Katchalov Takes Super High Roller

Eugene Katchalov
Eugene Katchalov

Eugene Katchalov beat Daniel Negreanu heads-up to win the $100k buy-in Super High Roller event at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure on Saturday.

Katchalov, a 29-year-old Ukrainian immigrant who now lives in Brooklyn, NY, took down $1.5 million for outlasting all 37 players in the elite event.

 “I feel great about it because the competition was so tough,” said Katchalov. “It brought out the best in me.”

Katchalov, who won the 2007 WPT Five Diamond tournament, now has nearly $6 million in lifetime tournament earnings.

Although Negreanu had to settle for second place, he did take $1 million for second place and passed Phil Ivey as the winningest tournament player of all time with $14.1 million.

The tournament was the biggest buy-in event that PokerStars has ever hosted and the final table did not disappoint with noted pros Bryn Kenney, Andrew Lichtenberger, Humberto Brenes and Nick Schulman in addition to wealthy Hungarian Sandor Demjan.

Lichtenberger, known primarily as an online poker pro, was the first player to bust with Demjan close behind him. Brenes busted next but he was the first player to make it into the money and picked up $200k for his efforts.

Schulman, who entered the final table as the chip leader, fell in fourth place when he made an ill-timed bluff against Negreanu.

Three-handed lasted for some time but eventually Bryn Kenney got it in bad with 8-8 against Katchalov’s Q-Q and ended up on the rail.

It was an unusual final table for Katchalov who found himself with close friend Schulman on his left.

“It was tough because we’re best friends,” Katchalov said. “He knows more about my game than anyone else."

Another challenge for Katchalov was going heads-up against Team PokerStars Pro Negreanu.

“He made my life a living hell,” said Katchalov. “He did not give away any chips and played very well from the short stack.”

In one pivotal hand Negreanu turned a straight only to have Katchalov river quad sixes. Somehow Negreanu avoided going broke on the hand, much to the chagrin of Katchalov.

In the final hand of the tournament Negreanu picked up pocket fives, shoved, and Katchalov called with pocket fours. Katchalov binked a four on the turn to secure the tournament.

“I was fortunate,” said Katchalov.

Here are the complete final table payouts:

1. Eugene Katchalov - $1.5 million
2. Daniel Negreanu - $1 million
3. Bryn Kenney - $643,000
4. Nick Schulman - $400,000
5. Humberto Brenes - $200,00
6. Sandor Demjan - $0
7. Andrew Lichtenberger - $0

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