Poker News Roundup: Shafikov, Kempe And Munjak All Win Big

Poker News Roundup

It was a big week of wins on the poker tour as a number of tournaments set attendance and entry records. That’s great news as the games continue to grow around the world. We’ll start off in Australia, where Rainer Kempe has added to his win total.

Kempe Wins Aussie Millions Challenge

There has been a lot of buzz relating to the Aussie Millions tournament down under in Australia as the festival is setting new records for attendance. Of course, that means bigger fields, bigger buy-ins and bigger prizes. One player who has benefited has been Rainer Kempe, who won the 2019 Aussie Millions $25,000 (AUD) Challenge. Kempe rose to the top of the 151-player field and secured his dramatic win. As a result, he’ll take home $595,055.

This particular event actually set a record for players in the field with 151 in total, which broke the previous mark of 133 (back in 2017). There had been some concern about the event as there were just 114 entries in 2018, so the organizers weren’t sure if it was just a one-year aberration or a trend. As it turns out, the 151 entries smashed all records. Not including 2018, the field has now grown year-over-year every single season since 2012.

Toby Lewis was the runner-up and won $566,074, while Chino Rheem was third and collected just over $300,000.

Shafikov Wins World Poker Tour Russia Event

The World Poker Tour has completed its stop at the Casino Sochi in Russia. In partnership with partypoker LIVE, the event welcomed 503 entries and when the smoke had cleared, Denys Shafikov claimed the championship and a prize of $255,258.

With the win, Shafikov has earned membership in the World Poker Tour Champions Club and will participate in the season-ending Baccarat Crystal WPT Tournament of Champions. Shafikov also scored 1,000 points in the Hublot WPT Player of the Year race, moving him into 15th at this early stage of the season.

Aleksey Gortikov was the runner-up and won just over $171,200, while Yauhen Kontush was third and earned just over $110,000.

Munjal Wins Largest Major Poker Tournament In Cleveland History

The city of Cleveland isn’t exactly synonymous with poker, but they were in the spotlight this week. One of the events at the Mid-States Poker Tour, which began its 10th season this past week, has set a new record for poker payout in Cleveland. Sean Munjal won the 2019 Cleveland Poker Open, navigating his way through 725 participants. With a buy-in of $1,100 a head, the prize pool grew to a generous $703,250, the largest in Cleveland’s history. It’ll sting the locals a little bit that Munjal, a resident of rival state Michigan, triumphed to claim a $140,654 first-place prize.

This is by far and away the biggest win of Munjal’s career. He had collected about $38,000 in wins via cash games and his biggest win in a tournament was $7,723 with a 10th place result at the 2015 MSPT FireKeepers Casino. As a result of the big win, Munjal plans to pay off his student debts first and foremost.