Cookies on the PokerWorks Website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on the PokerWorks website. However, if you would like to, you can change your cookie settings at any time.

Continue using cookies

Poker News | Casino Poker | Tournament Reports

Eugene Katchalov Claims WPT Victory at Largest Ever Five Diamond Event

Share this
The Sixth Annual Five Diamond World Poker Classic kicked off in late November with a series of events ranging from $1,500 no-limit hold’em events to the $15,000 buy-in main event. As usual, the Bellagio draws players from around the world because of its plush accommodations, juicy cash games, and player-friendly tournament structures.

Some significant players in the poker world took home titles over the past month. Dutch Boyd and David Pham were each victorious in $2,500 no-limit hold’em events, Chris McCormack won one of the $1,500 events, Roy Winston won a $2,000 event, and JC Tran won one of the two $5,000 buy-in tournaments.

Other notable finishers in the preliminary events included Courtney Harrington, Shannon Shorr, Theo Tran, Kevin Saul, David Williams, Dan Alspach, Tom Schneider, Nick Binger, and Sully Erna (lead singer of rock group Godsmack).

When the $15,000 Doyle Brunson Five Diamond World Poker Classic began on December 12th, it was clear that a large field was on hand. However, it wasn’t until the final numbers came in on Day 1B that history was being made. A total of 664 players bought in to the main event, making it the largest prize pool in WPT history outside of the $25,000 buy-in championship events. In fact, the prize pool of $9,661,200 made this tournament the largest ever with the sole exclusions being the World Series of Poker main event and the WPT World Championship.

With a first place of more than $2.4 million and second place of over $1.2 million, the field of players from across the globe was en route to a slow but treacherous trip to attempt to make the coveted final table.

Both first days of the main event began with Jack McClelland, Bellagio’s tournament director, asking for some silent moments in honor of recently deceased poker legend Chip Reese . And with that, the cards were dealt.

The biggest names in poker were scattered amongst the tables – Doyle Brunson, Jennifer Harman, Phil Ivey, Daniel Negreanu, Erick Lindgren, and Gus Hansen. Even WPT commentator and long-time pro Mike Sexton played in his first World Poker Tour open event. And some of said players were taking the top spots on the leader board.

Phil Ivey was the chip leader through Day 1 and Day2, though he finally lost his grip and was eliminated from the tournament on Day 3. Gus Hansen was third in chips going into Day 4, though he was finally eliminated in 22nd place. Daniel Negreanu was the Day 5 chip leader but was sent home in 14th place. Other well-regarded players finishing in the money included Huck Seed, Quinn Do, Max Pescatori, Daniel Alaei, and Marcel Luske. Also, Erick Lindgren was out in 10th place, Jimmy Tran in 8th, and Raymond Davis in 7th.

The final TV table was set with six players ready to do battle on Tuesday, December 18th under the lights and cameras of the World Poker Tour production set. The chip counts and seat assignments were as follows:

Seat 1: Ken Rosen.....1,135,000
Seat 2: Ted Kearly.....1,620,000
Seat 3: Jordan Rich.....6,585,000
Seat 4: Eugene Katchalov.....8,360,000
Seat 5: Ryan Daut.....330,000
Seat 6: David “Devilfish” Ulliott.....1,900,000

Ryan Daut was the short-stacked player and knew that he would be forced to make a move early in the tournament. He had been on the WPT set before, as the 23-year old won the 2007 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure in January, so he took the first good hand of the Five Diamond tournament and went into battle.

It just so happened that it was the very first hand of the final table. Daut moved all-in with A-J, and Ted Kearly called from the small blind with pocket 8’s. The flop came 8-5-2, and the turn was another 8 to give Kearly quads. The inconsequential Q came on the river, and Daut was eliminated in sixth place for $192,715.

With the remaining five players not so anxious to make a significant move, it wasn’t until the sixteenth hand that another big play occurred. Eugene Katchalov started off with a raise, and Jordan Rich reraised from the big blind to one million. Katchalov came over the top with an all-in reraise; he had pocket A’s. Rich called with pocket J’s. The board showed 10-9-8-10-5, and Rich – the professional poker player, second in chips only sixteen hands prior – was sent away in fifth place with $289,070.

Three hands later, it was Ken Rosen, who entered the tournament on a satellite and has no significant tournament cashes to date, who moved all-in from the big blind after Katchalov raised. Katchalov then called with 10-7, and Rosen turned over his A-2. The dealer turned over 5-5-4-9-10 to give Katchalov the winning hand. Rosen left in fourth place with his first tournament cash of $433,675.

During three-handed play, Katchalov was the undisputed chip leader, maintaining stacks of between 13 and 16 million. Even after Ted Kearly doubled through Katchalov at one point, Katchalov still had 14.12 million left.

On the 39th hand, David “Devilfish” Ulliott thought it time to attempt his own double-up. He moved all-in on the button with A-10, Katchalov called from the big blind with A-J. The board was K-5-3-9-K, and Ulliott, Season 1 World Poker Tour champion, was eliminated in third place for $674,500.

Heads-up action began with Katchalov as the massive chip leader with 16,755,000 and Kearly hanging in there with 3,175,000.

Kearly attempted to put pressure on Katchalov and succeeded in taking some small pots, but he simply couldn’t gain enough momentum to overtake the leader. Finally, the deciding hand played out.

Kearly raised on the button to 380,000, and Katchalov called. They saw the flop of 10-6-3 rainbow, and Kearly bet 300,000. Katchalov raised to 800,000, Kearly came over the top to move all-in, and Katchalov called. He showed J-10 for a pair of tens, and Kearly tabled K-J for two overcards. The turn card was a J, which gave Katchalov two pair, and the river card was a 2.

Ted Kearly, a 75-year old retired football coach and recreational poker poker player from Michigan, took the second prize of $1,252,640.

Eugene Katchalov, a 26-year old Ukraine native and professional poker player, had some impressive tournament cashes on his resume before this, but this was his first significant victory. He won the $2,482,605 first prize money, the Bellagio Five Diamond Poker Classic gold bracelet, and a seat into the $25,000 2008 WPT World Championship in April.

*photos courtesy of WPT*

News Flash

The IRS Scores Big at 2015 WSOP ME Final Table

The IRS managed to snag 34.13 percent from the payouts of the 2015 November Nine, totaling $8,467,091.

Read more

Quick Room Review

Bonus Room review

Subscribe to the Nightly Turbo

Be the first to know all the latest poker news, tournament results, gossip and learn all about the best online poker deals straight from your inbox.

RSS Feed