Heart-to-heart: Russian genius Alexander Kostritsyn


He first knew about poker when he was 19. He won $1,450,396 on Aussie Millions at the age of 22 in 2008. Today he is 29 and he is one of the best online players in the world.

We usually write about offline players. Live poker has its own heroes and “laws”.

But there are players whose abilities and skills are that unique so their specialization doesn’t matter. Alexander “PostflopAction” Kostritsyn is one of them.

The last year was the best in Russian pro’s career. He has earned over 3.3 million according to unofficial sources. He was in top-10 of the most successful regulars.

He prefers mixed games and 2-7 triple draw, but Kostritsyn is one of the most skilful and dangerous opponents.

But this is today. What was 10 years ago?

Genius meets poker

Kostritsyn was the best in school. He was one of the best pupils in tows! His native town is small though – Volzhskiy has just 300,000 habitants.

He has rare IQ so future super regular easily entered local technical university.

By that time he became famous in Russian cyber sport community by the nickname joiso (now every poker reg recognizes that name), StarCraft and Quake3 were key disciplines.

On one of gaming forums in 2005 Russian read about poker. And it all started…

Aussie Millions Win

In 2006 young poker player tries himself in live poker in St. Petersburg and Moscow. Poker was legal in Russia back then.

World debut of Kostritsyn was on на Aussie Millions 2008, where he outplayed legendary Eric Seidel. You can see it here:

33:30 is the time code for a very interesting hand, where Seidel called our player with 5th pair! Alexander later admitted that he was sure he lost. His reaction was well written on his face.

Kostritsyn feels himself quite confident, he cashed 6 times on WSOP 2008 (in quite expensive events) for total $372,000.

“I actually like WSOP, trying to come here every year…” – he told once.

Lately it has become more difficult – he is a married guy now and has new priorities.

The way real pros learn

Kostritsyn never tried books and forums for his education. Just his own experience, just practice matters. Even on 2005 he sat to poker players full of strong players, local regulars in Russian casino.

According to words of Alexander: “You better play with strong opponents and they don’t always play big stakes”.


This approach was sometimes costly (Kostritsyn was losing when he just started) but he gained experience quickly. Now Russian plays with the strongest opponents and sometimes loses hundreds of thousands of dollars.

His latest cash was in June of 2013 on WSOP. Let’s hope, we’ll se this genius on World Seried 2015 once again.

Previous episodes:

Heart-to-heart: the man of the world Igor Kurganov

Heart-to-heart: cutie Xuan Liu

Heart-to-heart: high-principled prodigy Daniel Colman

Heart-to-heart: Vladimir Troyanovskiy or The Perfect Russian Gambler

Heart-to-heart: Kind Maniac David «Viffer» Peat


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