Respect! PokerStars qualifiers cash in once again

Online qualifiers pocket nearly $5m from Europe's richest poker event

by Conrad Brunner

As you may have heard, PokerStars qualifier Gavin Griffin won the EPT Grand Final on Monday. He picked up the top prize of 1,825,010 euros (approximately $2.4m) after qualifying via a $240 Double Shoot Out on PokerStars.

Nice one Gavin. You proved once again that you are an outstanding poker player, adding the EPT Grand Final title to the WSOP bracelet you picked up in 2004. To find out more about a remarkable person, click here.

But the PokerStars story does not end there. There were three other PokerStars qualifiers on the final table -- 3rd place finisher Soren Kongsgaard of Denmark (610,550 euro), American Josh Prager (5th for 391,500 euro) and Britain's Steve Jelinek (6th, 305,270 euro), who together demonstrated one statistically verifiable fact: PokerStars qualifiers rock!

Let me explain that in a little more detail. The number of players in the overall field was 706, making this comfortably the biggest European poker tournament ever. A total of 192 were PokerStars qualifiers, with 144 cash qualifiers and 48 winning their seats via Frequent Player Point. In total, the PokerStars qualifiers represented less than one third (27.2 per cent) of the field. Yet when the six day tourney got down to the last 32, there were still 16 PokerStars horses in the race, now representing 50 per cent of the field. Not bad at all. Then, when you then add in those fantastic final table performances, you see the slice of the overall prize pool heading towards the PokerStars qualifiers rising to a seriously impressive 55.3 per cent. That chunk adds up to over 3.6m euros -- $4.9m -- into the pockets of PokerStars qualifiers.

Once again, you guys over performed. And it's not like the opposition in Monte Carlo was exactly soft. Here are just some of the star names that you had to do battle with in Monte Carlo: Joe Hachem, Greg Raymer, Chris Moneymaker, Barry Greenstein, Isabelle Mercier, Bill Chen, Phil Hellmuth, Andy Black, Carlos Mortensen, Phil Ivey, Patrik Antonius, John Gale, Marcel Luske, Ram Vaswani (the all time EPT Tournament Leaderboard number one), Noah Boeken, Martin de Kniff, Lee Nelson et cetera, et cetera. Oh, and I forgot to add all the EPT regular season winners, including Victoria Coren and Roland de Wolfe. In short, this tournament was as tough as it gets.

In 2006, PokerStars qualifiers -- led by winner Jeff "Yellowsub86" Williams -- took the top four places at the EPT Grand Final, so clearly you take a liking to Monte Carlo! For those itching to get into qualifying action, the WSOP satellites are up and running. As these statistics show, PokerStars qualifiers can head for Las Vegas with hope AND expectation in their hearts.

For full details of PokerStars qualifiers at EPT events, click here.

To see the update EPT All-Time Tournament Leaderboard, click here.

Here is the full roll of honour from the EPT Grand Final, Monte Carlo:

1 -- Gavin Griffin -- USA -- 1,825,010
3 -- Soren Kongsgaard -- Denmark -- 610,550
5 -- Josh Prager -- USA -- 391,550
6 -- Steve Jelinek -- UK -- 305,270
10 -- Alexander Kim -- USA -- 99,550
12 -- David Peters -- USA -- 66,360
14 -- Jan Veit -- Germany -- 49,770
16 -- Christian Neirinck -- Belgium -- 39,820
17 -- Kristof De Smedt -- Belgium -- 33,180
18 -- Dean Sanders -- USA -- 33,180
19 -- Roi Elmaliah -- Israel -- 33,180
21 -- Simon Johansson -- Sweden -- 33,180
23 -- Johannes Strassman -- Germany -- 33,180
27 -- Jacob Larsson -- Sweden -- 26,550
28 -- Hernan Zango -- Costa Rica -- 26,550
37 -- Ernst Hermans -- Netherlands -- 23,230
42 -- Atanas Gueorguiev -- Bulgaria -- 19,910
46 -- Halldor Sverrisson -- Iceland -- 19,910
49 -- David Sonelin -- Sweden -- 16,590
56 -- Sasa Biorac -- Germany -- 16,590
57 -- William Hill -- UK -- 13,270
58 -- David Sykes -- Canada -- 13,270
62 -- Jonathan Little -- US -- 13,270

Brad Willis
@BradWillis in