It was $40 here and then $40 there. That's all it took to become a Team PokerStars Pro.
Well, no. That's not all it takes for most people, but for Russian pro Maxim Lykov, it only took two small online poker deposits before he started on the road to today's announcement.
This morning, PokerStars announced that Lykov will be joining the elite stable of players known as Team PokerStars Pro.
Lykov started his poker journey back in 2005 while studying engineering in Moscow. It was only a year later that his two $40 deposits had become a big bankroll, one that is now--even by a conservative estimation--huge. He is listed as one of the highest-earning Russian live tourney players of all time.
Lykov burst on the live tourney scene in 2009 after hopscotching across the globe and collecting money like he did passport stamps. He won the Red Sea Poker Cup for $69,797. That summer in Las Vegas, he finished third in the $5,000 No Limit Hold'em Shootout for $145,062.
As if that didn't already make for a great year, Lykov went to the EPT's first event in Kyiv, bested nearly 300 players, and won the title for $468,504.
Since then he's kept collecting money from the WSOP, to the EPT, to the PCA. He's one of Russia's top pros and now has his sights set on another EPT title and a WSOP bracelet.
You will find him playing on PokerStars under the screen name 'Maxim Lykov'.
Welcome to the team, Max!