The $2,200-entry Mediterranean Poker Party Warm Up event saw a dramatic ending provide thrills and spills on the coast off Northern Cyprus. With the Luxon Pay Mediterranean Poker Party taking place at the Merit Royal Diamond Hotel & Casino in Northern Cyprus, it was Russian player Arsenii Karmatckii who was the last man standing for the trophy and top prize of $310,000.

Shallow Stacks Start Wild Final Table

Nine players began the final table, with the chip leader being Belarussian Sergey Baranski. He had just 37 big blinds, not a huge way clear of the lowest stack, Pavel Plesuv from Moldova, with 12 big blinds. Everyone else sat in between those numbers, and the shallow stacks and pay jumps dictated the play in the early stages.

In a busy week in Northern Cyprus, Espen Jorstad, the reigning world champion who won $10 million in the 2022 WSOP Main Event just two months ago, announced that he was taking on cash game players in Cyprus. After that announcement, the opening event of the Mediterranean Poker Party (MPP) saw the MPP Open welcome 900 in an exciting and packed-out first event of the series.

With nine players kicking off the last table of action in the $2,200-entry Event #2, the MPP Warm Up, it was Plesuv who became the first man to leave, cashing for $25,000 in ninth place. He moved all-in with pocket sevens and was called by the eventual champion Karmatckii with ace-jack. The flop and turn were safe, but the river was a jack and Plesuv became the first casualty of the unofficial final table, with everyone else making the official final eight.

Martirosian Wields the Axe

“Artur Martirosian called his countryman with ace-queen.”

With Karmatckii stretching into a commanding lead, it was his fellow Russian player Aleksander Kinzhalov who exited in eighth for $25,000. Kinzhalov shoved for just under ten big blinds with pocket tens and Artur Martirosian called his countryman with ace-queen. The flop was clear, but an ace on the turn left Kinzhalov hunting a two-outer by the river, which didn’t arrive.

Belarussian player Sergey Baranski was the next player to bust out of the event and cashed for $35,000 in seventh place. All-in with ace-five for a little under six big blinds, Artur Martirosian again did the fatal damage to his stack, calling with ace-queen once more and this time riding out the ten-high board for his high card to play.

Out in sixth place was the Russian player Dmitry Vitkind, who busted for $45,000 after shoving for seven big blinds with ace-ten. Aleksandr Pak called it off with a bigger stack with queen-six and a queen on the turn ended up being the pivotal card, reducing the field to five.

Russian Revolution at the Top

Three Russians made the final five, but two would bust in quick succession. Dmitry Yurasov busted in fifth for $60,000 when his king-jack lost to Serbian Milos Skrbic’s pocket sevens. Iy wasn’t long after that the five-time Super MILLION$ winner Artur Martirosian followed his countryman from the felt, his ace-eight losing to Karmatckii’s ace-king to see the much-loved player crash out in fourth for $85,000.

Out in third was Aleksandr Pak, who was low in chips when he shoved for six big blinds with six-five offsuit. Skrbic called it off with a suited ace-eight and an ace on the turn meant the five on the flop was ineffectual. A four on the river made no difference to the hand and sent Pak back to his native Uzbekistan with a score of $125,640.

Heads-up began with Karmatckii in the lead, but it wasn’t nearly as vast a gap as it was before Pak’s departure. Karmatckii had 29.4 million chips, with Skrbic on 22.9 million. Skrbic took the lead, lost it, then retook it, but when Karmatckii doubled through his Serbian opponent with two-pair, he built an almost 2:1 chip lead.

All-in with ace-ten of clubs, Karmatckii only needed to hold against Skrbic with queen-deuce in the same suit. The board of A-9-8-J-9 saw Karmatckii take the title and $310,000, which Skrbic claimed the runner-up prize of $190,000.

Mediterrean Poker Party Warm Up Final Table Results:

Place Player Country Prize
1st Arsenii Karmatckii Russia $310,000
2nd Milos Skrbic Serbia $190,000
3rd Aleksandr Pak Uzbekistan $125,640
4th Artur Martirosian Russia $85,000
5th Dmitry Yurasov Russia $60,000
6th Dmitry Vitkind Russia $45,000
7th Sergey Baranski Belarus $35,000
8th Aleksandr Kinzhalov Russia $25,000


James Guill

James Guill is a former professional poker player who writes fro about poker, sports, casinos, gaming legislation and the online gambling industry in general. His past experience includes working with IveyPoker, PokerNews, PokerJunkie, Bwin, and the Ongame Network. From 2006-2009 he participated in multiple tournaments including the 37th and 38th World Series of Poker (WSOP). James lives in Virgina and he has a side business where he picks and sells vintage and antique items.

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