My first WSOP bracelet

teampro-thumb.JPGThough I enjoy Stud and was looking forward to playing the $1,500 WSOP Stud event if the opportunity arose, that day I was definitely concentrating much more on the 5k no-limit hold'em tournament that I was still in. Alas, I busted out of that event at around 7pm, got some dinner with friends, and signed up for Stud at around 9pm. It was quite late and nearing the end of late registration.

Coming into the event, I felt confident in my game and expected the field to be quite soft in the beginning. My first table was certainly a mix of different types of players, but certainly felt like it was on the softer side, and I was fortunate enough to do quite well there. By the time we were approaching the money in the middle of day 2, I noticed that the field has gotten quite a bit tougher and there wasn't going to be any more smooth sailing. I had a healthy chip stack for most of the tournament and was really short only 2-3 times. One very key hand that I remember was in a 3-way pot where me and Shaun Deeb were both chasing flush draws versus an obvious 2 pair. On the river, we both made a flush, but I made a higher one and scooped the whole pot being all-in. There were of course some other very important hands where I survived being all-in on the final table when I was short.

When we were three-handed, at one point I had about 50,000 in chips while both of my opponents had about 800,000 each. I really didn't expect that I could come back from such a deficit, but then while I was able to pick up some ante's and steal attempts here and there, Allessio knocked out Eric and we went heads up with me having about 200k vs his 1.6mil.

I was very excited at this point as I didn't even expect to reach 2nd, and also realized that even though I was short, my chances of winning weren't too bad and I tried to make the best decisions I could with what I was dealt. After I went on a nice rush and won the tournament, I felt a huge flood of joy at having finally won a WSOP bracelet which has eluded me for some years. This is also the best possible way I could have hoped for to start my summer and am now even more confident and looking forward to doing well in more tournaments!

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Photo courtesy WSOP

Eugene Katchalov
@PokerStars in PokerStars news