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Arnaud Mattern Victorious at EPT Prague Final Table
The inaugural PokerStars' European Poker Tour Prague was a memorable tournament, held in such a beautiful city, but in the end it was a Frenchman who made history.
Coming to the final table people didn't really know what to think of Arnauld Mattern. He was at a table of aggressive Scandinavians like Mikael Norinder and Kristian Kjondal and one had to wonder if Mattern would be able to play his methodic game.
In reality Mattern was cool and collected to the bitter end and he outlasted all his competition. PokerListings sat down with Mattern for a chat right after his EPT victory.
What did you think of heads-up play?
Heads-up was very tough. I think he hit a lot of cards in the beginning. I just tried to pick my spots and send my money in when I was ahead. I was lucky enough to have the good hands hold up in the end.
What are you going to do with the money?
I'm going to move upstate, obviously. [Chuckles.] Actually I live in Highgate and I like it. I'm a very simple guy.
Any other plans for the money?
Nothing yet. I needed a new shoelace so I think I'll be able to pick one up now.
Have you enjoyed Prague?
Yeah, I've seen just a little bit of it though. I walked around with the Winamax team and it was pretty fun. We had a few drinks outside and the city is very nice. I was really looking forward to seeing this city. The EPT usually chooses nice cities for destinations and it's a nice bonus.
How long have you been living in London?
About one year.
Why did you move there?
I like the city a lot and I and my really close friend and Winamax teammate, Nicolas Levi, share a blog. We post thoughts and hands from the road so I just wanted to be a bit closer to him.
How many EPTs have you entered?
I've played like five or six, I believe.
Is this your first cash?
I don't think I've cashed in the EPT before.
You, Kristian Kjondal and Gino Alacqua made a deal which saw the money spread out a bit more evenly. Who asked to make a deal?
It was the Italian guy (Alacqua) so we decided to do it. Both other players were quite strong so I'm happy with the outcome.
Who would you say was your toughest opponent at the final table?
No question it was Kristian Kjondal. Since yesterday I had been thinking that I didn't want to get into too many tight situations with him. It didn't help that I was out of position on him and that he's a very decent player. He's also a cash game player so he's very used to deep stack structure. I tried to pick the best spots to play against him and only when I had to.
Had you played against him before?
I've seen him play online.
I've heard you are a backgammon champion. Do you still play?
Yeah sometimes. I play less tournaments now because I travel with the Winamax team to do poker tournaments. There is a little bit more money in poker. [Laughs.] I won the French backgammon championship this year and first place was like €5,000. It's not quite the same.
Will you be coming to any of the other EPTs?
Yeah I'm planning on playing them all. I'm a part of the Winamax team and we are going to do all the events. It's already been planned.
With his big victory Mattern becomes the third French player to win an EPT event and probably the first French backgammon/poker champion. Mattern was absolutely relentless in his quest for victory and overcame a chip deficit several times. He played a conservative style but wasn't scared to fight back when he was threatened. Already committed to playing every EPT event, Mattern will be a player to watch for on the circuit.