<
>

Lakhitov earns 2nd bracelet for Russia

Days into the 2011 World Series of Poker, Mikhail Lakhitov was at his first WSOP final table. The odds, and chips, were stacked against him and he fell short in Event 4 and finished in eighth place. The good news for Lakhitov was that it was his largest career cash ($84,033), but the bad news is that it was an eighth place result, not first. Over the next few weeks Lakhitov secured three more cashes in $1,500 events, including two top-29 finishes. He was among the leaders for most cashes during the '11 WSOP, but Lakhitov knew that all he wanted was to earn a big win. Less than three days after his fourth cash, a 292nd-place finish in the a huge no-limit hold 'em Event 32, Lakhitov headed back to the tables in the 1,734-player $2,500 buy-in Event 36. Four days later, he was back at a final table and this time, capitalized on his chance to win the bracelet and $749,610.

The Russian's introduction to poker came when he was in the Red Army. During his down time, he'd play, think and discuss the games with friends, including fellow professional poker player Kirill Gerasimov. When he was discharged, he decided to try and become a professional. He spend much of 2010 playing events across Europe, but he also headed to the U.S. for the WSOP and notched two cashes, including an eighth-place finish in a six-handed no-limit hold 'em event. According to the WSOP, he didn't know there was a bracelet attached to a victory and at that time, he became determined to win and present that bracelet to his wife.

"Last year in 2010, I finished near the top in one tournament and came in eighth place," he said. "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."

The 30-year old will return to Cheboksary, Russia with the bracelet in a few weeks, after, of course, trying to win another bracelet and potentially achieving the honor of being the WSOP Player of the Year. Lakhitov is currently third in the Player of the Year race.

Lakhitov defeated Boston, MA native Hassan Babjane for the title. This was Babjane's first career WSOP cash and he quickly became one of earnings leaders this Series with the $463,480 second-place prize.

Throughout this WSOP, the final tables have either been one-sided with pros or amateurs, not an even combination of both. Eight of the nine players at the final table were pros or semi-pros, with ninth-place finisher Kent Padgett being the lone amateur.

Other notable finishers include Eddy Sabat (fifth), Matthew Berkey (sixth), and Dwyte Pilgrim (15th).

Below are the complete results of Event 36 at the 2011 World Series of Poker:

Event 36: No-limit hold 'em
Buy-in: $2,500
Entries: 1,734
Prize pool: $3,944,850
Players in the money: 171

