EPT8 Deauville: Side event glory for Barbero and De Meulder, Blom beaten heads up
Every EPT is a festival of poker, it's not just a main event. Okay, there might not be the 40-odd events you have at the PCA but there are side events galore, from €300 nightly turbos up to €10,000 High Rollers. These side events have proved to be happy hunting grounds for many players that bust out of the main. The regular €2,000 side event, for instance, has picked up the nickname of the 'John Eames Invitational' due to the fact that he's won that event twice and finished runner-up once for a combined €303,550.
Here in Deauville we've had results from a few of the usual heroes. Team PokerStars Pro Nacho Barbero took down the €1,000 pot-limit Omaha event for €37,500, boosting his live winnings close to the $2,000,000 mark. Ruben Visser continues a fine run of form having final tabled the PCA main event a couple of weeks ago with a €44,400 victory in a 198 man €1,000 bounty tournament while one half of the De Meulder twins (the Matthias flavoured one) came out on top in the 378 runner €1,500 side event for €131,000. It's the biggest score of the 23-year-old Team PokerStars Pro's career. Nice.
Viktor Blom, yes he of 'Isildur1'moniker, proved that he was human after losing the final of the €5,000 heads-up event to Kunimaro Kojo, a snappy dresser from Japan who won a €5,000 side event at the PCA for $92,540. Kojo pocketed €25,000, Blom claiming the rest of the prize money, €13,400. Blom won the $100,000 Super High Roller at the PCA for $1,254,400 so we imagine that he won't have too many sleepless nights about getting beaten by Kojo. It was a tightly knit field of eight which featured a Matt Perrins-Jake Cody first round showdown. Triple crown winner Cod almost gave his childhood friend a free pass to the semi-final when he almost failed to show following an enthusiastic taking part of the EPT party the night before.
The €10,000 High Roller comes to fruition today with just five players left from the 289 starting field. British pro Ben Vinson started the day as chip leader putting himself in the driving seat to win the €144,300 first place prize.
Ben Vinson, UK, 183,700
Tome Moreira, Portugal, 91,700
Paul Chapelle, 71,000
Roman Romanovskyi, Ukraine, 51,600
Cesar Garcia Dominguez, Spain, 41,800
Some 27 players have already padded out their bankrolls with cash finishes in that event with the likes of Team PokerStars Pros Jonathan Duhamel and Toni Judet, Guillaume Darcourt, James Mitchell and Mayu Roca Uribe all putting their name on the score sheet.