Fernando Brito wins EPT Player of the Year award

ept-thumb-promo.jpgPortuguese businessman Fernando Brito is the new EPT Player of the Year after putting in a consistent performance throughout Season 7.

Brito, 52, worked hard to snag the title, winning or cashing in event after event and dominating the season's POY race. As well as a sixth place finish in the EPT London Main Event, Brito has won four €1,000 NL Turbo Random Bounty events, come second in another one, won back-to-back €10k events and finished fifth in the last €10k in San Remo.

Brito, who runs a string of businesses in Brazil, has cashed everywhere except EPT Tallinn and Berlin and ended Season 7 with a flourish - a deep run worth €30,000, and an extra hundred award points, in the EPT7 Grand Final Main Event.

Brito first seized the POY lead in London and never relinquished it from that moment on. He ended the season 1,600 points ahead of his closest rival, Swedish pro Martin Jacobson who was runner-up at EPT Vilamoura and Deauville.

Brito said: "We can only sing victory when it's achieved, so I didn't believe I had won until yesterday when I cashed in the Grand Final Main Event. I am very thankful to my family and friends - I couldn't have done this without them. Now I'm going to try to do it again next season!"

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Fernando Brito

At an awards ceremony at the world-famous Pacha nightclub in Madrid hosted by Team PokerStars Pros Liv Boeree and Joe Hachem, the PokerStars.com European Poker Tour Awards recognised the achievements of players from all over Europe. A total of eight EPT Awards were up for grabs. Six of the Awards were based on points accrued from all 13 EPT Season 7 Main Events and $1,000+ side events. The EPT Achievement of the Year and Players' Choice Awards were voted on by EPT players at the end of the season.

The other award winners were:
EPT Omaha Player of the Year: Italian Dario Alioto, who final-tabled three Omaha events in EPT Season 7, triumphed despite fierce competition from Irishman John O'Shea.

EPT Mixed Game Player of the Year: British player Matthew Ashton narrowly snagged this award despite tough competition from Italian Dario Alioto.

EPT Heads-Up Player of the Year: Portuguese player Diogo Veiga, who won the £1,000 Heads-Up tourney at EPT London, narrowly beat Richard Gryko to take the Heads-Up Player of the Year Award.

EPT Country of the Year: Ireland is EPT Country of the Year after gaining the highest average-points-per-cash. There were 70 Irish entries in EPT Main Event in Season 7 with 16 cashes, a winning 22.86%. All Irish players who cashed in Season 7 Main Events will be invited to compete in a special €10,000 prize pool freeroll taking place during EPT Season 8.

EPT Online Qualifier of the Year: Swedish pro Martin Jacobson qualified for six EPT events in Season 7 and final-tabled three including runner-up finishes at Vilamoura and Deauville. He has earned more than €1 million.

The EPT Achievement of the Year: Players voted in droves for German pro Max Heinzelmann, who was runner-up at back-to-back EPT events in Berlin and San Remo, earned €1.1 million during Season 7. The 20-year-old has playing poker for around two years after a friend sent him a few dollars to deposit online and has previously won both the PokerStars Sunday 500 and the $100 Daily rebuy tourney. His online winnings now total more than $450,000.

EPT Players' Choice Award: It was Max Heinzelmann again for the Players' Choice Award. Heinzelmann, who endeared himself to many with great performances, and gracious tributes to his rivals, said: "This means a lot to me. I'm very happy."

All Season 7 individual award winners receive a full prize package for the first event of Season 8.

Up-to-date standings for each Season 7 EPT Award category can be found at
the EPT awards page.

Simon Young
@MrSimonYoung in PokerStars news