Poker Stories Podcast: Ukraine’s Eugene Katchalov Tells His Escape Story

Poker Stories Podcast: Ukraine’s Eugene Katchalov Tells His Escape Story

Poker Stories is a long-form audio podcast series that features casual interviews with some of the game’s best players and personalities. Each episode highlights a well-known member of the poker world and dives deep into their favorite tales both on and off the felt.

Eugene Katchalov is a World Series of Poker winner and World Poker Tour champion with more than $9.2 million in career live tournament earnings. The Ukrainian-born and New York-raised pro won the 2007 Doyle Brunson Five Diamond World Poker Classic for a massive $2.5 million and also the 2011 $1,500 stud event at the WSOP for his bracelet.

The 41-year-old has come close to earning the Triple Crown title on a few occasions, most notably taking third at EPT Barcelona and also finishing runner-up at EPT Deauville. He does have three EPT side events wins, including a $1.5 million payday in the $100,000 Super High Roller at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure. He’s also played in some of the biggest cash games in the world, including the infamous Molly’s Game.

Katchalov has spent the last few years focusing on Qlash, his esports company with fellow poker pro Luca Pagano, and moved back to Kiev with his wife. In February of this year, however, he was forced to flee his home following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Highlights from this interview include leaving the Soviet Union, having a professional gambler for a dad, the symbolic freedom of Coca Cola, speaking Russlish, NYU business school, day trading, watching Antonio Esfandiari get felted, running well at Bellagio, buying a place for his grandparents, a $400k pot with a record label exec, beating Daniel Negreanu for a sponsorship, Korea trips with ElkY, misreading his hand in a high roller, Robin Williams and Angelina Jolie, and onion phobias.

Catch up on past episodes featuring notables such as Doyle Brunson, Daniel Negreanu, Jennifer Harman, Patrik Antonius, Justin Bonomo, Antonio Esfandiari, Phil Galfond, Nick Schulman, Fedor Holz, Barry Greenstein, Dan Smith, Scotty Nguyen, Mike Sexton, Maria Ho, Brad Owen, and many more. If you like what you hear, be sure to subscribe to get the latest episodes automatically when they are released.

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