After a thrilling week of tournament play the EPT Season 10 Grand Final concluded with an incredible heads-up battle between England's Jack Salter and Italy's Antonio Buonanno.
While seven of the eight final-tablists were online qualifiers it was the only guy who bought in - Buonanno - who staved off all comers and an exhausting nine hours of heads-up play to become the newest EPT champion and €1.2m richer.
It was also a Grand Final that didn’t just write the story of how someone won a massive tournament but of many more.
Epic Heads-Up Unique in History of EPT
Until the final battle between Salter and Buonanno it had played out like most other final tables. What happened next was unique in the history of the EPT.
Salter couldn't wear the older Buonanno down.
A deal, although discussed, was not agreed on because Martin Finger and Ami Barer had shares of Salter, lowering his risk and egging him to play on.
Apparently, the two professionals considered the Brit a major favorite. They underestimated the fighting spirit and stamina of the experienced Italian.
The heads-up turned into a long and tough struggle with Salter ahead most of the time but never able to seal the match. Only once, after about eight hours of heads-up play, did it look like Buonanno was finally defeated.
He was all-in with K-2 against the A-9 of Salter but a meager deuce on the turn kept the Italian alive. This was also the hand that cost Salter his confidence and, consequently, more and more of his chips.
It was the “old guy”, after all, who grinded down the young gun and eventually Salter found himself all-in with the worse hand. How the last hand of EPT Season 10 played out:
Board: --- ---
And Buonanno celebrated victory. The official final-table results and payouts:
- 1 Antonio Buonanno €1,240,000
- 2 Jack Salter €765,000
- 3 Malte Mönnig €547,000
- 4 Mayu Roca €419,000
- 5 Magnus Karlsson €332,000
- 6 Sebastian von Toperczer €258,300
- 7 Kenny Hicks €188,500
- 8 Sebastian Bredthauer €128,800
The End of Bredthauer’s Dream
Maybe the biggest story of the EPT Grand Final after Buonanno's win was that of Sebastian Bredthauer, a student from Hamburg, Germany.
He qualified for the Grand Final with only 100 FPP and, on top of that, he didn’t even know what he was playing for before he reached the 5,000 FPP step.
No complaints from Bredthauer.
His trip didn’t end there, though. With a mixture of luck and skill he managed to not only to make the money but even the final table (as the short stack).
That, however, was where the story ended. He lost a couple of chips early and then moved in on the cut-off with A♥ 8♥ against a raise from Salter.
Salter called with A♣ K♦, the board ran out 6♥ 9♦ 5♣ 6♠ T♦, and “Bredti” was gone. Still, he was the happiest guy to bust from the main event as he took €128,000 in prize money for his investment of c. €1.60.
Hicks and Toperczer bust
American player Kenny Hicks was one board away from busting when he pushed jacks into kings then he moved all the way up to the chip lead early on. In the end he lost a classic flip and ended his tournament in 7th place.
It was A♣ K♦ against Bounanno’s pocket tens, the board blanked and Hicks had to leave the table.
Shortly afterwards the second German player was taken out by the third German. Sebastian von Toperczer couldn’t get much going on the final day before he called all-in with pocket sevens, only to be shown pocket tens by Malte Mönnig. No help on the board, and they were down to five.
Hand of the Day
There weren’t many spectacular hands at this final tables, but this one is a notable exception. Magnus Karlsson pushed from under the gun and Malte Mönnig also pushed from the cutoff.
Columbian Mayu Roca found pocket nines in the big blind and decided to call. Surprisingly, it was a good one, as Karlsson showed pocket threes and Mönnig pocket eights.
An eight on the flop gave Mönnig the set, however, and he tripled up while Karlsson was out.
Had Roca won that hand he would have been a massive chipleader. Instead, he had to try and come back with a short stack.
What might have been for Mayu Roca.
He made his move shortly after with pocket fives, but they were easily matched by the queens of Salter. Fourth place and €419,000 for the Columbian.
The Last German Falls
With three players at the final table Germany was the dominating presence if you only look at the number of players.
However, they started as the three shortest stacks so coming third for the best of them wasn’t too bad.
Buonanno had refused to strike a 3-way deal and then went on to take Malte Mönnig off the table himself.
The 27-year-old player from Cologne 4-bet all-in with A♦ 5♦, but the Italian held A♠ K♦. Again nobody hit the board and Mönnig took third place.
For a full rundown of all the final-table action check the PokerStars blog or watch the full EPT Grand Final Main Event final-table replay.