With a lot of tables going throughout Day 1 and into Day 2, Oleg “Fukuruku” Vasylchenko wasn’t necessarily paying too close attention to 2020 Spring Championship of Online Poker Event #9-H ($530 NLHE, Afternoon Deep Stack).
Nor was he even all that optimistic about where things would end up on the final day. Not until the 930-entry field started to shrink and the payouts started to grow, that is.
“You can’t do anything in particular to win a specific tournament,” says Vasylchenko. “You can just play what you’re dealt. So I hadn’t any hopes. I started to pay attention when it was like 20 left. I remember [getting] a pretty big hand rush and no difficult flop plays. Sometimes the game really is simple.”
Having reached the final table, it didn’t take Vasylchenko long to recognize there were some tough opponents left to outlast, including Christopher “lissi stinkt” Frank.
“He was unfortunate to be seated just to my right, so he couldn’t play much,” says Vasylchenko of Frank. Meanwhile there were several shorter stacks, among them “PaGoOVelhino” of Brazil.
“Unfortunately for him, I got him pretty dirty,” explains Vasylchenko.
Indeed, the hand saw some preflop machinations conclude with Vasylchenko put in a big five-bet jam with A♠7♠ and “PaGoOVelhino” call in a flash with A♦A♣. Alas for the Brazilian, the board brought three clubs and a flush for “Fukuruku.”
“Well, you know… suited ace, chip leader, ICM, aggression, blockers… all those words,” grins Vasylchenko.
With a big lead things continued to go well for him thereafter. He even withstood his own aces getting cracked by Frank’s ace-king at three-handed, with Frank ultimately finishing third and Vasylchenko taking his first SCOOP title and a big $77,273.17 first prize.
“I had a couple of SCOOP final tables before, and a bunch of top 10-18 finishes, but had never won one. It’s my second largest cash online.”
Vasylchenko has been a full-time player for about 10 years now. He started out, he says, as “a poor student looking for ways to make myself a bit richer.” Like many on PokerStars he began with freerolls and the penny games, then after winning a little he started to learn.
“I played cash every day after classes in my university,” explains the Ukrainian. “Finally I could cash out $100… it was great.”
Cash games eventually became more repetitive than he liked, so Vasylchenko turned his attention to tournaments which is where you’re most likely to find him over the last seven years. We’ve seen him at the live tables as well during that period at various EPT stops. He has a WPT Main Event title under his belt, too, collected at Prague in 2016.
When not at the tables Vasylchenko likes to play tennis, read science fiction, and follow the latest scientific and technological advances. “I’m a plasma physicist by education,” he says, noting how he likes to follow the latest news in physics.
We’re glad to report the latest news here to share how the gravitational pull of chips went Vasylchenko’s way over the weekend in Event #9-H. And we wish him well for the rest of SCOOP as he continues to play what he’s dealt.