Following the same path as many others who later became multi-millionaire poker players, Russian pro Ivan Demidov started out playing computer game StarCraft. But by the time he graduated in 2004 from Moscow State University with a degree in Math, he'd moved on to the far more lucrative poker circuit - a career progression that would change his life forever just four years later.
Before 2008, Ivan had a few cashes in tournaments back home in Moscow. He also made the final table of a side event at the Doyle Brunson Five Diamond World Poker Classic in 2007, taking home $21,710 for a 3rd place finish. At the 2008 World Series of Poker*, he picked up a cash of $39,000 for almost making the final table of the $1,000 No Limit Hold'em event, eventually finishing in 11th. But even with this confidence boost, Ivan probably didn't rate his chances too highly when it came time for the Main Event. It may be the biggest title in poker, but with over 6,000 runners, getting there is one hell of a long road.
Someone has to make it though. And after eleven long days and 6,835 eliminations, Ivan found himself one of the final nine, with a real shot at winning the title. In the 117 day break before the Final Table was set to begin, Ivan could have taken some well-earned time off. But that's not his style. Instead he went to London to play in the World Series of Poker* Europe Main Event. He somehow made the final table there as well, picking up $608,995 for a third place finish - and a place in the history books as the first player to make the final table of both World Series Main Events. When November finally rolled around, Ivan used his aggressive style to get heads-up against Peter Eastgate. He eventually finished as runner-up, an incredible achievement that was worth a huge payday of $5,809,595.
He may have just missed out on achieving every poker player's dream, but Demidov is no doubt set for great things. Already sitting comfortably at the top of the all time money list for Russian players, you get the feeling that Ivan is just getting started. He is a member of Team PokerStars Pro and plays online using the screen name ‘Ivan Demidov’.
|EPT Madrid Grand Final||May 2011||67th||$29,685|
|RPS Riga €1,850 No Limit Hold'em Main Event||May 2011||4th||$24,552|
|2008 WSOP $10,000 Championship Main Event||November 2008||2nd||$5,809,595|
|2008 WSOPE £10,000 Championship Main Event||September 2008||3rd||$608,995|
|2008 WSOP $1,000 No Limit Hold’em||June 2008||11th||$39,854|
*World Series of Poker and WSOP are trademarks of Caesars License Company, LLC ("Caesars"). Caesars does not sponsor or endorse, and is not associated or affiliated with PokerStars or its products, services, promotions or tournaments.
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