The last event of the 12th Season of the European Poker Tour is over, and what a week it’s been.
Jan Bendik and Ole Schemion wrote the biggest stories in Monte Carlo but surely not the only ones.
First things first:
A massive win for one of the steadiest players on the EPT.
Jan Bendik Closes Out EPT Grand Final
He’s been on the poker circuit forever and now, finally, has managed to win a big one.
Great performance from Allain falls just short.
Jan Bendik is Slovakia’s #1 ranked player, according to the Global Poker Index, and he’s just confirmed why.
After 206 hands at the final table it was a set-up, set over set, that ended the last main event of Season 12 and pushed Bendik, at his third EPT main event final table, to his first career title.
Coming all the way back from a 2-1 deficit heads-up, in the final hand Bendik found pocket tens against France's Adrien Allain’s pocket eights.
An eight on the flop and a ten on the turn sealed the deal, as no player would have been able to fold.
The set of tens held and Bendik added almost 1m Euro to his live event bankroll.
With players like Rome Emperor Dario Sammartino, former November Niner Antoine Saout and Allain, who was number 5 in the GPI France before this event, the final table was formidable.
Over 1k Players is a Record
285 players on Day 1A and a whopping 778 players on Day 1B brought the total number to over a thousand in the Grand Final for the first time ever.
Biggest Grand Final ever.
Before this year the largest field was 935 in 2009, when Pieter de Korver won after an unlikely comeback.
There are two main reasons for the growing number of players. First, cutting the buy-in in half meant that there were twice as many online qualifiers for the same amount of satellites.
And second, there over 100 very lucky players in the field who’d won their tickets through PokerStars’ Spin-and-Go promotion for as little as $10.
One of these was Asan Umarov from Kazakhstan, who could hardly believe his luck to turn that investment into a fourth place in the main event.
Fun fact: Kazakhstan had another final table player in the €50k event, making it one of the most successful countries of the EPT Grand Final 2016.
Short ride for DNegs.
Negreanu Gone Quickly
The total number of entries in the main event was officially 1,098 which was enough for a first prize of almost one million Euro.
While Allain and Bendik were the players with the longest time at the table, Daniel Negreanu had one of the shortest EPT main events of his career.
He jumped into the tournament after the dinner break on Day 1B but was gone before the day was done.
The reason for that had a name, and that name is Markku Koplimaa. The Estonian player practiced a mixture of tanking, raising, and good-running, and that at the expense of Negreanu.
Koplimaa 3-bet over Negreanu’s raise with 6-8 off-suit from the small blind. Negreanu held A-K and looked good on the K-T-9 flop.
Koplimaa c-bet and Negreanu tried to trap-call, but the 7 on the turn was the Canadian’s demise. Koplimaa went on to make the money and finished in 88th place.
High Rollers and Super High Rollers
It’s called the Grand Final for a reason. Monte Carlo is the only stop of the European Poker Tour that features a NLHE tournament with a €100,000 buy-in.
Ole Schemion was the player who took down this special event this year. The German pro hadn’t had a big payout in a while, which can’t be said about second place finisher Mustapha Kanit who added another seven-digit payout to his resume.
Both players knew they wouldn’t have an edge over each other so they agreed on a deal quite quickly.
€100,000 Super High Roller Final-Table Payouts
|3||Ali Reza Fatehi||Iran||€828,500|
Big return for Schemion.
Only one day later the single day €50k High Roller was on the schedule and Schemion came as close as possible to a back-to-back victory.
Him and Fabian Quoss were the last two players left when the clock chimed 5:30 AM and they decided to add a second day.
With only 46 bb on the table when heads-up play recommenced they agreed on a deal with €50k left to play for.
Quoss turned out to be the luckier player in this German heads-up but he bagged a little less than Schemion, who had the chiplead at the time of the deal.
John Juanda suffered an even worse fate than Daniel Negreanu in the main event.
Juanda didn’t even last a single level in the €50k, which means that, conservatively estimated, every minute of poker cost him more than €1,500.
€50,000 High Roller Final-Table Payouts:
The €25,750 High Roller event was set for three days, and in the end it was Alexandru Papazian from Romania who took it down for €1.2 million.
There were also two €10k High Roller events scheduled, one full ring event early during the festival and one 6-max turbo on the last day.
Chance Kornuth won the first 10k event heads-up against Philipp Gruissem. The German hasn’t been seen on the tournament circuit for a while and he came back with a bang.
Sergey Lebedev finished in third place. The three final players made a deal and received checks for €291k, €293k and €351k for the winner.
Vladimir Troyanovskiy beat Erik Seidel heads-up to win the final turbo €10k.
Deuce-Seven Wins FPS Main Event
Life writes better stories than we can. Stéphane Dossetto won the main event of the France Poker Series against EPT Malta main event champion Niall Farrell.
The great thing about this is – if you ask Stéphane – that he won €218,000 but for everyone else it’s the fact that his family name literally translated means “two-seven.”.
Who said seven-deuce never wins anything?
Nice turn for Treccarichi
GPL Players Leave Marks at the EPT
The Global Poker League went on simultaneously this week and many of the players went back and forth between online and live poker.
Rome Emperors’ Walter Treccarichi took down the €2k FPS High Roller for €190k after a deal with second-place finisher Sven Magirius from Germany.
Manager Max Pescatori final tabled the €500 PLO hyper turbo and won his heads-up match against Wayne Zhang of the Hong Kong Stars, who was deep in the 1k rebuy.
Berlin Bears’ Dominik Nitsche final tabled the event, too, while London Royals manager Liv Boeree finished 11th. Nitsche also made the final table of the €1k NL turbo tournament, finishing 9th.
Jason Wheeler finished sixth in the €5k NLHE that went to Charlie Carrel – shortlisted for breakout player of the year at the EPA – and upheld the flags of the New York Rounders.
Event # 60, the €5k NLHE hyper turbo, saw three GPL players at its final table in Igor Kurganov, Davidi Kitai and Fedor Holz.
And That’s a Wrap
What else happened during the EPT Grand Final? The usual. You still pay €10 for a can of Austrian fizzy water.
Leon Tsoukernik, the owner of the King’s Casino, fired his two shots at the €50k single re-entry within the first three levels and then resorted to playing €1000/€2000 heads-up against Daniel jungleman Cates.
Irish poker icon Donnacha O’Dea was found at a €25/€50 Mixed Omaha table, as was Theo Jörgensen, who doesn’t play any tournaments in Monaco – “for tax reasons”.
The highly popular Formula 1 simulator was replaced by something this year that made us expect next year there’ll just be someone standing in the corner going “vroom, vroom”.
And so ends season 12 of the European Poker Tour and the eyes of the poker world turn to Las Vegas, where soon the World Series will begin. EPT 13 will return in August and Barcelona, as usual, will be the host of the kickoff event.