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Katchalov wins WSOP Seven-Card Stud title

5 Jun 2011

Eugene Katchalov defeated a field of 357 players to win the $1,500 buy-in Seven-Card Stud championship at the World Series of Poker, claiming $122,909.

Katchalov, a 30-year-old poker pro, is originally from the Ukraine. He immigrated to the U.S. at age 10 and now lives in New York, N.Y. He previously worked as a day trader before taking up poker full time.

Katchalov enjoyed a remarkable year at last year's WSOP. Despite not quite getting a victory, he was the only player to make final table appearances in three $10,000+ buy-in events during the same year. In fact, that feat currently stands as a WSOP record.

"I can’t describe how happy I am to get that monkey off my back," said Katchalov on winning his first WSOP bracelet. "It’s also great to win a gold bracelet early in the
World Series. It gives me confidence."

Katchalov won the tournament in impressive fashion. He made two dramatic comebacks. The first momentum shift took place when play was 12-handed. Katchalov went on a rush and moved into contention as the final table began. Then, he overcame close to a 3-1 chip disadvantage heads-up and ultimately earned the victory.

Katchalov visited Las Vegas for the first time six years ago. He enjoyed a significant cash in one of his first poker tournaments and decided to focus more seriously on the game afterwards.

Alessio Isaia finished second to win $75,911. He is a 24-year-old professional poker player from Cuneo, Italy. He burst upon the poker scene only three months ago by winning one the WPT Venice, one of the largest poker tournaments ever held in his home country, for 380,000 euros.

The third-place finisher was a familiar face to those who watch the WSOP on television. Eric Buchman, who finished fourth in the 2009 WSOP Main Event and won a bracelet in a limit Hold'em event last year, took third place in his best Stud finish ever.

Jonathan Spinks, from Exeter, U.K., was fourth, Dennis Parker, from Oswego, Ill., was fifth, Kai Landry, from New Orleans, La., was sixth, Ali Eslami, from Los Angeles, Calif., was seventh, and two-time gold bracelet winner Vasilis Lazarou, from Las Vegas, Nev., was eight.

In addition to those who made the final table, only one other former bracelet winner cashed (Brett Jungblut, 25th).

Tournament summary by Nolan Dalla, WSOP Media Director, reprinted by permission.
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