented a two of hearts. That was enough and Rudolph went for it, tossing in a chunky bet of 2.28 million chips being called by Kulev and leaving the German committed on the river no matter what came. As it happened, an offsuit four didn’t help him, but he bet his remaining 3.4m chips into a pot of 9.39m and Kulev snap-called to win the tournament and the second GGMillion$ title of 2024 for $363,836! 

Watch the fast-paced action from this week’s summit meeting of poker legends on GGPoker, brought to you by regular presenting host Jeff Gross and special guest co-commentator Ben Heath right here:

1stAlex KulevBulgaria$363,836
2ndChristian RudolphGermany$285,278
4thVolodymyr PalamarUkraine$175,385
5th‘lucky chicken’China$137,517
6thAndrii DerzhypilskyiUkraine$107,825
7thAlex GarciaMexico$84,544
8thBert StevensUnited Kingdom$66,289
9thNikita KuznetsovRussia$51,976


2024 Week 1                                          2024 Week 3

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.