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Sergey Brykalin fired up his partypoker account one morning and found an $11 ticket waiting for him. Brykalin decided to use his free ticket to buy into the WPTDeepStacks #06 Mini Turbo Knockout and see if he could run up a stack. The Russian star did more than run up a stack, he went all the way and outlasted 8,952 opponents and banked the $5,834 top prize plus $3,000 worth of bounties for a combined prize worth $8,834.

Brykalin was about to go on vacation and almost missed his free ticket. He checked the partypoker Discord channel and saw someone talking about partypoker giving away free tickets, so decided to check his account on the off chance he had been randomly selected. It turns out that he had.

Although Brykalin made it through to Day 2, he did so with an average-sized stack, which did not fill him with confidence for going on and winning the event. With only 30 players remaining, Brykalin made a mistake that saw his stack drop to around nine big blinds, but managed to spin his stack back up to 30 big blinds.

Brykalin’s Jack Melt Snowmen

With only three tables remaining, the Poker Gods looked down on Brykalin and doubled him up, giving him a very real chance to become a WPTDeepStacks champion.

“A player with 45 big blinds sat down and opened to 4.5 big blinds. He opened to 4.5 big blinds again from early position, and I had pocket jacks in the big blind. All my 29 big blinds ended up in the middle of the table, and he called with eights. Miraculously, my jacks held and I was now the chip leader. The rest is history.”

Our champion eventually found himself heads-up against Sweden’s Karl Johan Bjorklund. Both heads-up players locked in more than $5,800 from the main prize pool, but the bounty element was now huge. Brykalin defeated Bjorklund and padded his main prize pool prize with an additional $3,000. Bjorklund was the 21st opponent Brykalin had eliminated.

The WPTDeepStacks Mini Turbo Knockout champion has played poker for more than ten years, but with some breaks along the way. he started playing cash games and played tournaments on weekends, before taking a year-long break in 2016. He returned to the grind in 2017 focussing solely on tournament poker. Brykalin plays up to 12 tables simultaneously with an average buy-in of $20.

When he’s not hitting the partypoker tables, the 33-year-old Sochi resident loves outdoor activities, including hiking, snowboarding, and beach volleyball, and investing in the cryptocurrency markets.

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