Commentary

Horse trainer wins HORSE event

Updated: June 19, 2010, 10:05 PM ET
By Andrew Feldman | ESPN.com

During the first two weeks of the World Series of Poker, all the hype was about Russian Vladimir Shchemelev. His multiple final tables and impressive performances had everyone talking about him being the next Russian to make his mark. However, Shchemelev still doesn't have a bracelet. Instead, Konstantin Puchkov, a 58-year-old horse breeder and trainer, earned the first Russian bracelet in 2010 in the $1,500 HORSE Event 31.

[+] EnlargeKonstantin Puchkov
WSOPPhotos.comKonstantin Puchkov became the fourth Russian-born player in WSOP history to win a bracelet.

Away from his horses, Puchkov spends a lot of time at the felt participating in poker tournaments across Europe. He's cashed more than 30 times in his poker career, but never had a payday quite like this one where he earned $256,820. This was the fourth WSOP for Puchkov, but his first cash and his first bracelet. He played in 21 events in 2009, but failed to reach the money. After Friday's win, he is most definitely happy he returned in 2010.

"My goal is to win the bracelet," Puchkov said through an interpreter. "It means the world to me. My family will love it. So will my kids, and all my friends."

Puchkov became the fourth Russian-born player to win a bracelet following in the footsteps of Ralph Perry (2006), Alexander Kravchenko (2007) and Vitaly Lunkin (2008 and 2009). After his win, he said he enjoys coming to play, but that his true love is his horses.

"I love two things -- horses and poker," he said. "I name all of my horses after poker terms. The reason why I entered this tournament was because it is called HORSE."

The Russian defeated Al Barbieri heads-up to win the bracelet. Barbieri, known as "Sugar Bear," made his fourth cash in this event and his second final table of the Series. He has $1.2 million in career tournament earnings since 1996, with 13 WSOP cashes but no bracelet. Also making his second final table of the year was Robert Mizrachi, who previously finished fifth in the $50,000 Players' Championship. Mizrachi made a great comeback on Day 2 to make the final day of play, but would be eliminated in eighth.

Other notable finishers from Event 31 include Chip Jett (ninth) and Allen Kessler (13th).

Below are the complete results of Event 31 at the 2010 World Series of Poker:

Event 31: HORSE
Buy-in: $1,500
Entries: 828
Prize pool: $1,117,800
Players in the money: 80

1. Konstantin Puchkov ($256,820)
2. Al Barbieri ($158,647)
3. Dustin Leary ($107,849)
4. Ken Lennaard ($75,058)
5. Hani Awad ($53,321)
6. Andrew Revesz ($38,651)
7. Blake Cahail ($28,569)
8. Robert Mizrachi ($21,525)
9. Chip Jett ($16,523)
10. Regis Burlot ($16,523)
11. Danny Kalpakis ($12,917)
12. Daniel Ospina ($12,917)
13. Allen Kessler ($10,282)
14. James Van Alstyne ($10,282)
15. Ming Reslock ($8,339)
16. Johannes Steindl ($8,339)
17. Kyung Han ($6,877)
18. James Darnaby ($6,877)
19. Cliff Josephy ($6,877)
20. Mark Zuffi ($6,877)
21. Thomas Hunt ($6,877)
22. David Brooker ($6,877)
23. Kerry Stead ($6,877)
24. Jon Turner ($6,877)
25. Lex Veldhuis ($5,772)
26. Jay Hong ($5,772)
27. Daniel Huseman ($5,772)
28. Pawel Andrzejewski ($5,772)
29. Linda Johnson ($5,772)
30. Ward Crane ($5,772)
31. Michael Craig ($5,772)
32. Colin Maneval ($5,772)
33. Robert Campbell ($4,923)
34. Jeff Shulman ($4,923)
35. Paul Evans ($4,923)
36. Ryon Nicholson ($4,923)
37. Pat Pezzin ($4,923)
38. Russ Salzer ($4,923)
39. Gregory Browder ($4,923)
40. Nicholas Derke ($4,923)
41. Derek Boundy ($4,276)
42. Maria Ho ($4,276)
43. Candace Liu ($4,276)
44. Jason Mercier ($4,276)
45. Susan Joseph ($4,276)
46. Cynthia Violette ($4,276)
47. Brandon Cantu ($4,276)
48. Daniel Medeiros ($4,276)
49. Paolo Grossi ($3,773)
50. George Lind ($3,773)
51. Jim Geary ($3,773)
52. Mary Jones ($3,773)
53. Robert Williamson III ($3,773)
54. Scott Laurie ($3,773)
55. Shannon Petluck ($3,773)
56. Clayton Mozdzen ($3,773)
57. Stephen Su ($3,382)
58. Vasili Lazarou ($3,382)
59. Ben Yu ($3,382)
60. Massoud Nikjouian ($3,382)
61. Steven Sauser ($3,382)
62. Doug Carli ($3,382)
63. Eric Conti ($3,382)
64. Jason Yano ($3,382)
65. Shihping Sun ($3,114)
66. Greg Monaldi ($3,114)
67. Roman Rypma ($3,114)
68. Ed Tonnellier ($3,114)
69. Phillip Campbell ($3,114)
70. Lonnie Heimowitz ($3,114)
71. Brian Schwartz ($3,114)
72. Robert Rasmussen ($3,114)
73. Christopher Nelligan ($2,869)
74. Tom Dwan ($2,869)
75. Don Zewin ($2,869)
76. Michael Miccio ($2,869)
77. Dennis Seagle ($2,869)
78. Daniel Nicewander ($2,869)
79. Gary Mcgee ($2,869)
80. Kenneth Nay ($2,869)

Andrew Feldman is ESPN.com's Poker Editor. He is the host of the Poker Edge Podcast and co-host of ESPN Inside Deal. Andrew has covered the poker industry for ESPN since 2004.

ALSO SEE