1. Mikhail Lakhitov ($749,610)
2. Hassan Babajane ($463,480)
3. Thomas Middleton ($305,015)
4. Thomas Miller ($219,885)
5. Eddy Sabat ($160,949)
6. Matthew Berkey ($119,528)
7. James St. Hilaire ($90,021)
8. Conrad Monica ($68,719)
9. Kent Padgett ($53,137)
10. John Zentner ($41,775)
11. Alexis Bouchiouane ($41,775)
12. Richard Gryko ($41,775)
13. Michael Michnik ($33,294)
14. Patrick Smith ($33,294)
15. Dwyte Pilgrim ($33,294)
16. Barry Woods ($26,864)
17. Yun Fan ($26,864)
18. Alessio Fratti ($26,864)
19. Lars Bonding ($21,933)
20. Edgar De La Torre ($21,933)
21. Randy Dorfman ($21,933)
22. Robert Stevanovski ($21,933)
23. Steven Watts ($21,933)
24. Matthew Schwarmann ($21,933)
25. Nicholas Petrangelo ($21,933)
26. Brian Warren ($21,933)
27. Eric Shanks ($21,933)
28. Tom Marchese ($18,106)
29. Kevin Eyster ($18,106)
30. Dung Nguyen ($18,106)
31. Zachary Hall ($18,106)
32. Bradley Augsburger ($18,106)
33. Jerry Wong ($18,106)
34. Dylan Hortin ($18,106)
35. Peter Akery ($18,106)
36. Gaurav Law ($18,106)
37. David Pham ($12,860)
38. Nam Le ($12,860)
39. Benjamin Jenkins ($12,860)
40. Marvin Rettenmaier ($12,860)
41. Lynne Mitchnick ($12,860)
42. Kyle Keranen ($12,860)
43. Franciscus Andries ($12,860)
44. Michael Bennington ($12,860)
45. Justin Pechie ($12,860)
46. Matthew Inelli ($12,000)
47. Ryan Schmidt ($12,000)
48. Stephen Peppin ($12,000)
49. Andrew Cohen ($12,000)
50. Bruce Vandervort ($12,000)
51. Tim Phan ($12,000)
52. Joshua Smith ($12,000)
53. William Hamilton ($12,000)
54. Belley Philippe ($12,000)
55. Robert Clukies ($11,045)
56. Mathias Maasberg ($11,045)
57. Michael Adamo ($11,045)
58. Francisco Navarro ($11,045)
59. Bruno Gonzalez ($11,045)
60. Jason Koon ($11,045)
61. Anthony Ruberto ($11,045)
62. John Kim ($11,045)
63. Vincent Graziano ($11,045)
64. Guillaume Cescut ($9,625)
65. Gavin Smith ($9,625)
66. Huykheim Nguyen ($9,625)
67. Keven Stammen ($9,625)
68. Peter Murphy ($9,625)
69. Aadam Daya ($9,625)
70. Kunimaro Kojo ($9,625)
71. Daniel Buzgon ($9,625)
72. Jeff Sluzinski ($9,625)
73. Gary McDonald ($8,481)
74. Michael Myers ($8,481)
75. Kenneth Adams ($8,481)
76. Dan O'Brien ($8,481)
77. Randal Flowers ($8,481)
78. Ramiro Martinez ($8,481)
79. Giuseppe Pantaleo ($8,481)
80. Blake Cahail ($8,481)
81. Hugo Lemaire ($8,481)
82. Jason James ($7,534)
83. Stephen Le Peau ($7,534)
84. Alberto Fonseca Masis ($7,534)
85. Zach Clark ($7,534)
86. Jamie Roberts ($7,534)
87. Philippe Boucher ($7,534)
88. Mario Delis ($7,534)
89. David Diaz ($7,534)
90. Eddie Blumenthal ($7,534)
91. Leonard Triche ($6,824)
92. Jason Newburger ($6,824)
93. Claudio Baptista ($6,824)
94. Brian Mintz ($6,824)
95. Thomas Pomponio ($6,824)
96. Matt Marafioti ($6,824)
97. Daniel Smith ($6,824)
98. Ray Villaman ($6,824)
99. Karl Fenton ($6,824)
100. Steven Goosen ($6,153)
101. James Hughes ($6,153)
102. Corey Thompson ($6,153)
103. Tommy Vedes ($6,153)
104. John Eames ($6,153)
105. Terrence Chan ($6,153)
106. Dean Schultz ($6,153)
107. Jeremy Vaughn ($6,153)
108. Charles Chattha ($6,153)
109. Luke Mcintyre ($6,153)
110. Bret Hruby ($6,153)
111. Huy Nguyen ($6,153)
112. Bryn Kenney ($6,153)
113. Mike Kachan ($6,153)
114. Adam Glassman ($6,153)
115. Niall Farrell ($6,153)
116. Denise Molloy ($6,153)
117. Steve Karp ($6,153)
118. Alper Sar ($5,680)
119. Gerasimos Deres ($5,680)
120. Christian Jeppsson ($5,680)
121. Ivan Tononi ($5,680)
122. Robert Fino ($5,680)
123. Paul Dewald ($5,680)
124. James Petzing ($5,680)
125. Maxim Sorokin ($5,680)
126. Stephen O'Dwyer ($5,680)
127. Robert Deppe ($5,680)
128. Sebastion Saffari ($5,680)
129. Darryll Fish ($5,680)
130. Anton Kornuth ($5,680)
131. Chance Kornuth ($5,680)
132. Sudhakara Kattamuri ($5,680)
133. Brendan Waite ($5,680)
134. Simon Gunther ($5,680)
135. Martins Adeniya ($5,680)
136. Keith Ferrera ($5,680)
137. Shinichiro Kano ($5,680)
138. Andras Stempf ($5,680)
139. Jimmy Tran ($5,680)
140. Thomas Anson ($5,680)
141. JJ Liu ($5,680)
142. Santiago Nadal ($5,680)
143. Dmitry Stelmak ($5,680)
144. Jeremy Menard ($5,680)
145. Justin Young ($5,207)
146. Tsubasa Manabe ($5,207)
147. Romuaid Pycior ($5,207)
148. Jameson Painter ($5,207)
149. Joseph Grodowski ($5,207)
150. James Lee ($5,207)
151. J.C. Tran ($5,207)
152. Andres Garcia ($5,207)
153. Michael Shelton ($5,207)
154. Roberto Betbese ($5,207)
155. John Keith ($5,207)
156. Jude Ainsworth ($5,207)
157. Ran Azor ($5,207)
158. Nelson Resendiz ($5,207)
159. J. Parrent ($5,207)
160. William Douglas Smith ($5,207)
161. Athanasios Polychronopoul ($5,207)
162. Manh Nguyen ($5,207)
163. Ed Saballa ($5,207)
164. Gary Goodman ($5,207)
165. Tom West ($5,207)
166. Gary Hurst ($5,207)
167. Paul Varano ($5,207)
168. Kien Tieu ($5,207)
169. Jon Van Fleet ($5,207)
170. David Lucchesi ($5,207)
171. David Hedley ($5,207)