Vlad Darie Wins GGMILLION$ for $297,000

This week’s $10,300-entry GGMILLION$ was one for the books as a prize pool worth $1.37 million saw nine top players battle for glory at the virtual felt. With regular host Jeff Gross joined on comms by the 2020 WSOP Online Main Event winner, the Bulgarian professional Stoyan Madanzhiev, the action was red hot from the frantic start to fast-paced finish as the action wrapped in a little over two hours on GGPoker. 

Eastern Bloc Bullying Rivals

Heading into the final table action, it was the Belarussian Ilya Anatski who led the field and by some margin. Holding 102 big blinds at the top of the leaderboard, there was a big gap back to the second-placed Romanian, Vlad Darie with 63 big blinds. Ukrainian Andrii Derzhypilskyi followed in third place on the leaderboard with 59 big blinds and on his seventh final table of the season. 

Elsewhere in the final nine, Moldovan poker star Pavel Plesuv (41BB) was at yet another final table, along with ‘23RUDY23’ (35BB) from Montenegro, Brazil’s Bruno Volkmann (29BB), Daniel Petersen (28BB), Austria’s ‘C3H5N3O6’ (26BB) and Michel Dattani (24BB) as the final table began. 

Unsurprisingly, with the short stack well over 20 big blinds, it was nearly 1 hour before before there was the first victim of the final table’s escalating blinds and mounting pressure. Eventually, Ukrainian Andrii Derzhypilskyi busted when he shoved pre-flop from the small blind with king-deuce of diamonds and was called by big blind Brazilian Bruno Volkmann with king-queen of spades.. Three more spades fell by the river for a king-high flush, sending Derzhypilskyi home with $41,192.

Darie Would be (Ace-)King

The other Brazilian was the next to fall, as Michel Dattani crashed out in eighth place for $52,745 to Ilya Anatski. The Belarussian raised from the hi-jack position with ace-ten and called it off when Dattani shoved with pocket nines. A board of K-6-5-A-Q hit Anatski’s ace on the turn and the field was reduced to seven just 3 minutes after the first knockout. 

Pavel Plesuv had the most successful record of the nine finalists coming into the last day’s play but busted next for a score of $67,539. Betting pre-flop with ace-five of spades, he was raised by Anatski holding pocket kings, one of them being a spade. Plesuv charged right into the mess, three-bet shoving for over 1.6 million chips and he was snap-called by Anatski, a board of T-8-4-2-2 doing nothing to help Plesuv, short of giving him an inside wheel draw on the turn that missed the river. 

Austrian player ‘C3H5N3O6’ was the next to go, losing in sixth when king-seven was dominated and defeated by his countryman Vlad Darie’s ace-king for a result worth $86,482. And five became four when the final Brazilian fell. Once again, Darie had ace-king and had an easy call and win when Bruno Volkmann shoved with ace-jack of diamonds which was drawing dead to a chop to the river, and the Brazilian went home with $110,739.

Arie Dominates Dramatic Final Stages

With four players remaining, Ilya Anatski (5.9m) was the chip leader, with Darie on 4.9 million, and ‘23RUDY23’ (2.1m) and Daniel Petersen (1.1m) both trailing in the wake of the top two.  It wasn’t, therefore, a shock when Danish player Daniel Petersen busted in fourth for $141,799, shoving with king-queen when short-stacked. Petersen was called by Anatski, with pocket nines. 

Three-handed, ‘23RUDY23’ lost with ace-nine to Darie’s king-queen when the Romanian flopped a flush draw and then hit a queen on the river. That pot sent the Montenegrin player home with $181,570 and boosted Darie’s stack to a chip leading 8.7 million chips to Anatski’s 5.4 million.

The heads-up battle for the title was a short one, with Darie driving Anatski down to a chip-stack of just over 2.1 million chips, while Darie grew his to over 12 million. In the final hand, Anatski committed his chips with ace-five and was called by Darie with ace-nine. A flop of A-4-2 paired both men’s ace, but also polarized what might come after. Two low cards were not good for Anatski’s chop chances but did add four more outs to the possiblitty of having the winning hand with four threes and three fives still out there. A king on the turn was not one of them and a nine on the river gave Darie two pair to rubber-stamp his victory, and seal the $297,707 top prize at the GGMillion$

Watch all the drama as it played out with Jeff Gross and WSOP Online Main Event champion Stoyan Madanzhiev on the GGPoker YouTube replay:

1stVlad DarieRomania$297,707
2ndIlya AnatskiBelarus$232,497
4thDaniel PetersenDenmark$141,799
5thBruno VolkmannBrazil$110,739
7thPavel PlesuvMoldova$67,539
8thMichel DattaniBrazil$52,745
9thAndrii DerzhypilskyiUkraine$41,192


2024 Week 7                                          2024 Week 9

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.