Wins First WSOP Gold Bracelet
Turns $1,000 Investment into $648,880
Third Russian Champion at 2011 WSOP
Full House at
the 2011 WSOP -- Tournament Attendance Currently on a Record Pace
Bracelets Won – Four More Events Still to Go
Event Championship Begins Thursday at Noon
history sometimes provide interesting comparisons.
Most of the
poker players who entered the latest World Series of Poker tournament and were
confronted by a relatively unknown Russian poker pro named Maxim Lykov had
absolutely no idea who they were up against. But over the course of the
four-day battle, a select few out of the initial army that started off in the
thousands became increasingly aware of what the type of adversary blockaded the
path to victory.
A more elite
battalion of players who made it all the way to the final table gradually
discovered just how stacked the odds were against them. Those who
survived the longest by overcoming 4,576 proverbial soldiers who began the
campaign must have felt like Napoleon Bonaparte standing in the wintry streets
of Moscow during the epic French invasion of Russia.
In September 1812, Napoleon and
his conquering troops looked around the deserted Russian capital which had been
theirs for the taking. The Russians offered surprisingly little military
resistance. The big trouble for Napoleon and his massive million-man army
was -- they thought the battle was over. But in reality, the war
was just beginning. By year’s end, not only would Napoleon be far
removed from the center of Moscow; all French troops would be entirely erased
from the Russian heartland. It was a stunning turnaround of epic
That’s pretty much how things
turned out for eight poker players named Dror Michaelo, Warren Wooldridge, Ren
Ho Zhang, Harald Olsen, Stanislav Alekhin, Douglas MacKinnon, Joshua Evans and
Sebastien Roy -- who ended up finishing in second- through ninth-place,
respectively. These players made it all the way to the final table -- a
remarkable accomplishment. They came out on top of the largest WSOP
tournament field of the entire year. But in end, victory was not just
fleeting. Defeat seemed inevitable.
The new Russian conqueror is
Maxim Lykov. He is a 23-year-old professional poker player from
Moscow. This marks the third year Lykov has attended the WSOP. His
victory in the $1,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em tournament (Event #54) was as
close to a foregone conclusion as is possible in a poker tournament.
During the final table, he was the chip leader from start to finish.
Lykov defeated all challengers,
ultimately winning a whopping $648,880 in prize money – not bad for an initial
investment of only $1,000. He also received his first WSOP gold bracelet,
the ultimate achievement in the game of poker. Lykov became the third
Russian WSOP champion at this year’s WSOP. The previous winners were
Viacheslav Zhukov and Arkadiy Tsinis.
Lykov took a
businesslike approach to his conquest. Afterward, he stated the prize
money would go into his bankroll -- nothing more, nothing less. To Lykov,
victory was a foregone conclusion.
years ago, the Napoleonic Wars ended. Some might say that the final
result was predictable. The Russians won.
history does have a way of repeating itself.
For a comprehensive recap of Event
#54, please visit the WSOP.com tournament portal page HERE.
EVENT #54 CHAMPION – MAXIM LYKOV
World Series of Poker $1,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em champion is Maxim Lykov,
from Moscow, Russia.
Lykov is a
23-year-old professional poker player.
born in Moscow.
engineering in college for three years before taking a break and deciding to
play poker full time.
both Russian and English fluently.
Lykov won the
European Poker Tour’s championship in Kiev, held in 2009.
the third straight year Lykov has attended the WSOP.
victory, Lykov collected $648,880 for first place.
official records, Lykov now has 1 win, 2 final table appearances and 6
in-the-money finishes at the WSOP.
currently has $851,009 in career WSOP winnings.
Lykov is to be
classified as a professional poker player (in WSOP records and stats). He has been playing full-time for about two
playing in the WSOP Main Event Championship.
He will play in Day 1-A, which begins the day after his victory.
On the feeling after winning his first
WSOP gold bracelet:
amazing. I think about the time when I
first started to play poker. It was my
dream. I am very glad to win.”
On his future goals:
good to win. I have more money. But now, I need to win the Main Event
On Russians emerging as great poker
“We are all
friends because we all started playing about the same time, five to six years
ago. Everybody is congratulating
me. We are very close.”
