In less than two years, Russian-born Mikhail went from serving in the military to winning a WSOP bracelet. He was taught the game by fellow soldiers and would enjoy playing when he got the opportunity to do so. Once he finished his service, he tried his hand at professional poker and enjoyed a meteoric rise in the tournament world.
After a couple of EPT cashes at the start of 2010, Lakhitov headed to Las Vegas to take part in the WSOP. In his very first cash at the series, he finished in-the-money just two places short of a final-table finish at the $1,500 No Limit Hold’em Six-Handed event. Nonetheless, the run made him $41,645 and gave the Russian a taste of the big money that was to be enjoyed up top. A month later, he won an event at the Bellagio Cup VI and made two more final tables at EPT events before the year closed out.
Ironically, Mikhail did not know that WSOP winners were awarded with a bracelet to commemorate their victory on his first outing to Las Vegas in 2010. When he found out about this after seeing a collection of winners’ pictures, he promised his wife that he would win a gold bracelet at the 2011 WSOP and would bring it home for her. A man of his word, Mikhail ended up taking down the $2,500 No Limit Hold’em event for $749,610 – and that all-important bracelet. This came shortly after he’d already made a final table in the $5,000 No Limit Hold’em event at the same series.
Mikhail’s achievement marked a truly sensational run for a player with less than eighteen months of professional experience in the game. After racking up over $1,200,00 in just a couple of years, Lakhitov appears to have retired from poker with no recorded cashes since 2013.