WPT Russia is only three years old, but there is still something cool about achieving a superlative in a World Poker Tour event. On Sunday, 19-year-old Maksim Sekretarev won the Main Event, becoming the youngest player to win WPT Russia. For his achievement, he banked $160,694 and, of course, got his name emblazoned on the Mike Sexton Champions Cup.
Naturally, Sekretarev also becomes one of the youngest ever to win a major live poker tournament. Considering he would not even be allowed to gamble at most casinos in the United States and is barely above the cutoff in the majority of locations worldwide, there isn’t much room for a younger winner.
The record for the youngest World Poker Tour champ is still held by Lukas Borglund, who won WPT Barcelona on May 29, 2011 when he was 18 years, ten months old.
Sekretarev used an aggressive strategy to dominate most of the tournament. He had more than two times the starting chip stack after Day 1, was second in chips after Day 2, and finished Day 3 as the chip leader. Day 3, though, was an adventure, as his play style also led to him almost getting knocked out before storming back to the top spot.
The six-handed final table was mostly a romp for Sekretarev, who eliminating all five of his opponents. It wasn’t quite a wire-to-wire final table victory, as he did become the short-stack for a brief time when action was three-handed, but overall, Sekretarev was large and in charge.
Going into heads-up play, Sekretarev had a sizeable lead on Andrey Volkov, 7.8 million chips to 2.2 million. It took just four hands for him to finish things off.
On the final hand Sekretarev limped pre-flop, Volkov shoved for 2.5 million, and Sekretarev called quickly. Volkov had Td-8d, not the worst hand in the world for a desperation move, even though it was behind Sekretarev’s Kh-Qc. Neither player paired anything, meaning Sekretarev’s hand held, giving him the pot and the championship.
For Volkov, it was a very satisfying runner-up finish. He was almost down to the felt at one point on Day 3 and was one of the bottom stacks heading into the final table, so he did not have high expectations.
“Before the final six, I would have been happy to just ladder up to fourth place, so finishing second is an amazing result,” he said afterward.
The win makes up the bulk of Sekretarev’s lifetime live tournament cashes. All told, according to TheHendonMob.com, he has $183,386 in live earnings, with no others more than $4,000.
2021 World Poker Tour Russia Main Event – Final Table Results
- Maksim Sekretarev – ₽11,996,600/$160,694
- Andrey Volkov – $107,135
- Ravil Khamatgareev – $78,232
- Vladimir Bozinovic – $57,942
- Vanush Mnatsakanyan – $43,530
- Sergey Bobrik – $33,183