Rubik's Cube master Leonid Timonin solves Platinum Pass problem

"I love poker," Leonid Timonin said to the camera. His hands were raised, one giving a thumbs-up and the other holding a PokerStars Platinum Pass worth $30,000.

This is a man who has a quick brain and even quicker hands. He can solve a Rubik's Cube in less time than it's taken you to read the first few lines of this story. No, really. We have video proof below.

Nevertheless, despite his big brain and apparent razor-sharp mental acuity, Timonin felt like he might never get lucky again. This picture proves otherwise.

Leonid Timonin shows off his Platinum Pass

Indeed, before today Timonin thought his luck had run out.

He'd played six tournaments this EPT and managed to get a big stack early on in all of them. Then he busted out of all of them without a single cash. The EPT Sochi Cup was his last chance to make some money this series, but he ended winning more than he ever expected.

"I still can't believe it," Timonin said. "It was a complete surprise."

Timonin had no idea there'd be a draw for a Platinum Pass at the start of Day 2. The 135 survivors had a massive flipout for the Platinum Pass. Each of the 17 tables dealt one hand face-up and the survivors then moved to two tables. Another flip produced the final two players. Those two guys then flipped for the $30,000 Platinum Pass.
...a heavy metal ticket to the PokerStars Players No-Limit Hold'em Championship.

"I was really surprised when I got a full house at the first table," Timonin said. "At that moment, I felt that fate would bring me a gift."

It did.

Timonin hit a straight on his second table and got heads-up for the title. Timonin faced off against Andrey Melnik, and large crowd swarmed the table. First, the board:


Timonin was asked to flip over one card, and he did a quick eeny, meeny, miny, moe. Timonin flipped over his right card, a J♠. Melnik was more of a no-nonsense kind of guy and instantly turned over a card, the 6♥.

Timonin celebrates

Jacks were in the lead, so Melnik turned over his other hole card first: A♥. That meant jacks were still in the lead and Timonin became the proud owner of a $30,000 Platinum Pass.

Timonin plays a bit online, but isn't a professional. His biggest score so far was a 13th-place finish in a Sunday Million and a Big $109 victory.

Now he'll be playing against the big guns in the Bahamas, and Timonin feels confident.

"It's easier for me to play against strong opponents," Timonin said. "I think I'll have my best performance there."

Timonin is also excited to bring his wife and newborn son --who won't be so newborn by next January-- to the Bahamas.

In the meantime he's going to brush up on his poker, and perhaps try to improve on his award-winning Rubik's cube time. Oh, yeah, we were serious. Check out this video of him solving the Rubik's Cube. Oh...and don't blink.

Leonid Timonin is one of more than 300 Platinum Pass winners who will be going to the PokerStars Players No-Limit Hold'em Championship. Want to see more? Meet them all on in our PSPC Platinum Pass Winners index.