It’s not about the money, it’s about the bracelet, and Alex Bolotin knows that.
Back in 2007, he was very close to winning his first ever WSOP gold bracelet but fell just short after losing the heads-up battle against Bill Edler. Although he won half a million dollars, Bolotin didn’t feel good at all. “I won double the money for second place and I was throwing my glasses against the wall. It wasn’t a happy day. Finishing second hurts,” he said after winning his first gold bracelet and a bonus cash prize of $259,211 in the 2014 World Series of Poker Event #6: the $1,500 No Limit Hold’Em Shootout.
And how does it feel now?
This feels much, much better. If feels euphoric, actually. So many close calls, and that’s what we come here for every summer: to win gold. It’s kind of a stamp on a long career, it feels sweet,” Bolotin added, according to WSOP.com.
His long career includes 24 WSOP cashes for over $1 million, six final tables, and one charity Ante Up for Africa win, but no real gold. Until now.
He entered the final day second guessing himself after deciding not to participate in the Millionaire Maker event.
I was thinking of double dipping. I decided it is the more mature and professional thing to do to concentrate on one tournament at a time.”
And it was a very good decision. Bolotin started rather slow, picking up his aggression as the tournament went on.
Two-time bracelet winner Josh Arieh got things going after the official nine-handed final table was formed. He won a big flip that eliminated Max Coleman in ninth place. He also killed two birds with one stone, sending Shawn Busse and David Trager to the rail in eighth and seventh places, respectively.
His next victim was Douglas Foster in an AQ-high vs. AJ-high flush cooler and everything seemed to go Arieh’s way.
One thing I keep telling myself when I am in a hand is that it’s in the cards. If I do the right thing or what I think is right, then I’m fine with that, and I don’t care about the outcome. I just stuck with that and it kept me real even-keeled,” the veteran said during a break.
And he certainly did the right thing after Steve Loube‘s elimination in 5th place for a prize of $53,777. In a pot against the future winner, Arieh raised a bet and snap-called Bolotin’s all-in on the flop with a set of tens. Bolotin had two Aces and spiked another one on the turn for the big chip win.
Ten hands later, Arieh was out in fourth place for $72,846, leaving Bolotin in front with over 2 million chips. And with John Lane eliminated ($100,239), he was suddenly back in 2007, having only one man to beat in order to capture the gold. But, as opposed to seven years ago, the outcome was entirely different.
He patiently built his stack and in the last hand of the tourney, he caught 2013 PCA Main Event winner, Bulgarian Dimitar Danchev, bluffing his busted straight draw. For his deep run, Danchev won $160,410.
Congratulations to Alex Bolotin on winning the $1,500 NLHE Shootout event. He is currently on top of the all-time Belarusian money list with a $400k lead over second-place Vadim Kursevich.