Mikita Badziakouski Takes the Spoils in the WPT Big One for One Drop
Last Updated: January 25, 2024
The WPT Big One for One Drop event is now in the books as well. Although the small number of entries (17) left something to be desired, it was still a great return of the epic $1,000,000 tournament that saw some of the biggest names in poker turn up to play.
In the end, it was the Belarusian high-roller Mikita Badziakouski taking the first place worth $7.1 million to bring his life-time earnings to over $50 million – a significant landmark by anyone’s standards.
This was the first time that the Big One for One Drop took place under the WPT flag, and poker fans across the globe were looking forward to its return. It was exciting few days of action headlined by some of the best in the industries, as is fitting for an event of this stature.
Four Players in the Money
Since the event featured only 17 entries, it meant that not everyone making the final table today were safe. Two of the six finalists were going to walk away with nothing to show for as there were only four prizes up for grabs.
The first one to go was Santhosh Suvarna, the man who certainly made the poker scene livelier in recent months with his wild playing style on numerous cash game streams. Suvarna started the day as the shortest stack and could never get anything going today.
Santhosh’s exit meant the tournament was on the official bubble, and as far as poker bubbles go, this was a pretty big one. The difference between busting fifth or making it into the money was $1.2 million, so no one was eager to hit the rail.
Eventually, however, Nick Petrangelo clashed with Ike Haxton. Petrangelo had a strong hand in the big blind for five-handed play, as he woke up with A♣Q♦. Unfortunately, he was dominated by Ike’s A♥K♠, making the ace that hit on the flop inconsequential.
With that hand, Haxton sent Petrangelo to the rail and got the chip lead, and all remaining could breathe a sigh of relief as they were in the money!
He’ll take home $7,114,500 with @mariomosboeck finishing runner-up for $4,663,950!
1st: Mikita Badziakouski – $7,114,500
2nd: Mario Mosboeck – $4,663,950
— World Poker Tour (@WPT) December 21, 2023
Mario Mosboeck and Mikita Pick Up Speed
As the four-handed play started, it was the Austrian high roller Mario Mosboeck dominating the table, picking up chips left and right, building his stack up to 10 million.
Mikita was doing some work in the background, trailing Mosboeck by quite a margin, biding his time and waiting for his opportunities.
One such opportunity presented itself when Mikita woke up with pocket eights in the big blind and moved in over Isaac Haxton’s cutoff raise. Isaac made the call with AQ but poker gods favored Badziakouski as the board ran clean, sending Ike to the rail with $1,224,800 for his efforts.
Mosboeck refused to sit idle, though, as he kept on putting the pressure. Dan Smith, who was hanging on to a short stack for quite a while, finally took his stand with A♥4♦ against Mosboeck’s K♣7♣.
Smith was a slight favorite and it was looking like he was headed for a much needed double up until the king hit on the river to end his tournament run in third place, worth $2.8 million.
The Final Clash
With Smith’s exit it was down to Mosboeck and Badziakouski, and the Austrian started the final skirmish as a chip leader. However, Mikita is no stranger to high-pressure situation, and he was determined to turn things around.
That opportunity finally presented itself when Mikita limped the button with 8♣6♣ and then called Mosboeck’s raise. Both players connected with the flop of A♥9♠7♦ as Mosboeck hit the top pair with A♦5♠, while Badziakouski flopped an open-ended straight draw.
The flop was checked through, and the 5♥ on the turn gave Mikita the nuts. Mosboeck bet out for 1.4 million and his opponents just called.
The K♠ hit the river, and after contemplating his options, the Austrian moved all in. Naturally, Badziakouski snap called with his nut straight, turning the tables and bringing Mosboeck’s stack to four million.
The play continued for some more hands, but Mikita never gave up his chip lead from that point. Finally, the two got all the chips in the middle with Mosboeck’s K♣J♦ trailing Badziakouski’s A♦9♠. The board brought no help to either player, so Mikita’s ace-high held up to bring the event to its official close.
For his win, Badziakouski takes home $7,114,500 while Mario Mosboeck’s runner-up finish was good for $4,663,950. And with that, we conclude the WPT Big One for One Drop for 2023 and turn our attention to the WPT World Championship final table set to take place tomorrow!