The WCOOP winner stories arrive in many forms. While we see many of the usual suspects turning up at those “M” and “H” final tables, the lower buy-in “L” events often present us players we haven’t met before. The champs in those events are realizing similarly-sized ROI’s to those playing bigger — and equal the excitement, too.

Case in point — “snovalshik1” of Russia, who on Tuesday managed to take down WCOOP Event #18-L, a $5.50 buy-in no-limit Omaha hi-lo event (for which he entered only once). For the price of a piroshki and a drink and the investment of a couple of days’ worth of NLO8 grinding, snovalshik1 earned a handsome $3,408.17 payday — close to 620 times what he invested!

I had the chance to talk to snovalshik1 about what he experienced on his way to the win. And by “talk” I mean exchange messages with each other with both of us relying on Google translate for assistance, as our only common language was the one of cards and chips.

“On some sort of courage”

“Soon after the tournament started, I was transferred to a table where there was a player with a big stack,” he explained. “Something like 400K, when the tournament average was still just around 30K.”

While some might view such a table change as less than favorable, for snovalshik1 it turned out to be a bit of good fortune.

“This player was very active, playing a wide range of hands,” says snovalshik1. Google translate is trying to say that the player “was on some sort of courage,” which I like to think means the guy was one of those maniacs raising every pot and driving everyone nuts.

Indeed, that’s exactly the scene snovalshik1 goes on to describe.

“Involuntarily, the entire table, as they say, got all wound up. Almost everyone tried to confront him, which for many ended sadly. But I managed to double through him, and subsequently was able to build up a stack comfortably without having to commit to any preflop all-ins.”

“Everything ended well”

That sequence positioned snovalshik1 well heading into the final day of play.

“I managed to finish the first day in the top 10, if I’m not mistaken. Getting to the final table wasn’t easy, but nevertheless I managed to get there where, again, things were not simple. At one point I lost more than half my stack, but then I picked up A-Q-6-2 single-suited (with the ace suited), and while trying to steal the blinds ended up making a flush and winning a big one.”

A little later came another big and fortunate hand in which he nearly tripled his stack while knocking out two opponents. “It was just luck,” he says, although with the big stack he was able to push his advantage against the others as they became short. “They had to wait for hands to put in their chips, and in general everything ended well for me.”

It was a most satisfying conclusion for the part-time player.

“This is my first title in the WCOOP series, which of course is very nice,” he says. “I don’t play regularly — just now and then in tournament series.”

Making the most of opportunities

Even though he doesn’t play poker all the time, the game still “periodically affects my life,” he says.

He’s won packages online before to play in series at Macau and in the Irish Open. “I got a lot of impressions,” he explains, getting to “meet and talk with interesting people.” Like many others who’ve had that opportunity, snovalshik1 has found the “live poker atmosphere provides an unforgettable experience.”

And WCOOP Event #18-L will no doubt prove unforgettable to snovalshik1, too.

“Thanks for the opportunities you give the players,” he says.

Thanks as well to snovalshik1 for giving us the opportunity to hear about his big win!


Give yourself the opportunity to have some fun and perhaps win a bundle like snovalshik1 did. Click here to open a PokerStars account.

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