Posted 1/11/11 : New York pro adds another major win to his CV
Eugene Katchalov, a 29-year-old poker pro from Brooklyn in New York, added another $1.5 million to his career winnings over the weekend when he triumphed in the Super High Roller Event at the 2011 Pokerstars Caribbean Adventure tournament in the Bahamas.
It was no mean feat, for among the 38 entrants who stumped up $100 000 each to compete were ace players of international repute, and Katchalov's heads up opponent was the highly experienced Daniel Negreanu.
Nick Schulman led the chip counts when the final table action started, a good 700 000 chips ahead of his nearest rival Negreanu. Katchalov had the third biggest stack at that stage, followed by Bryn Kenney, Humberto Brenes, Sandor Demjan and Andrew Lichtenberger.
Only fifteen minutes into the final table the first elimination occurred when Lichtenberger fell to Negreanu, setting the pace for plenty of action until Kenny was ousted in third place for $643 000, leaving Negreanu and Katchalov facing off in the heads up with pretty even chip stacks.
Early in the confrontation Katchalov gained a massive advantage when he took down a $6.3 million pot, positioning him well ahead of his opponent. Although Negreanu played with boldness and talent, and enjoyed one or two good breaks of his own, he was unable to match the New Yorker's overwhelming lead and by the dinner break was at an almost 7 to 1 disadvantage.
Just an hour after dinner it was all over; Katchalov had the honours and the massive first prize of $1.5 million, and Negreanu collected a cool million as his runner up reward.
For Negreanu, the second placing was sweetened by the knowledge that his prize pushed him to the head of the all-time earner's list, overtaking the redoubtable Phil Ivey. Negreanu now heads the list on $14.1 million – a remarkable achievement.
The $1.5 million winner's prize was not Katchalov's biggest; the young pro has a long list of tournament cashes, headed by a $2.48 million first placing back in December 2007 at the WPT Bellagio Five Diamond World Poker Classic. His latest victory brings his career earnings to almost $6.5 million.