Katchalov Catches WSOP Gold

Eugene Katchalov
Eugene Katchalov

Celebrated poker player Eugene Katchalov added the one thing missing from his impressive poker resume late Saturday night.

Katchalov outlasted 355 players and then came back from an almost insurmountable heads-up deficit to beat Italian Alessio Isaia to win his first WSOP title in the $1,500 Seven-Card Stud event.

“I can’t describe how happy I am to finally get the monkey off my back and finally win a WSOP bracelet,” he said.

Katchalov, who resides in Brooklyn, NY, but was born in the Ukraine, already had $6.2 million in lifetime tournament winnings including a win at the WPT Five Diamond in 2007 for $2.4 million and more recently a victory in the 2011 $100k Super High Roller at the PCA for $1.5 million.

In addition Katchalov made three final tables at least year’s WSOP but the closest he came to winning a bracelet was when he came third in the $10k H.O.R.S.E. Championship.

Despite the accolades, Katchalov was modest when he accepted his WSOP bracelet and the $122k for first place. 

“It’s amazing,” he said. “I’ve been so fortunate to win all these tournaments.”

Although Katchalov was one of the chip leaders heading into the final table, he had to deal with some very tough opposition in former November Niner Eric Buchman, poker vet Ali Eslami and of course Isaia. 

Isaia has been on absolute tear in Italy and is up over $800k in the last sixth months. Katchalov simply wouldn’t be denied his first WSOP bracelet, however.

Ironically Seven-Card Stud is not one of Katchalov’s best games but he’s been playing so many mix games he seems to have picked up knack for it.

“I play against some of the best Seven-Card Stud players in the world when I’m playing cash games and that really helps my game,” he said.

Katchalov is on a serious hot streak of his own in 2011 with over $1.8 million in winnings and an entire summer of WSOP events to come.

He did mention there is one event that he’s already marked down in his calendar to play.

“The $50k Players Championship,” he said. “I can’t wait to play that one.” 

The 2011 WSOP continues through July 19. For comprehensive coverage live from Las Vegas be sure to check PokerListings’ Live Updates and News.

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