Russian professional player Pavel Shirshikov took a substantial chip lead at the end of Day 3 after knocking out Jason Wheeler in a massive four-bet pot to send the American star to the rail in 33rd place. Shirshikov maintained his lead through Day 4 and benefited from his field position on the following day, navigating his way to the final table.
The 30-year-old from St. Petersburg picked up poker 11 years ago during his military service. He turned pro after his duty in the army was over. Shirshikov's bread and butter has always been cash game. He used to grind as "OMGinmarsat8" online on PokerStars, where he'd been involved in a lot of mixed games. However, he quit his online career last year and transitioned into live cash games. Shirshikov spends most of his time in Russia playing here in Sochi, but he also travels a lot. After the PokerStars Championship wraps up, Shirshikov will be headed west. He plans to travel around Europe and play in various casinos.