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Poker in a Palace

by Eugene Katchalov |  Published: May 14, '14


At the EPT Deauville I came so close to finally winning a Triple Crown. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get it done, but I still won a bunch of money for finishing second in the Deauville Main Event. So I can’t be too sad about that. After Deauville I flew out to California to play in two World Poker Tour events—the L.A. Poker Classic at the Commerce Casino and the Shooting Stars at Bay 101 in San Jose. I went pretty deep at Commerce and cashed the Main Event in 40th place, but didn’t make the money at Bay 101.


EPT Deauville Final Table

EPT Deauville Main Event Final Table

Next on my itinerary was the EPT Vienna. I had been to Vienna before to take part in a televised tournament, but we played in a casino that was full of smoke and it wasn’t a very nice experience. But this time, I was really excited to go because the tournament was held inside Hofburg Palace. It was just incredible. I never imagined we’d be allowed to play in a place like that. Everyone was in awe at our surroundings. It was actually a perfect venue for a poker tournament because it was so comfortable and spacious but it didn’t seem like a poker tournament belonged there. This is a place where you’d usually hold fancy balls or serious meetings, but it was actually perfect for a poker tournament. In fact, right before the EPT got there, all the European leaders met at Hofburg Palace to discuss the situation in Ukraine. I couldn’t believe they let us in there!


I had a wonderful experience in Vienna especially because only a few days into the festival I played the €2,000 buy-in Eureka High Roller event and won it. The tournament got over 450 players and to be able to win a big event like that is pretty sweet.


Nothing happened for me in the EPT Main Event or the High Roller but I decided to clear my calendar and stay an extra week in Vienna. My trainer Lincoln is now working at the most famous fighting gym in Vienna. I wanted to train with him as much as I could while I was there and we got in a couple of hours a day. It was really fun and it was great to hang out with him.


I really hope the EPT returns to Vienna next year. I’m on the EPT Council and the next time we have a meeting I’m going to push for us to have the tournament there again next season. Hopefully they’ll let us come back to Hofburg Palace!

The post Poker in a Palace appeared first on Eugene Katchalov.

Eugene Katchalov has been a professional poker player since 2003 and is a World Series of Poker and World Poker Tour champion. The Ukrainian native has won over $8 million on the live tournament circuit and is a member of Team PokerStars Pro.

You can read more about Eugene on his website, and follow him on Twitter and Facebook.

Any views or opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the ownership or management of
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