No one was more shocked than Ivan Demidov on July 15, 2008.
In the early hours of the morning, the young Russian pro found himself among the "November Nine," the group of players destined to battle it out at the November final table of the 2008 WSOP.
Forget about the fact it was Ivan's first World Series of Poker. A pro player with little live experience, Ivan had cashed in just three tournaments prior to the Main Event, including a NLHE event earlier in the 2008 Series.
No one was more shocked than Ivan Demidov
Hailing from Moscow, Russia - a burgeoning online poker hotspot - Ivan built his bankroll playing online. And though he still mainly focuses on his online game on the best real money poker sites, he has ventured into the live realm more and more in recent years.
In 2006 he cashed in fifth place in a Pot-Limit Omaha event at the Russian Poker Championships, which were held in his hometown. Emboldened, the next year he ventured to the Doyle Brunson Five Diamond World Poker Classic in Vegas, where he placed third in a $1,000 NLHE tournament for $21,710.
Soft-spoken and modest, this young gun has a bright future ahead of him. He is already supporting himself on just a couple of days of play each week and, though he admits his placing in the WSOP Main Event was pretty much like winning the lottery, you can expect to see his face at many final tables in the years to come.