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Winner’s Circle -- Yevgeniy Timoshenko

The WPT Champion Talks About the Challenge That Comes with Tough Opponents

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Yegeniy Timoshenko -- I Always Work Out With Bricks of CashThe Winner’s Circle takes a look at the biggest wins from the tournament trail by the players who made it happen. This series will look at the big hands, toughest opponents, and paths to victory each player took in their most recent tournament win through their own eyes and words. If you ever wanted to know what it takes to win a major poker tournament, this is a good place to start.

This week features World Poker Tour Championship winner Yevgeniy Timoshenko. Card Player caught up with him in Monte Carlo a few days after his big win, and he reflected on how he won one of the biggest titles of the year at just 21 years of age.

Ryan Lucchesi: What were the main differences you noticed between the field in the tournament you just won at Bellagio and what you’re up against here at the European Poker Tour Grand Final?

Yevgeniy Timoshenko: There are a lot more satellite qualifiers in this tournament who are playing scared and really just want to make the money. They’re not all necessarily online qualifiers, but I noticed that at my day-one starting table there were a lot of inexperienced people for whom you could tell this buy-in meant a lot. They were inexperienced in a live setting, so you could pick up tells on them and play back at them a little bit to exploit them.

RL: You came into the final table at the WPT Championship with a chip lead of 13 million, and your victory was never in question among the final six. Did you have all of your opponents figured out? What led to such a dominant winning performance?

YT: I played a good amount with all of those guys earlier in the tournament, and then Christian Harder and Shannon Shorr I’ve played a lot with online, so I had a pretty good grasp of their games and what they were trying to accomplish. And ElkY, who’s an incredibly tough player, I knew he needed to finish at least fourth or better to win WPT player of the year. I knew that meant a lot for him, and that gave me an opportunity to pick on him a little bit, because I knew he would probably pass on some marginal spots to try and move up to secure fourth or better.

RL: Does having so much information built up in your internal profile of these familiar players make it easier for you to play them, or does it make it even more difficult because they know you’re putting them on a certain playing style and they will then try to confuse you even further?

YT: I would have definitely preferred to play against a final table full of amateurs, even though I have a lot of history with the final table. They’re all so incredibly bright, smart players who are capable of adjusting, so it wasn’t going to be easy. Just because I know a couple of things about them doesn’t mean they weren’t going to mix it up and also use what I know to their advantage and think on the next level to play back at me.