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More WSOP and One Drop $1m event

by Eugene Katchalov |  Published: Jul 26, '12


The WSOP is finally over and now is really the only long stretch of time off from poker, or essentially VACATION TIME!  I’ll use this month’s blog to talk about how the last few important tournaments at the WSOP went for me and how the series ended in general.  I’ll leave it for the next month to talk about some of the craziness that occurred immediately following the WSOP and how hopefully amazing my vacation has gone J.

If you read my last blog, the 3 most important tournaments of the WSOP that I was looking forward to were the $50k 8-game mix, $1Million One Drop and the 10k Main Event.  The field of the $50k 8-game had a surprisingly nice turnout of over 100 players (the reason it was surprising is because it wasn’t televised this year and everyone expected the number to fall) and looking around the tables, I saw a lot of weaker players and even quite a few that I didn’t recognize.  This at first made me happy, but when I saw my own table draw and knew basically everyone at my table, many of whom I’ve played against in high stakes cash games, I realized it was one of the toughest tables in the room and so I had my work cut out for me.  Things really didn’t go well for me and although I made day 2, I busted midway through it.  Even though I finished poorly in this event, it is still one of my favorites of the year and I’m eagerly waiting to play it again next year!

A week after the $50k it was finally time to play the absolutely crazy $1Million buy-in One Drop event.  This is in many ways a strange event because 99% of poker ‘pros’ can’t afford to buy into it all on their own and the 1st prize of $18.3 million would shatter all previous records and certainly shoot whoever wins it into 1st place of all time money winner.  At the same time, all the people who are able to put up the money on their own, the super wealthy non pro businessmen, for them it’s just a fun tournament and the $18.3 Million 1st prize will have 0 impact on their lives.  In fact, quite a few of them even decided to donate a part or all of their winnings to charity.  The event reached its cap of 48 players and became one of the most memorable and diverse fields ever consisting mainly of some of the best players in the world who were able to find backing and some absolute amateurs for whom the money was not an issue with not much middle ground.  Considering the strength of the field, I was seated at a reasonably average table and although I had some very good hands and chances to get some chips, I was outdrawn quite a few times in some important pots and finally busted in a standard coin flip in the end of the day.

After the One Drop I had 2 very deep runs in big tournaments, first being the $10k 6max where I finished 21/474 and second being the $10k National Championship where I finished 13/157.  This gave me some confidence and high hopes going into the main event.  Starting with 30k in chips, I was fortunate enough to have a great table draw on day 1 and finished with over 90k in chips and a similar situation on day 2 where I finished as one of the chip leaders with just under 300k in chips and really felt great about how everything was going.  On day 3 things started off slow and I didn’t play many big pots but was still accumulating chips and just as I hit about 350k in chips, our table broke and it was time to move to a new one.  As I sat down and was still unracking all my chips, the blinds were 1200/2400 with 300 ante and I recognized almost no one at my new table.  A young player with about as many chips as me opened the action to 5400 in early position and I called with 8d8h 2 to his left.  Everyone folded and we saw a flop of Kh4s6s.  He checked and I decided to check behind without much information and really just wanting to play a small pot while still adjusting to my new table.  The turn came the 8c and my opponent bet 8,500, this was obviously my best card and I decided to raise and try to maximize on what I assumed was the best hand.  I raise to 25,000 and he called.  The river was the beautiful 2d which didn’t make the flush and completed no draws except the 35 which I thought was quite unlikely anyways.  He checked and I bet 50,000 after which he paused for a bit and check-raised me to 175,000.  This was obviously a very tough stop for me as I thought the only 2 hands that really beat me were KK and 75.  At the time I thought that 75 was much more likely to continuation bet the flop and KK would probably raise me back on the turn or if calling the turn fearing me having the 75, would probably just check call the river.  In the end, I considered all my options for about 5 minutes and really considered folding as it seemed like a really strange bluff, but decided that without any information on the player, I really couldn’t fold.  I called and he showed me 75ss that crippled me and left me with 130-140k.  It was obviously unfortunate for me that I hit the only 8 that didn’t bring the flush and also that the river was such a rag that made it very difficult for me to fold, but alas that is poker.  I still had plenty of chips to work with but literally 4 hands later, the same opponent was now on the button and opened the action to 5100 vs my Big blind, I woke up with QQ and we ended up getting it all in preflop vs his AK.  He hit has A on the turn, and after being in the top 30 or so in chips with over 1000 people remaining, suddenly I found myself walking out the door and coming to grips with how quickly my main event has ended.  Though I was quite upset at busting out, I was very happy with the way I played and even happier to finally start my vacation!

In my next blog I will write all about my trip to Colorado immediately after WSOP and mine and Elky’s escape from a possible tragedy there and the subsequent vacation that we currently just started in Asia.  Best of luck to everyone and thanks for reading!

The post More WSOP and One Drop $1m event 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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