Micro-Stakes Grinder Explains $1 Million WCOOP Victory

Micro-Stakes Grinder Explains $1 Million WCOOP VictoryAt the end of last month, Russian micro-grinder “maratik” made his way into online poker folklore after using 40 PokerStars’ frequent player points to satellite his way through to the WCOOP $5,200 Main Event, which he eventually won for an incredible $1,000,907 payday.
Since that life-changing day, the online player known as “maratik,” and whose real name is Marat Sharafutdinov, has been describing his experience of playing at the top class tournament to reporters at the PokerStars Blog.
Marat Sharafutdinov said he would often use his FPPs to help satellite to big-buy in tournaments which would have been beyond his micro-stakes bankroll. He even successfully qualified for a couple of $215 Sunday Million tournaments, but learnt a most valuable lesson whilst competing at a $150 nightly tourney. As “maratik” explains:
“In that nightly tournament I was chip leader, but when I got close to the bubble, I couldn’t decide if I needed to play to get to the final table or just to cash. I played aggressively in one hand but at the point where I had to go all-in I checked and lost half of my stack. After that I promised myself that if I was in an important tourney again, I wouldn’t be afraid.”
A similar situation then presented itself to Sharafutdinov at the WCOOP $5,200 Main Event, but this time the Russian drew upon his experience of the past, and as he explains:
“There was a hand where I had QQ and the big blind three-bet me and then bet all three streets. It was not far from the money and I understood that it was a regular who was trying to push out a micro-limits player. He thought I would be afraid of elimination, but I called without much doubt. He had bluffed and after that sat out for some time.”
Sharafutdinov then proceeded to use his patience and guile to chip up towards the money, despite going card dead and not playing more than 5 hands over a four hour period. He said he was also able to take advantage of other players’ tight perception of his play to open with bluffs and so make his way towards the final table.
The rest, as they say, is history, and as for other players looking to take shots, Sharafutdinov offered the following advice: “Take risks, but remember about bankroll management.” He says he now intends to spend some of the money taking a football fan trip to South America, as well as a holiday to The Bahamas.

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