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Katchalov Defeats Negreanu To Win PCA Super High Rollers; Isildur1's Identity Confirmed!

Posted at 19:19 2011-01-09

Eugene Katchalov has captured the inaugural $100,000 buy-in Super High Roller event at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure in the Bahamas. While Day 1A of the PCA Main Event kicked off today, most of the focus at the Atlantis Casino and Resort was on the final table of the Super High Roller where Katchalov had to overcomes the challenge of Daniel Negreanu heads up to take down the $1.5 million dollar prize for first.

Katchalov had opened the final day of play third in chips out of the seven returning players and after Andrew Lichtenberger fell very early in the proceedings, the American of Ukrainian-heritage found himself responsible for eliminating Sandor Demjan on the money bubble. The last of Demjan’s chips went into the middle with pocket tens against pocket jacks and Katchalov held up to receive an early boost, while Demjan exited empty handed.

Humberto Brenes who had started the day among the shorter stacks, took the money as a good time to exit and was eliminated in fifth for $200,000.

Daniel Negreanu then seemingly took a stranglehold on the tournament when he eliminated Nick Schulman in fourth place. Negreanu opened with a raise from the button and Schulman went heads up with him to a {Jc} {Tc} {3h} flop from the big blind. Schulman checked to Negreanu who continuation bet to 110,000 and Schulman returned serve by check-raising to 330,000. Negreanu opted to call and they took a {7c} on the turn.

Schulman set the price at 550,000 chips to go and Negreanu flat called. The river fell a repeat {3c} and Schulman moved in for 1.07 million more. After time in the tank, Negreanu pondered the decision correctly. He called with {As}{Qc} for a queen-high flush and Schulman rolled an airball {kh}{9h}. Schulman would go home with $400,000 for his efforts after he bluffed his way out going for broke.

Katchalov continued to run well, setting Bryn Kenney all in on the right side of pocket queens against pocket eights. There would be no help for Kenney who took the walk to the exit with $643,000 extra in his pocket.

Negreanu and Katchalov would enter heads up virtually level in chips and, with deep stacks, both would have ample opportunity to showcase their skills. From here though Katchalov would run away with the match after taking down two big pots in a short time and then grinding out the win. In the first major hand Katchalov flopped top pair and turned another pair, with the players betting down each street. Negreanu mucked the river, telling Katchalov that he had a bigger pair on the flop. A short time later they got to raising and re-raising again and with the river out on a {Ad}{Td}{9h}{4s}{2h} board Katchalov set Negreanu all in, forcing a fold from the Canadian who left 850,000 chips behind.

Negreanu would fight hard and looked set to mount a comeback a number of times, but Katchalov seemed up to the task on every occasion. The final hand saw Negreanu in with the best of it, in a pocket fives against pocket fours showdown, but it would be Katchalov’s night and tournament as he turned a four and Negreanu bricked the river to bring the tournament to an end. Negreanu’s runner up finish was good for $1 million in prize money, enough to make him now the all time earnings leader in tournament poker ahead of Phil Ivey.

In other festivities at the PCA, the Main Event is now officially underway and after much hoopla, PokerStars officially revealed poker’s worst kept secret – that Viktor Blom is indeed Isildur1. Tony G had outed the 20 year-old Swedish sensation midway through 2010, but Blom denied it at the time. It seems that a PokerStars sponsorship has been deemed worthy enough for Blom to take ownership over the online username that caused carnage in the biggest games online in late 2009.

PCA $100,000 Super High Roller Payouts:
1st Eugene Katchalov - $1,500,000
2nd Daniel Negreanu - $1,000,000
3rd Bryn Kenney - $643,000
4th Nick Schulman - $400,000
5th Humberto Brenes - $200,000 

 

Image courtesy of PokerStarsBlog.com

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It's official - Viktor Blom is Isildur1! It's official - Viktor Blom is Isildur1!

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