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Toronto for SCOOP

by Eugene Katchalov |  Published: Jun 05, '14


It’s been a good year of poker, but I’ll be taking a break from it pretty soon.  First let me tell you about the poker, then I’ll explain why I’m about to be away from the tables for a little while. 

The European Poker Tour season ended not too long ago, and it went pretty well for me. 

Early on I had a second-place finish in a £2K side event at London, I had decent runs in Prague in both the Main and the High Roller (which I bubbled), in Deauville I finished second in the Main Event, and then in Vienna I won a €2K side event.  I didn’t fare too well at the Grand Final in Monaco, unfortunately, but I was happy about Season 10 as a whole and am definitely looking forward to Season 11 and Barcelona this fall.

Then last month I played the SCOOP, which went fairly well also. 

I went to Toronto with ElkY and his girlfriend where we rented this nice apartment on the 51st floor of this high-rise right in the middle of the city.  It was my first time going to Toronto, and even though we didn’t get out too much during the time we were there, it was nice being right in the heart of things.  Literally in the basement of the building was a huge, very nice supermarket, and there was a gym and other amenities (like good internet, too) that made it a comfortable place to be.

For much of the first half of SCOOP, ElkY and I were set up in the big living room and sitting across from each other with our laptops.  A couple of times it came up where we were at the same table.  We’d give each other funny looks sometimes when we were in a hand against each other.

Siting Across from Elky

Sitting Across from Elky


The two of us ended up being the only Team PokerStars Pros to make the money in the big $10K Main Event, and in fact we both made the second day.  He started Day 2 really short and busted quickly (in 45th place), but I had a little better run.  I had a chance to do really well, but had a few things not go so well near the end and finished 19th.  That was a little disappointing because the structure was so good and I felt like I had a good idea of how the other players were playing, so I thought if I could avoid being unlucky I could get even further.  But it still was a decent way to wind up the series.

It’s incredible how much SCOOP has grown.  That “High” version of the Main Event had a better than $6.5 million prize pool, and of course the series as a whole was huge the whole way. 

ElkY and I were actually talking about how we kind of prefer SCOOP to WCOOP, mainly because we tend to play more high buy-in tournaments and so SCOOP is a little more interesting for us because there is such a good variety of high buy-in events during SCOOP.  WCOOP has a few “high rollers”, but most of the tournaments feature lower buy-ins.  But with SCOOP there are different high buy-in tourneys every single day.

Of course, for people who play lower stakes, SCOOP is great as well with lots of different tournaments and the huge fields which create some nice prize pools for the investment.

Now I’m back in Las Vegas to play a few early events in the World Series of Poker, but soon I’ll be taking off to Ukraine to participate in a reality television show this summer.  It’s scheduled to last for two months, which means I’ll be missing most of the WSOP for it.  But it’s a great opportunity and I have to say I’m really looking forward to doing something new and different.  The show is pretty popular, too, so I’m also glad about the chance to introduce poker a little bit to a non-poker audience.

It will be tough not being in Las Vegas this summer, but I’ll be back at the tables soon enough.  Meanwhile, here’s hoping a good year of poker continues this summer on the show, too!






The post Toronto for SCOOP 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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