Most poker players have very unfit lifestyles. Card players often spend countless hours each day sitting while eating bags of chips and other processed snacks. One such player was Eugene Katchalov, who used to sit for over 10 hours a day playing cards and trying his best to win tournaments while living a somewhat unhealthy existence. That all changed, however, when Eugene found out that he was being considered to star in the Ukrainian version of the reality TV show “The Bachelor”. He wanted to look good on TV so he decided to change his ways.
“I realized it wasn’t going to look too good if I was overweight on the show, and I wanted to increase my chances,” said Katchalov. “In the end, I didn’t get selected…but at the same time, I felt so good and I saw so much progress even in just three or four weeks that I really wanted to keep going.”
In anticipation for his upcoming TV role, Katchalov included strength training that consists of gymnastics and weight lifting. He also did high-intensity workouts that were followed by cooling off exercises and stretches.
Katchalov’s excellent dedication to poker certainly helped him succeed in training CrossFit. Despite not getting the role in the TV series he realized that if he could spend more than 10 hours a day, laser-focused at a poker table, he could also use his disciplined mind to dedicate himself to physical training in the hope it would help his poker game in the long run.
After 14 months of constant training, Katchalov lost over 60 pounds and bulked up by around 10 pounds.
“Now when I’m at the poker table, I feel like I have much more concentration, much more energy, and I just feel healthier and more mentally aware,” Katchalov said. Being fit has its benefits not only for the body but the mind as well, as proved by many scientific studies.
CrossFit is extremely popular in the fitness industry. Livestrong even points out that it is now one of the most popular trends at gyms because of the ease in which people can gain knowledge about the pursuit and participate.
Eugene Katchalov currently holds the title of the “winner of the largest payout for a non-championship event” on the World Poker Tour, earning a whopping $2,482,605 from a single tournament. The World Poker Tour is an international tournament with a long list of sponsors, including casino gaming portal Betfair, who sponsored the WPT in 2007 and is currently one of the biggest names in digital gaming in the UK, according to Marketing Magazine.
Katchalov is still actively playing poker. Unlike before, however, he now trains everyday in order to have a healthier state of body and mind in general. This transformation has ultimately changed his life forever.