PokerStars Championship Sochi: Five of the Top Russian Poker Players
With the PokerStars Championship Sochi being one of the biggest tournaments in Russian poker history, we thought we'd shine a spotlight on some of the best players to come from the country, both live and online.
Here we take a look at six players who have excelled at their craft, taking down some of the biggest tournaments on the planet and with them bagging some eye-watering amounts of cash!
Earlier this year PokerStars signed one of their newest Team Pros, bringing the total number to 30. Igor Kurganov has over $12.2 million in live cashes, enough to sit atop the Russian all-time money list, and is a board member and founder of REG or Raising for Effective Giving.
He currently holds three seven-figure scores including an EPT 8 Monte Carlo High Roller win for $1.4 million and a third place in the EPT 10 Monte Carlo Super High Roller for $1.5 million.
However, with the 2017 edition of the Super High Roller Bowl in a matter of days, Kurganov could be in line for yet another monster payday.
With $4.7 million in life-time earnings, and a whopping six EPT High Roller and Super High Roller final tables, Vladimir Troyanovskiy sits sixth on the Russian all-time money list.
Despite not having managed to secure a major title, he did finish fifth in the 2016 PCA Main Event for a respectable $207,000.
However, he’s enjoyed a number of decent cashes at the start of 2017, including four at the PokerStars Championship Bahamas. He has since gone on to win a tournament at King’s Casino in the Czech Republic and finish a respectable ninth in the €10k Opening Event at the PokerStars Championship Monte Carlo.
This young Russian pro may only have $1.3 million in lifetime earnings but he more than makes up for that with his infectious and bubbly personality.
Anatoly Filatov, team manager for the GPL team the Moscow Wolverines and partypoker brand ambassador, is passionate about promoting poker in his native Russia and across the world.
His best result is a second place in the EPT 10 Vienna High Roller for $366,000 and he will be desperate to secure a big result soon.
A player with only three live cashes, according to Hendon Mob, might cause certain players to raise their eyebrows in confusion; however with one of them being a fourth place finish in the 2015 Super High Roller Bowl for $2.1 million, you can see that this is a player of some pedigree.
Others will know Kuznetsov as "Trueteller" online, a phenomenal player who is one of the biggest winners at the online cash tables in the history of online poker with $2.8 million.
Two years ago Kuznetsov played online against a certain Phil Ivey for 30 hours straight, emerging slightly ahead of his opponent. This year alone, according to HighStakesDB, he has earned over $500,000.
If you wanted to put together a poker resume, look no further than Alexander Kostritsyn. With over $3 million in lifetime earnings, he’s 11th on the Russian all-time money list with some remarkable results.
He has made four WSOP final tables in addition to winning the 2008 Aussie Millions for $1.45 million. If that wasn’t enough, he beat Erik Seidel heads up in that event.
Away from the live scene he also has a 2010 WCOOP title for $269,000 in addition to over $4.5 million in online earnings since 2007.
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