WCOOP 2012: Team PokerStars Pro Katchalov is the Master of the Stud Hi/Lo Domain

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At the onset of the final table of WCOOP Event #14 $215 Stud Hi/Lo, Pius Heinz held one of the bigger stacks. Heinz innocently doubled up fellow Team PokerStars Pro Eugene Katchalov in what appeared to be an innocuous hand. Short-stacked Katchalov avoided elimination, but he had no idea how vital that particular hand would end up being.

Enter the butterfly effect. Sometimes the smallest ripples in time end up causing a tsunami later on down the line. It's hard to control or predict those things from happening and snowballing into something else. That scuffle with Heinz was the last time Katchalov flirted with death. Instead of being the first player to bust at the final table, Katchalov embarked on a heater and when the dust settled, he was the only player left standing.

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Team PokerStars Pro Eugene Katchalov - WCOOP #14 Champion

WCOOP Event #14 $215 Stud Hi/lo attracted 655 runners. The prize pool was worth $131,000 with the top 88 places getting a cut. $24,588.70 was set aside for the eventual champion.

Three familiar faces cashed in this event. 2011 WSOP World Champion and Team PokerStars Pro Pius Heinz and Team PokerStars Pro Eugene Katchalov both advanced to the final table. November Niner Alumni and PokerStars Team Pro Martin Stasko just snuck into the money after he busted in 86th place.

With 30 to go, both Katchalov and Heinz hovered in the Top 5 in chips. With two tables remaining, Jason "Taknapotin" Sommerville snagged the top spot while Shaun Deeb, Katchalov, and Heinz were all still in the hunt, but near the back of the pack.

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Team PokerStars Pro Pius Heinz - 3rd Place


With 14 to go, short-stacked Deeb tried to triple up but instead he hit the rail. Deeb's Q♠8♠Q♥6♥6♦4♠4♥ for "three pair" were no good. His Queens and sixes lost to lennart's J♥A♣J♣K♥6♣J♦5♦ and trip Jacks. Deeb cashed for $1,277.25 as he bowed out in 14th place.

Sommerville busted just before the final table bubble in tenth place. With nine remaining, trollringen held the lead with 577K.

Russia's shrek7771 bubbled off the final table in ninth place. Shrek7771 made a final stand with a short-stack but got flushed out by trollringen's T♦T♠7♦K♦3♥4♦6♦.

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WCOOP Event #14 - Final Table Chip Counts:
Seat 1: trollringen (746,165)
Seat 2: Gjeddekongen (589,084)
Seat 3: E. Katchalov (308,988)
Seat 4: TkalexV (359,911)
Seat 5: joeyspanne88 (256,556)
Seat 6: lennart (397,054)
Seat 7: Pius Heinz (428,104)
Seat 8: LadyDoDo91 (189,138)

With the final table set during Level XXVI and betting limits at 16,000/32,000, trollringen held the lead with 746K.

Early on, Katchalov incurred a hit and found himself the short stack. He eventually got it all-in but avoided elimination to stay alive. Katchalov successfully doubled thru Heinz when he scooped with 8♦J♠J♥5♦6♦3♠4♦ for a pair of Jacks and an 8-6-5-4-3 low against Heinz's 6♠4♠8♠7♣T♦J♦K♥. Timely double up for Katchalov, who teetered on the edge of the abyss, but for some reason, it was not his time to perish.

RIGHT PLACE WRONG TIME: joeyspanne88 eliminated in 8th place

On fifth street, trollringen held (X-X)6♥A♥A♦ against joeyspanne88's (X-X)8♠K♣2♥. Then, trollringen bet 40,000, joeyspanne88 raised all-in for 46,156, and trollringen called. Both players opened up their hands and trollringen won with 6♣2♦6♥A♥A♦3♠T♦ for two pair (and no qualifying low). Unfortunately, joeyspanne88 tabled A♣3♦8♠K♣2♥2♣J♦ for a paltry pair of deuces. Not only did trollringe win the pot, but he also surged to almost 1 million. Meanwhile, joeyspanne88 from Costa Rica became the first player to bust off the final table in eighth place, which paid out $1,965.

SAME OLD SAME OLD: TkalexV eliminated in 7th place

With seven to go, shorty TkalexV was on the brink of elimination. On sixth street, TkalexV held (X-X)5♣4♠8♦Q♦ against Heinz's 3♥8♠5♥6♥. TkalexV checked, Heinz bet 40,000, TkalexV re-raised all-in for 75,511, and Heinz called. At showdown, TkalexV tabled 6♠A♥5♣4♠8♦Q♦7♠ for an eight-high straight and a 7-6-5-4-A low. Heinz flipped over 4♥6♦3♥8♠5♥6♥2♥ for a straight flush. He also had a better low with 6-5-4-3-2 and scooped the pot. TkalexV busted in seventh place and won $2,947.50.

