Russian Poker Player Wins $2,500 No Limit Hold’em

June 28, 2011

Event #36, which lasted a little over four days and ended on June 24th, was the $2,500 No Limit Hold ‘em event. It was perhaps one of the most rowdy crowds of any WSOP event to date. In the midst of it all was Russia’s Mikhail Lakhitov, who ultimately took the title from 1,733 other entrants and won almost $750K and a WSOP bracelet.

A bracelet was just a matter of time for Lakhitov, as this was his fifth cash at this year’s WSOP. His lifetime career earnings now total almost $1 million, but his story isn’t typical. Prior to becoming a poker pro, Lakhitov was in the Red Army on active duty. During down time, he learned poker and spent a lot of time playing it and thinking about it. Once he was discharged, he decided to try his hand at pro status, and now he has no regrets.

Thirty-year-old Lakhitov’s first WSOP was only last year, and he didn’t even realize winners of events walked away with a gold bracelet in addition to cash money. After learning that each champion received a bracelet to commemorate his win, he vowed to win one for his wife. Apparently, he’s a man of his word.

He explained, “Last year in 2010, I finished near the top in one tournament and came in eighth place.  I did not know there was such a thing as a gold bracelet.  Later, I saw there were pictures with the winner and the bracelet.  So, this year on my way to Las Vegas, I promised to my lovely wife that I would win a gold bracelet.  That was my motivation.”

Lakhitov is very proud of where he comes from. He says, “I like to show that I am from Russia. It makes me very proud.”

Second place in this event was Hassan Babjane, a Boston, Massachusetts resident, who took a $463K+ prize.


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