On what he expects will happen in
Russia with regards to poker in the coming years:
“It’s a very
difficult question to answer, because it all depends on the governments. It’s up to them to decide how poker is going
THE FINAL TABLE
final table was comprised of the top nine finishers.
table contained no former gold bracelet winners.
nations were represented at the final table – Canada (2 players), Great Britain
(1 player), Norway (1 player), Russia (2 players) and the United States (3
The runner up
was Israeli-born Dror Michaelo, who now lives in Malibu, CA. He collected $401,296 in prize money.
play began on Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. Played
concluded about 5 hours later (playing time wise) at 8:30 p.m.
streamed live over WSOP.com. Viewers can
tune in and watch most of this year’s final tables. Although hole cards are not shown, viewers
can follow an overhead camera as well as a pan-shot of the table. The floor announcer provides an official
account of the action.
OTHER IN-THE-MONEY FINISHERS
The top 468
finishers collected prize money. This
was the largest number of players paid for any event held so far at the 2011
are to be included in all official WSOP records. Results are also to be included in the 2011
WSOP “Player of the Year” race.
of the Year” standings can be found at WSOP.com HERE.
ODDS AND ENDS
attracted 4,576 entries.
two starting days in order to accommodate the huge field size. Day One was grouped into an A flight and a B
This is the 946th
gold bracelet awarded in World Series of Poker history. This figure includes every official WSOP
event ever played, including tournaments during the early years when there were
no actual gold bracelets awarded. It
also includes the 16 gold bracelets awarded to date at WSOP Europe (2007-2010). Moreover for the first time ever, one gold
bracelet was awarded for this year’s winner of the WSOP Circuit National
WSOP gold bracelet ceremony takes place on the day following the winner’s
victory (or some hours later when the tournament ends very late). The ceremony takes place inside The Pavilion,
which is the expansive main tournament room hosting all noon starts this
year. The ceremony begins at the
conclusion of the first break of the noon tournament. The ceremony usually starts around 2:20 p.m. The national anthem of the winner’s nation is
played. The entire presentation is open
to the public and media. Video and
photography is permitted by both the public and members of the media.
bracelet ceremony is set to take place on Saturday, July 9th. The national anthem of Russia will be played
in honor of his victory – which takes place during Day 1-C of the Main Event.
2011 WSOP STATISTICS
Through the conclusion
of Event #54 the 2011 WSOP has attracted 64,938 combined total entries;
$115,094,460 in prize money has been awarded to winners.
Through the conclusion
of this tournament, the breakdown of nationality of gold bracelet winners has
conclusion of this tournament, the national origin (birthplace) of winners has
conclusion of this tournament, the home-states of (American) winners have been:
New York (6)
conclusion of this tournament, the breakdown of professional poker players to
semi-pros and amateurs who won gold bracelets has been:
Cody, Cheech Barbaro, Eugene Katchalov, Allen Bari, Harrison Wilder, Matt
Perrins, Sean Getzwiller, Viacheslav Zhukov, David Diaz, Andrew Badecker, Tyler
Bonkowski, Brian Rast, John Juanda, Aaron Steury, Darren Woods, Jason
Somerville, Bertrand Grospellier, John Monnette, Elie Payan, Mark Radoja, Chris Viox, Dan Idema, Andy Frankenberger, Chris Lee, Sam Stein, Mark Schmid, Jason
Mercier, Mikhail Lakhitov, Fabrice Soulier, Mitch Schock, Matt Jarvis, Justin
Pechie, Ben Lamb, Rep Porter, Andre Akkari, Joe Ebanks, Lenny Martin,
Athanasios Polychronopoulos, Antonin Teisseire, Matt Matros, Marsha Wolak.
