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Play now!  Two-hundred and twenty-two hands later, the final table at the Southern Poker Championship came to an end, with Russian Alexander Kuzmin holding the winning hand. He went head to head for a whopping 61 hands against Leif Force. Kuzmin entered the final table as the chip leader, but he was facing some formidable opposition. Allen Carter was in excellent position as well, and had a pedigree at this event that was difficult to match, having previously won the Southern Poker Championship in 2009. But Carter did not make it to heads up play. With the game three-handed and Carter running short on chips, he moved all in preflop with J9 offsuit, and was called by Kuzmin’s AQ of diamonds. Carter turned top pair, but a river diamond made Kuzmin a flush and sent Carter home in third place, with a prize of $218,471.

Arguably the biggest name at this final table, Shannon Shorr, went out in fourth place to earn $144,985. There was no doubt that Shorr's experience helped him as he quickly moved up the chip counts once play began. He was second in chips with five remaining after taking more than a third of Kuzmin's stack, but after doubling up Carter and doubling through Force, Kuzmin would have his revenge. Kuzmin opened the pot and Shorr called from the big blind. The flop came Js-10d-5d, Shorr led out, Kuzmin raised and Shorr moved all-in putting Kuzmin to a decision. The Russian instantly called with K-K and needed to fade a world of outs to survive and the turn and river obliged to set him on the path to victory. Carter would eliminate Shorr shortly after.

Kuzmin has been on the poker tournament scene for nearly a decade and with this win, has finally earned his first major title and $601,469.

This was the Russian's fifth World Poker Tour appearance and finally the first big win, in Biloxi, Mississippi. Now that he has won the Southern Poker Championships what will he do? Well first on the list is definitely eating, as the Russian didn’t eat at all during the tourney.

 

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