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Ukrainian born Eugene Katchalov moved to the United States at the age of 10, where his family would eventually settle in Brooklyn, New York. He was an active child who participated in various sporting activities including basketball, tennis, and bowling, and he also enjoyed spending his time learning the strategy of board games and online games such as Warcraft 2. After high school, Katchalov enrolled in the Stern School of Business at New York University, where he graduated with a double degree in finance and international business and began a career in stock trading. It was during this same time that he developed an interest in poker while playing home games with his college buddies. That interest led him to the virtual felt where he began fine tuning his skills through small stakes limit hold‘em cash games.
Eugene’s lucrative poker career began with his first live-event cash in December 2004 when he made the final table of a $3,000 NLHE tournament at the Five Diamond World Poker Classic where he would finish in 5th place and collect $47,868. In his first full year as a poker pro, Eugene would cash 8 times, but it was his winnings in 2007 that thrust the young player into the headlines. Following several smaller cashes early in the year, Eugene would take 1st place in the Bellagio Cup $5K No Limit Hold’em Event for over $118K before landing his biggest victory yet with his first place finish in the $15,000 Doyle Brunson Classic No Limit Hold’em event, earning him over $2.5 million dollars.
Eugene’s poker career would continue through 2010 with a litany of 5 and 6 figure paydays, but it would be his performance in 2011 that would earn him the coveted title of Bluff Magazine Player of the Year. Beginning with the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure in early January, Katchalov bested a field of the game’s most influential players to win the $100,000 No Limit Hold’em Super High Roller Event, earning $1.5 million dollars for his efforts. Just 10 days later, he would take home $131,920 for his 2nd place finish in the $10,000 No Limit Hold’em High Roller 6 max event. Eugene cashed a total of 13 times in 2011, and took home one of the most sought after prizes in poker; a WSOP gold bracelet in the $1,500 Seven Card Stud event.
With over $7,000,000 in earnings, a WSOP bracelet, and a WPT title, this poker maestro is etching his way into the record books one victory at a time.