TRAVELING MOOD: LadyDoDo91 eliminated in 6th place

Short-stacked LadyDoDo91 made a valiant stand with (X-x)9♣7♥8♦J♦ but failed to improve and mucked on seventh street. Alas, lennart scooped the pot with 7♣5♦6♥3♦5♥Q♣4♠ for a seven-high straight and a 7-6-5-4-3 low. LadyDoDo91 was knocked out in sixth place and won $4,585.

With five to go, Katchalov's stack went from simmering to sizzle as the Ukrainian mixed-games guru surged over 1.2 million.

SUCH A NIGHT: Gjeddekongen eliminated in 5th place

Another short-stack bit the dust. This time it was Gjeddekongen who got it all-in on third street against trollringen. By seventh street, trollringen held A♣Q♥4♠2♥T♠K♠3♦ for just Ace-high with a Queen-kicker and no qualifying low. It was good enough to beat Gjeddekongen's A♥3♥Q♣T♥9♣2♣J♦. Gjeddekongen earned $6,550 for fifth place.

SHOO FLY MARCHES ON: lennart eliminated in 4th place

With four to go, both Katchalov and Heinz were first and second in chips. Action did not remain four-handed for very long before lennart bombed it all-in on third street and finished up with 7♦4♦4♣J♠K♣Q♣9♣ for a meager pair of fours and no qualifying low. Katchalov won the pot with 5♠6♣2♥K♦8♠T♦8♥ for a pair of eights. Not much, but it was good enough to win the pot. Alas, lennart hit the road but took home $9,825 for fourth place.

With three to go, Katchalov held the lead with 1.3 million and Heinz was not far behind with 1.1 million. Bringing up the rear was trollringen with 780K.

I BEEN HOODOOD: Pius Heinz eliminated in 3rd place

On fourth street, Heinz held (x-x)5♦5♣ against trollringen's (x-x)A♣8♦ and fireworks ensued. Heinz fired out 30000, trollringen min-raised to 60,000, Heinz called all-in for his last 169. By seventh street, trollringen finished up with J♣A♠A♣8♦9♦J♠Q♦ for two pair Aces and Jacks (but no qualifying low). That was good enough to beat Heinz's 4♥A♥5♦5♣3♣T♣T♦ and two pair (tens and fives). Team PokerStars Pro Pius Heinz made a remarkable run, but fell short of the mark. For a third place finish, Heinz earned $13,100.

Check out Heinz's elimination in the replayer:

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HEADS-UP: trollringen (Norway) vs. Katchalov (Ukraine)
Seat 1: trollringen (1,556,788)
Seat 3: Katchalov (1,718,212)

With two to go, Katchalov held a slight advantage over trollringen, but they were essentially almost even in chips.

COLD COLD COLD: trollringen eliminated in 2nd place

Katchalov won the first major pot of heads-up play. He took down a pot almost worth 1 million with 8♣9♣7♦5♦6♠5♥7♠ a nine-high straight. Katchalov improved to almost 5-1 in chips. It was only a matter of time before he delivered a knockout blow.

On the final and decisive hand, action went all the way to the river before short-stacked trollringen bombed it all-in with only two pair (fours and deuces) and no qualifying low holding 4♥Q♦6♦4♦K♦2♠2♣. That was not good enough to beat Katchalov, who scooped with a better two pair -- Aces and Treys -- and a 7-4-3-2-A low holding A♦3♠4♣3♣7♦2♦A♣. Katchalov won the pot and shipped the tournament. Katchalov collected $24,588.70 for first place.

Meanwhile, trollringen busted out in second place. For a gutsy runner-up performance, the Norwegian earned $17,685.

Check out the final hand in the replayer:

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Congrats to Team PokerStars Pro Eugene Katchalov for winning WCOOP Event #14!

WCOOP Event #14 Final Table Results and Payouts:
Entrants: 655
Prize Pool: $131,000
Places Paid: 88

1. Team PokerStars Pro Eugene Katchalov (Ukraine) - $24,588.70
2. trollringen (Norway) - $17,685
3. Team PokerStars Pro Pius Heinz (Austria) - $13,100
4. lennart (Sweden) - $9.825
5. Gjeddekongen (Norway) - $6,550
6. LadyDoDo91 (Switzerland) - $4,585
7. TkalexV (Russia) - $2,947.50
8. joeyspanne88 (Costa Rica) - $1,965

By the way, don't forget to check the WCOOP Leader Board. Also, tune into WCOOP Radio every day at 15:00 ET to hear about highlights and hijinks.

Pauly McGuire is a freelance writer from California.

Pauly McGuire
@PokerStars in WCOOP