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Alexander Shelukhin Finishes 3rd in Millionaire Maker for $609,000


Without the community, Pokercode wouldn’t be where it is today. Which is why we take such pride in sharing the successes our community accomplish at the tables. Whether it’s achieving the biggest score of their poker career or fixing a leak in their game that has held them back, we share that feeling of progression together.

As we know, success doesn’t happen overnight, it’s a process. This week our Community Success Manager Adam sat down with community member Alexander ‘FreeMars’ Shelukhin who understands that process tenfold. From years of battling through the stakes, he bagged a career-high score of $609k in the $1.5k Millionaire Maker WSOP Online GG Event.

Who is Alexander ‘FreeMars’ Shelukhin?

Alexander Shelukhin, aged 44, is a poker player from Moscow, Russia. He’s been an avid member of the Pokercode community since late 2019, and ever since then, has grown and developed just as much as our brand.

Starting as a casino dealer 25 years ago, he instantly fell in love with the game and started attending live events with his friends not too long after that. Despite moderate success in his early days of playing live poker, he realized that he had a ‘misunderstanding’ of the basics and wanted to start from scratch to build the foundations of his game, which is where Pokercode came along.

As one of the first pre-sale buyers of Pokercode in 2019, Alexander was here from the get go and was ready to take his game to the next level. In 2021, he became a personal student of Steffen Sontheimer, one of our Pokercode coaches and well, we know it’s only going one way after that.

Through years of studying and learning, Alexander is accomplished in both cash games and MTT’s, mixing up his schedule every month to get the most out of his skill-set. Playing live tournaments from $500-$5,000 one week of every month, online MTT’s with an ABI of $90 several times a week and NL500 cash games 4-5 days a week, he really can do it all.

Achieving such a monumental result can impact players in a multitude of different ways, but how has Alexander dealt with the success? Adam caught up with him earlier in the week to ask him a few questions about the experience and what he has planned for the future.

Alexander Shelukhin Finishes 3rd in Millionaire Maker for $609,000

How Winning $609,000 Impacted Shelukhin

It’s not every day you win well over $600k, but the score would impact everyone in a different way. When Shelukhin was asked about the magnitude of the score it became clear that it was an outlier on his resume. With his biggest scores being $19,000 on the online felt and $54,000 on the live felt, the score was over 10 times bigger than his previous record.

Anyone playing for huge sums of money would have a valid excuse of the added pressure, but Sheluhkin remained ice cold when he reached the final table. “I managed to not think about the money and I did not feel pressure because of it. I did realize the ICM implications and managed to perform some good moves to pressure my opponent.”

And while the added pressure of the money on top of the tournament didn’t have an impact on Shelukhin’s play, the coaching that he had with Steffen Sontheimer definitely helped him on the right track. “I just adore how we transformed my way of thinking in-game. He describes and explains in a very effective style. It allowed me to progress in a relatively short space of time.”

Steffen thought Shelukhin a great general understanding of the game so he could navigate his way through different parts of the game tree and to maximize his EV. “As usual there were not many post-flop spots in-game on the final table, but I had many hands on my way to the FT to discuss with Steffen”.

The turning point on Day 2

The later stages of a tournament are crucial to the success of any tournament run. Finishing in 3rd is of course an amazing result, but when Shelukhin was asked about key hands he recalled one from early on Day 2. “The key hand at the beginning of Day 2 allowed me to increase my stack to 80 big blinds. This gave me the opportunity to play more hands and apply more pressure on my opponents. I’m not sure if Steffen will like my turn call, but I had my reasons for this.”

Shelukhin went on to make the final table being 3rd in chips.

Alexander Shelukhin Finishes 3rd in Millionaire Maker for $609,000

Shelukhin sent the hand to Steffen to discuss, but the Pokercode community is always a helping hand in situations like this.

Join the Pokercode Discord server and get an inside look!

When Shelukhin was asked about the community and about Pokercode he was incredibly positive. “The impact of the community is huge. Although I’m not too much involved in discussions. I like the constant flow of new content. It’s just amazing that we have direct access to the knowledge of Fedor, Matthias, and Steffen. This is my main driver to constant Pokercode usage.”

Shelukhin emphasized the importance of mindset in a self-educated environment. With Pokercode adding new coaches to the roster every now and then, he told us it inspires him to spend more time on self-education as well.

What’s Next?

The $609,000 score undoubtedly boosted Shelukhin’s bankroll, but we won’t see him suddenly play much higher stakes. “Big prize money won’t affect my strategy. I increase my buy-in level only when I play +EV at a certain level. It’s the best incentive for me to keep growing!”

Shelukhin shared with Pokercode that he mostly focusses on live tournaments, and it showed only two weeks later that the rungood didn’t fade yet for the Russian native. Shelukhin took down the $4,100 Super High Roller in Casino Sochi during the Sochi Poker Festival for another $73,000!

Alexander Shelukhin Finishes 3rd in Millionaire Maker for $609,000

Start Your Journey at Pokercode

If you have the feeling you need to sharpen up your game, then Pokercode is a great place to start. Sign up for a free account and take your first steps towards becoming a better poker player. By signing up for a free account you will benefit from:

  • Participate in our free public coaching
  • Access to a list of curated study content, including one of Fedor’s study videos
  • An inside look at how the Pokercode community studies
  • Sign up now and don’t miss out!

This will also give you a few days to see what the content is like here at Pokercode, before deciding if you want to take the step into our paid offering.

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