Maxim Lykov Becomes First Russian To Win An EPTAugust 24, 2009 8:05 am
In an ironic twist of fate, Maxim Lykov became the first Russian to win an EPT tournament, after the event was hurriedly switched from Moscow to Kiev following the Russian poker ban in July.
The Russian managed to beat a field of 296 players from 33 countries to win the €5,000 PokerStars European Poker Tour Kiev and take home the €330,000 first prize. He said: “It was a hard contest, but I did believe I could do it and I was very focused.”
The tournament was played over five days and by Day 2 Maxim Lykov was the chipleader and used his big stack to full advantage. He said: “When I had the chip lead on Days 2 and 3, I really felt quite confident that I would make the final table. I am very proud to win this. Ukraine and Russia are very close so I feel I have won for both countries.
The 21 year old’s confidence was obviously up since coming in third at this year’s WSOP $5k No-Limit Hold’em Shootout for a $145,000 pay out, and success in Kiev has now boosted his tournament earnings to over $600,000.
The field at this year’s EPT Kiev was well represented by Russian and local Ukrainian players, but also included 80 PokerStars qualifiers. After the field had narrowed Lykov found himself playing heads up against local man Alexander Dovzhenko, who despite being behind in chips managed to put up a brave fight before Lykov’s aggression and luck won the contest.
The final hand saw both players all in on the turn with the board J-7-4-4 and Dovzhenko’s J 10 heavily behind against Lykov’s 9 4. An A on the river meant the contest was all over with Dovzhenko receiving €220,000 as the runner up.
As well as the €330,000 first prize Maxim Lykov is awarded a seat at the EPT Final in Monte Carlo and said he was looking forward to playing in many other EPT tournaments. The next leg of the popular tour kicks off on September 4 in Barcelona.