The final of the three starting flights of the 2019 World Poker Tour (WPT) Russia Main Event came and went on Wednesday and as expected, Day 1C was the largest of the trio. Days 1A and 1B combined at 96 entries, but Day 1C alone saw another 122 entries pay the buy-in to bring the total field to 218 entries. In fact, there are more players remaining going into Day 2 – 117 – than registered in the first two flights. Anatoliy Filonenko ended Day 1C as the chip leader with 189,900 chips, which is also the largest stack in the entire tournament.

The WPT Russia Main Event is an interesting bird in that it is one of the most regional major tournaments on the calendar. Nearly all of the players are from Russia or nearby. It is also one of the smallest major events, though in getting up over the 200 entrant mark, it isn’t the complete Lilliputian that I was joking about on Day 1A.

Because of its regionality and size, most of the players don’t have the extensive resumes that you might see at, say, the WPT L.A. Poker Classic or WPT Five Diamond. Such is the case with Anatoliy Filonenko, who has about $32,000 in live tournament earnings (that’s $32,000 more than most people in the world). All of his cashes have come in the last two years; his biggest was for $7,500 at the partypoker MILLIONS in none other than Sochi, Russia.

One of the nuttiest hands of Day 1C came at the end of the night. Nikita Kuznetsov, Liya Novikova, and Petr Son were involved in the hand on an all-heart flop T-4-2. A half-pot bet, a call, and then all of a sudden, everybody is all-in. And no wonder. Kuznetsov had J-9 of hearts for a flopped flush, Novikova had pocket Tens for top set, and Son had both red Aces for an over pair and the nut flush draw. Son improved on the turn, hitting one of the other two Aces, giving himself a set. It was still Kuznetsov’s hand and that’s how it finished, as the river bricked. Novikova exited the tournament, while Son was down to the felt.

2019 World Poker Tour Russia Main Event – Day 1C Chip Leaders

1. Anatoliy Filonenko – 189,900
2. Nikita Bochkin – 169,400
3. Dmitry Gromov – 168,800
4. Nikolay Evdokimov – 155,000
5. Nikita Kuznetsov – 143,200
6. Aleksei Istomin – 136,400
7. Vladimir Nikulshin – 130,200
8. Giorgiy Skhulukhiya – 129,700
9. Valeriy Avanesyan – 126,000
10. Murun Ganzorig – 124,200

2019 World Poker Tour Russia Main Event – Overall Day 1 Chip Leaders

1. Anatoliy Filonenko – 189,900
2. Nikita Bochkin – 169,400
3. Dmitry Gromov – 168,800
4. Maksim Bukreev – 168,300
5. Nikolay Evdokimov – 155,000
6. 2. Danilo Velashevich – 151,800
7. Nikita Kuznetsov – 143,200
8. Aleksei Istomin – 136,400
9. Vladimir Nikulshin – 130,200
10. Giorgiy Skhulukhiya – 129,700

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