I've been watching PokerStars players for longer than my kids have been alive. At the very same time I started the PokerStars Blog, a player with the screen name MyRabbiFoo started playing on the tables. He almost immediate started winning, which meant I started seeing the name on a regular basis. Which meant, I spent a lot of time trying to figure out what in the world his name meant.
I wondered first if he was a rabbi, and like someone with kung fu, he had Rabbi Fu.
I thought maybe it had something to do with a rabbit's foot, minus the t's.
I wondered a lot.
And so, now, MyRabbiFoo owns a WCOOP bracelet and I finally get a chance to ask him. The answer was, as you might expect, not too satisfying.
"It's just a screenname that I came up with as a kid and it kind of stuck with me," he said.
So, thereya go.
Thing is, like me, you're probably still a little confused. So, let's just agree to put it behind us and agree that after winning the WCOOP $530 Heads-up contest, we can just call MyRabbiFoo by his real name, Eugene Katchalov.
Oh, yeah. You've seen the face and heard the name. Think back a couple of years to 2007 and the WPT Five Diamond Classic. Remember the winner? Yeah, that guy for $2.5 million.
Eighteen years ago, Katchalov moved to New York from Kiev, Ukraine. Now 28, he has made millions off something he stumbled into.
"I finished NYU Stern with a finance/International business degree," he said. " But I was not particularly interested in the field and so got into trading and then--by accident--poker and now am pretty happy with how both of those interests are going."
To keep his poker chops sharp, he plays as much live and online as he can. During the day, however, you'll find him being a responsible worker bee.
"I also co-own a small hedge fund with my partner in New York, so during the day I try to give that my full attention, as I'm really interested in trading and am trying to get good at it," he said.
That's quite a full plate for a guy who is only now 28 years old. A WPT title, millions to his name, and now a WCOOP bracelet. Add to that the fact he's gracious in winning, and you have a guy who is pretty easy to like, no matter whether you understand his damned screen name.
"It was obviously a wonderful, although extrememly tiring experience making the final table after playing for about 22 hours," he said. "In the end, of course, it was all worth it as it feels great to win a WCOOP, especially a heads up event."