Jonathan Odogwu: Most Dangerous Man at EPT Grand Final?

He’s erratic, talkative and has tricks up his sleeve that can put a scare into any regular, button-clicking poker expert.

He's also on the ultimate freeroll.

And that makes him the exact kind of player that makes major poker tournaments like the PokerStars and Monte-Carlo® Casino EPT Grand Final Main Event so unpredictable - and so much fun.

Refreshing Asset to EPT

London's Jonathan Odogwu might be new to a European Poker Tour main event but he is definitely an asset.

In a time when some tables at a major poker event look and feel like an assembly of sunglasses-wearing monks at a funeral, it's very refreshing to meet someone like Odogwu.

He is entertaining his table continuously with comments and anecdotes, and he does it in a way that nobody (or almost nobody) can get mad at him.

jonathan odogwu 3
Just the right guy to liven up your table.

PokerListings Live Tournament reporter Dirk Oetzmann spoke with him quickly during a break, and as he found him on crutches the first question is obvious.

“I hurt my Achilles playing badminton," he says lightly. “I trained that and (did some) swimming for the EPT.”

How is badminton and swimming an EPT preparation?

“Because I’m a swimmer and badminton player,” Odogwu says matter of factly.

"I Can Call With a Lot of Hands"

Odogwu makes moves at the table that you probably won’t find in Super/System. On Day 1B, some player whom he had easily covered went all-in on him.

Before checking his cards he announced he would call “if one card is higher than a deuce."

He found K-J against his opponent's J-J, hit a king on the turn and sent him packing.

jonathan odogwu 5
"The gentleman in the number 4 seat had one lovely cigar, and when I pointed that out, he gave me one."

“I just wanted to make a statement that I can call with a lot of hands," he told us on Day 2. “Of course, I wouldn’t have called with something like A-2.”

Odogwu’s father was a diplomat from Nigeria, but he grew up in London. “I am a cockney," he says with a big smile.

Next to his stack he sports a cigar and a card protector with the number “50” on it. What do they mean?

“Well, the gentleman in the number 4 seat had one lovely cigar, and when I pointed that out, he gave me one. I’m gonna smoke it when I have more time.

£1/£1 Reg on the Freeroll of a Lifetime

"The card protector was given out at the 50th birthday of the Vic," Odogwu continued, "where I usually play at the £1/£1 tables.

"By the way, I was playing the day Vicky Coren won in San Remo. She called in and ordered free champagne for everyone in the casino. I was behind at the time and then I won my money back, so Vicky brings me luck.”

How does a low stakes player get into the EPT Grand Final? “Tell you what, I came in for the bare minimum. You know what that is?”


“Exactly. I won the online steps freeroll against roughly 15,000 players on PokerStars. There are only a couple of hundred here, so it must be easier to win here, right?” And there is that smile again.

jonathan odogwu 2
Soon-to-be EPT regular?

Is he not intimidated by the line-ups at the tables here?

“Actually, €10,000 is a lot of money. I can’t even tell my misses about my £50 pound downswings, so I guess she would have preferred me to spend the money in a different way.

"But I’m here now, so I’m playing to win. You can’t win if you are intimidated.”

So, will we see Odogwu become a regular at EPT events?

“I want to be," he says. “And if I win here, I will be in Barcelona. If not, I probably won’t.”

Follow Odogwu's progress and all the Day 2 action live streaming from the floor in Monte Carlo right here on PokerListings.

You May Also Like


Lettau Wins EPT100, Mercier Scores 2nd in High Roller

German Andre Lettau survived a 15-hour marathon final table to win the biggest EPT main event on European solid yesterday while Jason Mercier added another...

28 August 2014

Andrea Dato: "As an Italian Player You Have No Choice But to Move"

Andrea Dato has more than $1m in lifetime winnings, earned from an approach to poker that is both scientific and psychology based.

27 August 2014

Konstantin Puchkov Called His Shot Before Shattering WSOP Record

Moscow’s Konstantin Puchkov holds the world record for most cashes at one WSOP and is a regular on the European Poker Tour, but what he...

27 August 2014

Ensan, Barer Lead as EPT100 Barrels to Finish in Barcelona

The biggest poker festival ever held in Europe is barreling to its conclusion tomorrow in Barcelona with a German and a Canadian leading the...

26 August 2014

Please fill the required fields correctly!

Error saving comment!

You need to wait 3 minutes before posting another comment.

Comment added. Thank you!

No Comments