Illini213 – Taking 2012 By Storm

illini213, steve barshak poker playerSteve Barshak or the popular online poker player, illini213, was born in Kiev but emigrated to the United States at a very early age. His love for poker has seen him live quite the nomadic life, but he has never let this get in the way. His growth as a poker player is something that would fascinate many. So what makes this young player stand out from the rest of the online poker stars?

Riding high on present success

Barshak has recorded an overwhelmingly high success rate at all his online tournaments so far this year. He started off 2012 with a success at the Sunday Warm-Up tournament on PokerStars. He won a total amount of $131,028 in this tourney. For the rest of the year, he raised the bar higher by wining the two day WCOOP-29 title for which he earned a handsome amount of $225,490.

After his huge success at the WCOOP, Illini213 confessed that he had to give the tournament his best, especially since there were a lot of good players at the table. Winning a title is always a big achievement for any poker player and nabbing a WCOOP bracelet just adds the cherry on the cake.

At present he has a stable ranking at the WCOOP along with the Pokerfives list and has proved all the people who thought he was a one hit wonder absolutely wrong. This 24 year old player is regarded as one of the most successful online players of 2012.


At present Barshak has a grand total of $3,516,055.72, and he is definitely a force to reckon with as far as all the other players are concerned. His live poker earnings stand at $12,222, inclusive of all tournament winnings.

The turning point in Illin213’s professional career

Currently placed at a very impressive number 2 position on the PocketFives rating this young talent has slowly established his tricks at the online poker tables since his start in 2007.

Even though Illin213 started playing in 2007, he became a familiar face and started attracting attention only in 2010. He kicked off 2010 with a series of victories, starting from the events on PokerStar Sunday 500 for a amount of 88,500. He also won the Full Tilt Poker later on that year. An interesting fact about this player is that he likes to listen to music (rock, classical, rap and electronic) to ‘zone in’ and maintain a laser sharp focus at tournaments.

Illini213’s personal interests

Even though Barshak is widely appreciated and acknowledged for his poker skills he is humble enough to recognize his talented opponents. He admits that he enjoys playing poker with certain players as they make the game challenging and more exciting. Of the many poker players he admits to enjoying a bout with Puffinmypurp, getting Daize, In a Gang, Govshark2 and Cotchery89.

Apart from playing poker Illini213 fancies outdoor sports. He is extremely fond of football and basketball and enjoys playing them whenever he finds the time. Apart from outdoor sports he also likes to keep in shape through weight lifting. Unsurprisingly, he loves poker the most and he admits that he thoroughly enjoys competing in the NLHE high stakes MTTs. It is his favorite online poker tournament so far he says.

Apart from his hobbies there is little else about his personal life available on the public forum. Looks like Illini213 prefers to let his poker skills and wins do all the talking!


“Winning a title has been a huge goal of mine since I started playing professionally two-and-a-half years ago. It has felt like a long time coming and I’ve had a lot of big runs and final table bubbles in major online and live events. It feels great for everything to come together, play my ‘A’ game, and win the bracelet.”

“I plan on going to lot of big live events and should be playing my first $25K soon. Winning a major live event is another big goal of mine that I know I am going to accomplish very soon. I love working on my game and always trying to become better. I’m really excited for what the next year entails for me.”

It is apparent that Illini213 is concentrating on his poker game and keen to maximize his earnings while adding to his tournament wins. In the latest PokerStars NL Hold’em tournament, he came in third place and won $4,641.30.