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WSOP 2012

by Eugene Katchalov |  Published: Jun 27, '12


June and July is by far one of the most exciting and yet at times frustrating months of a professional poker player’s year.  After I came back from my long Euro trip in at the end of May, I got the chance to spend a few days at home in New York.  Considering the amount of time that I spend travelling, the few times I get to go home are very important to me and I take every opportunity to spend lots of time with my family and friends.  Afterwards, I pack 2 huge suitcases and book my flight to Las Vegas for a 1.5 month long trip to play the WSOP.

There are many things that I really like about Las Vegas.  Firstly, everyone speaks English so that makes it easy for me to communicate with everyone unlike in many of the European countries that I visit.  Secondly, the general atmosphere and the quality of the restaurants here is probably my favorite in the world.  Nowhere in the world have I ever been exposed to so much variety in terms of food and it seems like no matter what restaurant I go to, or what I order, every dish is absolutely incredible.  Thirdly, unlike many people that come here and party hard with the rest of the tourists, I try to take a more serious approach and work out every single day with my trainer here and try to eat very healthy.  This is of the utmost importance to me because as much as I love the competition here, it is extremely exhausting!  There are tournaments every single day and most of the time I find myself playing poker up to 14 hours per day.  That kind of schedule leaves me just enough time to sleep, workout and not much else.  While I do get occasional days off, they are rare and so this is by far the busiest time of the year for me.

My trip here has started a bit slow with me not cashing in the first 5 events that I played, and then I went really deep and finished 9th in the $5k buy-in Stud event.  Although I cashed for $18,700, I was of course quite disappointed as I bubbled the official final table and also had a real shot at potentially winning my 2nd bracelet in Stud.  The next 4 events were again blanks for me and then I played the $3k buy-in 6max NL which is a tournament structure that I really enjoy since short handed NL (or any form of poker really) is something that is much more exciting and fun as you can play more hands and poker dynamics between players come into play much more.  I went quite deep in this tournament and finished 17th out of over 900 entrants and while again this is a nice run overall, I was hoping to make the final table and have a shot at making my first big win of the year.  Nevertheless it was a fun event and I was at least happy that my good friend and fellow team Pokerstars Pro Elky was able to good deep in it with me and ended up finishing 6th in the event.  Since that tournament I played in a few others and went deep again in the $10k HORSE event finishing 17th out of about 180 people.  This is one of the more prestigious events at the WSOP as it is generally a tough field and so I was happy to go deep in it again as I have done in the years past.

We are now more than half way through the series and yet the most exciting tournaments are still yet to come!  The top 3 that are still yet to come are the $50k Players Championship 8 game mix, $1 Million One Drop and the Main event.  I’m obviously super excited to have the opportunity to play the $1 Million One Drop as that will be one of the most exciting tournaments of all time with an absolutely enormous 1st prize of over $15 million.  Though I am by no means risking anywhere close to a full million of my own money and had some people buy pieces of me, I am still very excited for it as I’ll get to play with not only some of the best poker players in the world, but also some very powerful, influential and interesting people from all over the world for whom putting up a million dollars for a tournament is no big deal.  I’m certainly hoping to save all my luck for it and will describe my experience with it in my next blog!  Take care and good luck at the tables!

The post WSOP 2012 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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