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EPT Cyprus Round-Up: Inaugural Series Impresses with $1 Million Payouts and More

EPT Cyprus Round-Up: Inaugural Series Impresses with $1 Million Payouts and More

PokerStars first official trip to Cyprus has proved successful in more ways than one and, potentially, opened the door to more autumn fun next year.

The European Poker Tour (EPT) bandwagon rolled into the coastal city of Kyrenia for 12 days of poker on October 11. Once there, Merit Royal Diamond Hotel Casino & Spa played host to the inaugural EPT Cyprus and its 59 tournaments.

Top of the bill was the $5,300 EPT Cyprus Main Event, but there were plenty more highlights. The $1,100 Eureka Cyprus main event was the first focal point for players and what a focal point it was.

Another Eureka Moment for PokerStars in Cyprus

A total of 2,659 players anted up to create a prizepool of more than $2.5 million. That level of interest allowed the winner, India’s Ankit Ahuja, to take home $362,365. Not only that, the live tournament now stands as the third largest Eureka main event ever.

Also pulling in big numbers during EPT Cyprus was the $10,300 High Roller. 407 players entered the event, which means the eventual winner, Ilia Pavlov, took home $787,400 and the title after beating Selahaddin Bedir heads-up.

Another highlight was the PokerStars x Poker Power Women’s Bootcamp Showdown. A total of 40 women with no poker experience embarked on a boot camp-style training schedule eight weeks ago. Among the tasks participants were asked to complete were regular mentoring sessions from PokerStars pros such as Jennifer Shahade, as well as weekly practice poker games.

PokerStars EPT in Cyprus 2023

The course culminated with 10 players making it through a series of home games. Those players were flown to Cyprus for a final showdown. Britain’s Louise Ulrick, a 55-year-old math teacher, won the tournament. Now, with the backing of Poker Power and PokerStars, she’ll take part in December’s EPT Prague main event.

Another Marvelous EPT Main Event

Of all the highlights from EPT Cyprus 2023, the main event shone brightest. Entering a new country is always full of unknowns, but any feelings of trepidation were quickly quelled when 896 players from 70 different countries anted up in the $5,300 main event.

Of those 896 players, 424 exercised their right to re-enter, taking the total number of entries to 1,320. That turnout makes EPT Cyprus one of the biggest ever European Poker Tour main events. It also gave Gilles Simon, a 24-year-old from the Netherlands, a career-high payday worth more than $1 million.

EPT Cyprus 2023 Main Event Result

1Gilles Simon$1,042,000
2Andrea Dato$652,200
3Jose Gonzalez $465,425
4Halil Tsyurek$358,075
5Yannick Schumacher$275,425
6Nikita Kuznetcov$211,850
7Bjorn Kozenkai$162,925
Victor Yugay $125,350

PokerStars’ EPT has bounced back spectacularly in recent years. Despite a post-Black Friday slump and increased competition from other poker tours, it remains a staple brand for players around the world. EPT Cyprus was a testament to that and the perfect warm up for one of the tour’s most popular stops, Prague, which gets underway on December 6.

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