POKER

Eugene Katchalov wins PCA Super High Roller; Main Event begins

TAGs: Daniel Negreanu, Eugene Katchalov, PokerStars Caribbean Adventure

eugene-katchalov-pca-super-high-rollerThere were 38 players willing to plunk down the $100k buy-in, but it’s Eugene Katchalov who’s $1.5m richer after triumphing at the 2011 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Super High Roller event.

The final table began with Katchalov’s good buddy Nick Schulman as chip leader, but after Schulman went all-in against Daniel Negreanu’s queen-high flush, Schulman was all out. When Katchalov’s pocket queens sent Bryn Kenney’s pocket eights a packin’, the stage was set for heads-up play between Katchalov and Negreanu. Though the two started off with relatively level chip stacks, Katchalov quickly bagged a pair of big pots, creating an imbalance from which Negreanu never recovered.

However, Danny’s disappointment at finishing second will be tempered by the knowledge that his $1m prize pushes him past Phil Ivey on the all-time poker money list. Go Canada! (It won’t take the sting out of the recent collapse at the World Junior Hockey Championship, but it’s a start.) For the record, the win elevates Katchalov from 70th place to around 40th, but he’s not yet 30 years old, so give him time. Anyway, the rest of the day’s earners tallied as follows: Bryn Kenney $643k; Nick Schulman $400k and Humberto Brenes $200k.

Next up at the PCA is the $10k buy-in Main Event, which got underway on Saturday. A total of 647 players sat down on Day 1a, with 281 players surviving and the rest (including Chad Brown, Vanessa Selbst and Arnaud Mattern) licking their wounds and sipping fruity cocktail drinks on the white sand beaches of the Bahamas. (There are worse places to wallow.)

The PCA may be grabbing all the headlines, but it’s not the only poker tournament going on The Southern Poker Championship kicked off in Biloxi, Mississippi on Friday. The tourney runs until Jan. 27, with the showpiece being the World Poker Tour main event starting Jan. 23. On Thursday, the WSOP Circuit touched down at the Choctaw Casino Resort in Durant, Oklahoma. The action last until Jan. 24, with the Main Event beginning Jan. 22. And finally, the Asian Poker Tour hits Cebu City in the Philippines on Monday for a week-long program that includes the Main Event beginning on Jan. 13.

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