Lunkin guns for second bracelet of 2009

Vitaly Lunkin

Vitaly Lunkin traveled a long way to return to the WSOP in 2009, and the Russian pro has picked up right where he left off in 2008.

Lunkin currently leads all players in cash won at the 2009 WSOP, with $1,907,661 in prize money so far.

Most of that purse came from Lunkin's bracelet win in the $40k Commemorative No Limit Hold'em event, which netted him more than $1.8 million.

That bracelet was Lunkin's second, coming on the heels of his first WSOP bracelet win in 2008, which he snagged in a $1,500 No Limit Hold'em event.

The Russian Hold'em and Omaha specialist is at it again, this time heading for the cash in the $10k Pot-Limit Omaha World Championship.

"My stack is a little above the average right now so I'm happy with my play," said Lunkin through a translator during a break.

A strong finish in the $10k PLO championship would put Lunkin in contention for Player of the Year honors, where Jeff Lisandro, Ville Wahlbeck and Phil Ivey are fighting it out at the top.

Lunkin isn't actively aiming for POY honors, but says he's trying to simply focus on one event at a time.

"I feel great," Lunkin said. "The toughest part is getting through the bubble, and playing right before the final table."

A bracelet win would put Lunkin amongst an elite group of players that have won two bracelets at the 2009 WSOP.

Ivey, Lisandro and Brock Parker have all taken a pair of bracelets this year, and it appears that Lunkin could be next. has full live updates of this event as we play down to a winner.

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