A total of 17 players began Day 3 of Event #7: Limit Hold’em at the 2023 World Series of Poker at the Horseshoe and Paris Las Vegas. Only one was left standing when it mattered the most.
In a heads-up showdown featuring an all-Ukrainian flavor, Vadim Shlez outlasted the field and his fellow countryman Rostyslav Sabishchenko ($90,753) to win. With the victory, Shlez secured his first WSOP bracelet.
Final Table Results
|3||Kerry Welsh||United States||$63,577|
|4||Raul Celaya||United States||$45,301|
|5||John Armbrust||United States||$32,840|
|6||Chairud Vangchailued||United States||$24,228|
|8||David "ODB" Baker||United States||$13,917|
Path to the final table
Shlez’s path came with plenty of obstacles, as he entered Day 3 with the 13th-most chips in play. Then he picked a good time to go on a run.
He conquered a formidable group of players. The field included multiple WSOP bracelet winners, including Adam Friedman, David "ODB" Baker, Joe McKeehen, Jason Gola, Mike Leah, Nick Schulman, Yueqi Zhu, Patrick Leonard, Justin Pechie, Ryan Leng, Tom Schneider, Richard Alsup, Erick Lindgren, Jim Collopy, Ryan Hansen, Humberto Brenes, Nick Guagenti, and Kevin Song.
Baker, who made the final table, finished in eighth place for $13,917.
Shlez also had to contend with notable WPT winners Scott Eskenazi, who busted in tenth place, and Lee Markholt.
A total of 527 entries turned out and generated a prize pool of $703,545.
Kerry Welsh finished in third for $63,577, while Raul Celaya took fourth for $45,301.
Shlez has been playing poker for more than 20 years, so he knows the significance of winning a WSOP bracelet.
Perhaps that’s why he was almost overcome with emotion when he discussed his journey.
“I’ve been working on it for pretty much my whole life,” Shlez told PokerNews with a wide smile. “I started poker pretty much with the World Series of Poker. … I didn’t expect to win in this discipline, even though it was my favorite game when I started.”
Shlez, who sported a Ukrainian flag lapel pin and draped himself in the flag after winning, said playing against Sabishchenko proved special.
“It was unbelievable,” Shlez said. “We thought it would be cool yesterday [Friday] when it went down to three tables. We hoped it was going to happen, but nobody expected this to happen. I mean, even making the final table together was great. It was unbelievable. To win it, it was unbelievable.”
Shlez acknowledged the stout competition he faced en route to his first WSOP bracelet, and he never got overconfident, even though he rode a hot streak to the final table. To him, victory arrived on the table.
“Not until the last cards hit,” he said.
Schlez isn’t going anywhere anytime soon after securing his first WSOP bracelet. He plans to continue playing other WSOP events with his wife and has his eyes on another bracelet.
“Hopefully,” Shlez said. “Hopefully for her, too”
This concludes coverage of Event #7 of the 2023 WSOP, but make sure to stay tuned to PokerNews for live updates of your favorite events throughout the summer.