It may be young compared to the rest of the game, but professional tournament poker has its fair share of memorable stories. Moments like Doyle Brunson’s miracle tournament winning hand and Jack Straus’ insane comeback define competitive poker in high-stakes battles amongst legends. The best poker players are immortalized, their names living on in the annals of the game, all thanks to their immeasurable skill. Let’s unpack the accomplishments of one such poker pro: Mikita Bodyakovsky.

Player Overview

Mikita Bodyakovsky is the most successful Belarusian poker player. With more than $38 million in total tournament winnings, he sits 10th on The Hendon Mob’s all-time money list. He has won one WSOP bracelet and one European Poker Tour (EPT) title. Bodyakovsky frequents High Roller tournaments like the Triton Poker Series. Beyond his tournament career, he is a prolific cash game player. He began his career playing cash games online and has earned millions from one online poker site and he served as an ambassador for a different site from 2019-2022.

Early Life

When Bodyakovsky was five years old, he began learning chess. By age ten, he had moved on to card games, spending hours playing them. At 12, he discovered a new passion: sports betting. It became his main interest for four years. Bodyakovsky loved intellectual competition and gambling, so poker was a natural progression. 

At 16, Bodyakovsky watched a few episodes of the WSOP main event. He was immediately starstruck, becoming determined to play there one day. He started, like many other prospective pros, playing low-stakes online cash games. Then, at 18, he joined his first live tournament, and the rest, as they say, is history. 

Early Career

Bodyakovsky’s career started online, starting with low-stakes games and progressing to high-stakes poker. He has a few notable finishes online, such as a second place finish in a Sunday major in 2012 for $164,429. He also organized a 3-way deal at a $51,000 online High Roller World Championship where he earned a whopping $594,069.

Bodyakovsky dipped his toes into live poker in Ukraine in 2010. A year into playing live poker, he managed his first major cash at a $1,100 buy-in tournament, finishing second for $66,800.

Despite all of these triumphs, his career started relatively slowly. Counting only his live poker efforts in his early career, he had only had one six-figure cash and the occasional four-digit score; however, in 2015, everything changed.

An Explosive Streak

In 2015, Bodyakovsky entered the Monte Carlo High Roller scene during the EPT. We don’t know why he decided to do so, but it certainly paid off. He managed a few five-digit cashes and improved to the point where he started making final tables.

In May 2016, he earned his first live six-figure score, earning $240,925 for finishing 6th in a No Limit Hold’em – Super High Roller tournament. Bodyakovsky had numerous other strong finishes that year, making three $100,000+ cashes in various EPT Events. His most significant cash that year was $550,412 for finishing second in The Monte-Carlo One Drop Extravaganza No Limit Hold’em event. 

A better year for Bodyakovsky was 2017, beginning with a $133,062 first-place finish at the Aussie Millions Poker Championship Six-Max event. He followed that up with a third-place finish at a Macau Poker Cup Event for $124,372. 

He collected an additional $420,255 for a win at the 2017 Macau Billionaire Poker Spring Challenge. Earning even more six-figure scores throughout the year at events like the Triton Poker Series and other championships, Bodyakovsky’s year culminated in a $516,536 second-place run at the 2017 Asia Championship of Poker.

But in actuality, it wasn’t quite over. That massive cash was only the prelude to Bodyakovsky’s first seven-figure score. He placed third at the WSOP Europe for $1,772,822, and closed out the year with $150,692 and $451,007 second-place finishes at another WSOP Europe event and a championship event in Prague. 

Bodyakovsky’s career continued to trend upwards from here. He began 2018 with a $297,198 win at the Asia Pacific Poker Tour. He then took down the Triton Poker Super High Roller Main Event for $2,499,184, following that with a fourth-place finish in the 2018 Super High Roller Bowl for $1,600,000.

The back-to-back seven-figure scores propelled Bodyakovsky even further. He won the Triton Poker Super High Roller Series Main Event in Jeju for $5,257,027, the biggest cash in his career. Similar to his first Triton Series win, he scored another $1,912,903 win in the EPT directly after. 

Finally, Bodyakovsky rounded out this insane year with $305,950 and $899,658 from two fourth-place finishes at the WSOP Europe. He’s recently had two million-dollar wins in the 2021 WSOP and 2022 EPT, showing that his career is not even close to slowing down.