“I Didn’t Even Plan to Come Here”: Boris Kolev Wins 6-Handed Event at WSOP Paradise

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The second and final day of Event #6: $3,000 No-Limit Hold’em 6-Handed has come to an end at World Series of Poker Paradise and Boris Kolev has defeated Daniel Neilson in heads-up play for $424,500 and the WSOP gold bracelet.

The tournament drew 755 players for a prize pool of $2,265,000.

The top two were followed by Fabian Bernhauser in third and Mark Burford in fourth, while Cristian Nagaki and Jeremy Izquierdo rounded out the final table.

This was the second gold bracelet for Kolev, who won the $5,000 8-Handed tournament at the 2021 WSOP. Kolev entered heads-up play behind Neilson, but he fought back and closed out the victory after an hour-long battle.

WSOP Paradise Event #6: $3,000 NLH 6-Handed Final Table Results

Rank Player Country Prize
1 Boris Kolev Bulgaria $424,550
2 Daniel Neilson Australia $259,100
3 Fabian Bernhauser Austria $177,000
4 Mark Burford United States $123,200
5 Cristian Nagaki United Kingdom $87,300
6 Jeremy Izquierdo France $63,100

“I didn’t even plan to come here,” Kolev said in his post-win interview. “I was booked at the Wynn on December 2, but then I won a Mystery Bounty package so I came here and I won.”

Day 2 Highlights

The final 45 sat down on Day 2 and they were all guaranteed at least $8,500, while the final 114 players each picked up $5,200. Nikita Luther was the Day 1 chip leader but she ran into trouble early when she surrendered a double to Julio Chia. Luther doubled back against Christian Harder, but she was out in 25th place a short time later. Other early eliminations included Frederic Breton, Nicholas Maimone, Aram Zobian, and the aforementioned Harder, who finished right after Luther in 24th place.

Nikita Luther
Nikita Luther

The tournament worked its way down to the final three tables where bracelet winners Jin Hoon Lee, Alex Keating, David Miscikowski, Rafael Reis, Georgios Sotiropoulos, and Yuval Bronshtein were still alive in the hunt for more gold. Bronshtein soon surrendered a double to Pedro Garagnani and his quest for WSOP title number three fell short in 14th place. Sotiropoulos was the next bracelet winner to fall in 12th and Reis hit the rail in 11th when his ace-king lost a heartbreaker to Bernhauser’s suited ten-six.

Miscikowski fell in 10th and Keating bowed out in ninth, just before Dumitru Pora was eliminated in eighth place to kick off the unofficial final table of seven.

Final Table Highlights

Bernhauser entered the unofficial final table with the chip lead and Lee held the short stack. Lee was first to go in seventh when he got it in the flop with ace-queen, but Bernhauser had pocket kings and he avoided the ace to score the elimination. The deep run was the second of the series for Lee, who picked up a WSOP gold bracelet and $420,000 in the Mystery Bounty at the beginning of WSOP Paradise.

Final table
The $3,000 NLH 6-Handed Final Table

Next to go was Izquierdo in sixth place for $63,100 after his aces ran into the queen-four of Bernhauser. It all went in on the turn, but Bernhauser already had two pair and he added insult to injury with a river queen for the full house.

Bernhauser still held a big stack in five-handed play, but the others began to close the game — most notably Kolev, who was nearly out of the tournament when he was all in with ten-seven after he flopped a middle pair of sevens. Bernhauser called with jack-ten and Kolev doubled when the Austrian could not improve.

Nagaki fell in fifth place after his short stack shove with ace-nine couldn’t improve against Neilson’s ace-ten. The Brit came into this tournament with $36,014 in live poker cashes and a six-figure score in the $888 Crazy Eights WSOP Online tournament. His $87,300 puts him well above the $100K mark in career live earnings.

Not far behind was the American Burford, a WSOP Circuit ring winner from Louisiana. The $123,200 prize is the largest of his live career so far, and the fourth-place finish beats his previous best WSOP run of ninth in the 2010 $1,500 Limit Hold’em tournament.

After a short break, Bernhauser fell in third place. Neilson shoved the river with more and Bernhauser called with ace-king high, but Neilson turned over trip sevens to send the tournament to heads-up play.

Daniel Neilson, Boris Kolev
The final two players.

Neilson entered the final two with the lead and he put pressure on Kolev early with a big river shove. Kolev went into the take for several minutes — something he is not prone to doing. He eventually got away from it.

“It was really hard to find bluffs with his hand. The timing he was using seemed emotional, at least from my perspective,” Kolev said about the hand. “I had a feeling that it could’ve been some sort of straight or flush. I couldn’t find a bluff. He called preflop super fast. When I connected to the board and excluded all of the possible bluffs, it made sense that he had it.”

His patience paid off when he took the lead a short time later. There was no looking back for Kolev, and the big moment came when Neilson shoved with king-queen and the Bulgarian turned over jack-ten. The flop was seven-eight-nine to give Kolev a straight for his second gold bracelet.

Boris Kolev
Boris Kolev and Friends.

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Matt Hansen

Live Reporting Executive

Las Vegas-based PokerNews Live Reporting Executive, originally from Chicago, IL

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