Semi-Pros (5): Sean R. Drake, Amir Lehavot, Oleksii
Kovalchuk, Eric Rosawig, Arkadiy Tsinis
Amateurs (7): Geffrey Klein, Foster Hays, James Hess, Kirk
Caldwell, Ken Griffin, Owais Ahmed, David Singontiko
first started in 2005, this year’s WSOP has the greatest disparity of
professionals winning over semi-pros and amateurs than any year recorded, so
far – with 47 out of 54 events being won by pros or semi-pros.
conclusion of this tournament, the victories of 11 of the 54 winners (20
percent) marked the first time the new champion had ever cashed at the WSOP.
held over the past 11 years has included at least one multiple gold bracelet
champion (meaning two or more wins within the same year). The last year the WSOP was comprised
exclusively of single-event winners was back in 1999. The record for most multiple gold bracelet
winners within a single year was in 2009, when five players managed to win two
or more titles. So far this year, no
player has yet won two gold bracelets.
The streak of
consecutive male WSOP gold bracelet winners is currently at 210 consecutive
events. Aside from the annual Ladies Poker
Championship, the last female player to win a WSOP tournament open to both
sexes was Vanessa Selbst, in 2008. The
longest “cold” streak for female players occurred between years 1982 and 1996,
when 221 consecutive open events passed without a female champion.
finish by any female (open events) at this year’s WSOP was by two players. Maria Ho finished second ($5,000 buy-in
No-Limit Hold’em). Kim Nguyen also
finished as the runner up ($1,500 buy-in Six-Handed Limit Hold’em).
finish by any defending champion at this year’s WSOP was by David Baker, who
after winning the previous $10,000 buy-in No-Limit Deuce-to-Seven Draw Lowball
World Championship finished in sixth place in defense of his title.
world poker champions rarely perform well the following year after their
victory. Chris “Jesus” Ferguson was the
last world champion to win a gold bracelet the next year, which happened in
2001. Perhaps it’s due to the increasing
size of the fields. But there’s also
great pressure on the champions to do well.
What follows is a list of the only world champions in history to win a gold
bracelet after winning the championship during the previous year:
players who make it to the final table of the Main Event Championship (November
Nine) one year tend to do quite well in subsequent WSOP years. Consider that last year, three former Main
Event finalists won gold bracelets – Eric Buchman, Tex Barch, and Scott
Montgomery. This year, Matt Jarvis won
his first gold bracelet one year after making it to the November Nine in 2010.
tournament records set at the 2011 WSOP (to date):
Heads-Up tournament prize pool in history ($3,040,000) – Event #2
live Omaha High-Low Split Tournament in history (925 entries) – Event #3
live Six-Handed tournament in poker history (1,920 entries) – Event #10
Deuce-to-Seven tournament prize pool in history ($1,184,400) – Event #16
live $1,500 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em tournament in history with single day start
(3157 entries) – Event #18
live $1,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em tournament in history with single day start
(3175 entries) – Event #20
consecutive-days starting field sizes in poker history (combined 6,332 entries)
– Event #18 and Event #20
live Pot-Limit Omaha tournament in poker history (1,071 entries) – Event #22
Mixed-Game (Eight-Game Mix) in poker history (489 entries) – Event #23
Seniors tournament in poker history (3,752 entries) – Event #30
Seniors No-Limit Hold’em championship prize pool in history ($3,376,800) –
single-day live tournament start in poker history (3,752 entries) – Event #30
Largest consecutive-days starting field
sizes in poker history (combined 6,580 entries) – Event #30/Event #32 (broke
Event #18/Event #20 record from earlier in 2011 WSOP)
Largest four-consecutive days field sizes in poker history
(2,500+3,752+2,828+3,144 =12,224 entries) -- Events 28, 30, 32, 34, June 16-19,
Largest Mixed Pot-Limit tournament in history (606 entries) –
Biggest Pot-Limit Omaha prize pool in live poker history
($3,393,400) – Event #42
records set at the 2011 WSOP (to date):
35-year span between Artie Cobb’s first cash in this event (1976) and most
recent cash in the same event (2011) represents the longest time span in WSOP
history. He accomplished this in
Seven-Card Stud High-Low Split (Event #25).
Hellmuth Jr. added to his record as the individual all-time leader in cashes
(83) and final table appearances (42).
Howard “Tahoe” Andrew added to his
record as the player with the longest consecutive streak of WSOP appearances
(entering at least one event), currently at 38 years and counting (1974 to