After four days of raucous play, Mihail Lakhitov emerged as the eventual winner in the 36th event of the 2011 World Series of Poker. Overcoming a field of 1,734 players, Russian-born pro took home an incredible $749,610.
One of the most notable aspects of this $2,500 No Limit Hold’em event wasn’t at the tables at all, but at the rail. The spectators at Event 36 were an especially lively bunch, drawing a great deal of attention from both the players and the press. Their exuberance and intensity was, by all accounts, a sight (and sound) to behold.
The event champion, however, is used to intense situations. Before turning pro, Lakhitov made his living as a member of the Russian Red Army. He discovered the game while on active duty, practicing extensively with his comrades. After his discharge, the newly christened veteran decided to take a shot at playing professionally. His first trip to the WSOP came last year, when he discovered that, along with the huge cash prizes, the winners of each event were rewarded with the rarest of poker treasures – the gold bracelet. Soon, the Russian’s sites were set on winning one of these treasures, which he planned to give to his wife.
Now, Mrs. Lakhitov has her bracelet, and her husband has an extra $749,610 in his bankroll.
Here were the final table totals:
#1 – Mikhail Lakhitov ($749,610)
#2 – Hassan Babjane ($463,480)
#3 – Thomas Middleton ($305,015)
#4 – Thomas Miller ($219,885)
#5 – Ed Sabat ($160,949)
#6 – Matthew Berkey ($119,528)
#7 – James St. Hilaire ($90,021)
#8 – Conrad Monica ($68,719)
#9 – Lloyd Padgett ($53,137)
Second place finisher Hassan Babjane, it should be note, logged his first ever cash in the WSOP. There were a few other notable names who finished in the including, according to a WSOP press release, “David “Dragon” Pham (37th), Andrew Cohen (49th), David Diaz (89th) and J.C. Tran (151st).”