The Merit Royal Diamond Hotel in Northern Cyprus was the latest setting for a major poker title, as an amazing 1,260 entries and a prizepool of over $6 million saw excitement to the last card. Russian player Azamat Lamkov was the eventual winner as he claimed the million-dollar top prize and beat his countryman Kirill Shcherbakov to the title of MPP Main Event champion.

2024 Mediterranean Poker Party $5,300 Main Event Final Table Results:
1stAzamat LamkovRussia$1,000,000
2ndKirill ShcherbakovRussia$680,000
3rdLeon SturmGermany$440,000
4thIurii SuvorovRussia$320,000
5thBirger LarsenNorway$225,000
6thMihai NisteRomania$170,000
7thGamir GabdullinRussia$125,000
8thAssyl TleuzhanovKazakhstan$100,000
9thYuhang ChenChina$78,300

Madanzhiev and Keating Make the Money

With well over 1,200 entries, a total of 192 players were paid, with legends of the felt cashing in on their skills to go deep. David Miscikowski (180th for $8,500), 2020 WSOP Online Main Event winner Stoyan Madanzhiev (146th for $8,500), Yiannis Liperis (115th for $9,500), Matas Cimbolas (28th for $27,500), Alex Keating (25th for $31,000), Stephen Song (14th for $53,000) and Oliver Weis (10th for $62,000) all cashed along the way before a final nine players reached the last table of the tournament.

Out in ninth was Chinese player Yuhang Chen. Shoving for 12 big blinds with ace-queen, he ran into Shcherbakov’s pocket fives and couldn’t catch any cards, leaving for a score of $78,300. Shcherbakov was taking charge at the top of the leaderboard after coming into the action on 84 big blinds as the overnight chip leader.

Out in eighth place was the Kazakhstan player Assyl Tleuzhanov who cashed for the first six-figure score of the event, $100,000 when his ace-six of spades fell to the German player Leon Sturm’s jack-ten. A flop of 4-4-2 looked safe enough, especially with two spades on board, but an offsuit ten on the turn was a heartbreaker for the Kazakhstani and there were only seven left.

Gabdullin Has to Go

Russian player Gamir Gabdullin became the first of four from the country to depart next. All-in pre-flop with ace-seven, he lost to Sturm’s ace-nine when a king-high flop without sevens being included came. That meant Gabdullin was gotten and he exited for a score of $125,000 in seventh place.

Sturm was rising fast and starting to run away with it himself. That pot gave him a massive 166 million chips, with his nearest rival the eventual winner Lamkov on 78 million. Mihai Niste took on the chip leader but paid the ultimate price when his ten-five lost to Sturm’s suited jack-nine, a nondescript board of A-7-4-6-2 sending the Romanian home with a score of $170,000.

Norwegian player Birger Larsen had bounced around the lower end of the leaderboard for some time but his luck ran out in fifth place for a $225,000. All-in with ace-queen pre-flop, his hopes of a double up would be thin from the off as Shcherbakov called with pocket kings. The board came nine-high, sending Larsen home and boosting the Russian’s chances of making the denouement of the event.

Sturm Laid Waste by Lucky Lamkov

Leon Sturm led the field with four remaining but suffered an alarming plummet down the pecking order. The Russian player Iurii Suvorov also lost big early on in four-handed play but given he was already short, it cost the Russian – one of three to make the final four – his tournament life. All-in with queen-seven, Suvorov lost to his compatriot Lamkov’s ace-ten and cashed for $320,000 in fourth place.

Three-handed, Sturm was the unfortunate player to run badly at the wrong time. All-in pre-flop with pocket jacks, Sturm was way ahead of his caller Lamkov. But the man with the superior stack’s ace-six got there on the A-8-2 flop and through a king turn and ten river, ousted Sturm at the perfect time, taking a marginal chip lead into the heads-up battle to boot.

Kirill Shcherbakov won the opening few pots heads-up but the big one went to Lamkov soon after. Making a wheel straight with a worse ace, Lamkov managed to get a hero-call gone wrong from Shcherbakov who had ace-king high only. That saw Lamkov grab over 77% of the chips in play and soon after, it was all over. On a J-T-2 flop, Shcherbakov correctly called off his last chips with jack-eight, but Lamkov had flopped a flush draw and although the turn missed it, that diamond flush came in on the river to leave a delighted Lamkov with all the chips. He claimed the $1 million top prize, while Shcherbakov had to settle for the runner-up payout of $680,000.

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Paul seaton


Paul Seaton, a poker luminary with over a decade of experience, has reported live from iconic poker events, including the World Series of Poker, European Poker Tour, and World Poker Tour. He’s not just a spectator; he’s been the Editor of BLUFF Europe Magazine and Head of Media for partypoker. Paul’s poker insights have graced publications like PokerNews, 888poker, and PokerStake, where he’s interviewed poker legends such as Daniel Negreanu, Erik Seidel, Phil Hellmuth, and The Hendon Mob’s, entire lineup. His exceptional work even earned him a Global Poker Award nomination for Best Written Content. In the poker world, Paul Seaton’s expertise is a force to be reckoned with, captivating enthusiasts worldwide. 

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