WPT Merit Cyprus Classic'14 (Sep 1st - Sep 11th, 2014)
The incredible back-to-back victory of the Russian poker player Alexander Lakhov of the World Poker Tour Merit Classic National & WPT Merit North Cyprus Classic’14 Main Event in the space of just a few months is simply extraordinary.
A 42-year old player Lakhov was one of 404 entrants in the $4,400 buy-in Main Event, which happens to be the largest-ever WPT Main Event held in Cyprus. He entered the final table second in chips but became not only a worthy winner during the 31st level played, but also the newest member of the WPT Champions club.
Have you ever thought that you could win two main events back-to-back in the same place?
No, of course, I have never imagined anything like this could have happened. Nobody would think I am sure. Even if a player joins the events in a certain place regularly and wins a main event once, he would never admit the second immediate victory possible. This was an incredible chance!
Exactly! If we look at the comments on the poker websites, we find that everyone agrees that it was unbelievable and you were very lucky to become the main event winner twice in two subsequent poker tours held in Merit. Was it luck or your knowledge that helped you to get the winner’s crown, what do you think?
If we look at both events together, then I have to say that luck was the predominant factor of my victory. If we analyze them one by one, we may see that my knowledge and skills also played a very important role in winning.
Do you consider Merit your luckiest place?
Well, I think so. I spend a lot of time here, in Cyprus and Merit is my favorite place for playing poker. I hardly missed any of the Merit Poker events, so I suppose, it is right to say that our love is reciprocal.
You have won the $15,400 ticket for the World Poker Tour World Championship at Borgata. How do you prepare yourself for this grand event?
If we compare the WPT World Championship in Borgata with The November Nine event, which is the name used to refer to the final nine contestants, or final table, at the Main Event of the World Series of Poker (WSOP), when the players hire special coaches and take courses or lessons prior to it, I did not do anything yet. Borgata Championship is in April 2015, still a long time away. I shall definitely undertake certain steps to get ready for it.
Which of the tournaments you have played was the most difficult for you?
Definitely the last one, WPT Merit North Cyprus Classic’14. Even the WPT in Prague in 2012, where I have won the second place and considered it a difficult one cannot be compared to the last tournament I have played here. WPT Merit North Cyprus Classic’14 was a very balanced event, where all the players at the final table were of the same skill level. We did not have any super-stars at the final table, perhaps, but all the participants were very tough and highly professional.
Before you had a lucky ball with you, what was you magical amulet this time?
Yes, that is right I had a little ball for luck. This time, though, it was not the ball; it was a cardholder from the poker tour in Macau. I think it has brought me luck and you can even see it on some of my pictures.
What are your expectations from the World Championship in Borgata and what are your plans for the future?
I dream of winning it, of course, but my expectations are more realistic – to show the best performance and win some money, what else could a poker player wish? I have no major plans; I just enjoy my life, play my favorite game and travel the world to join various tournaments.