EPT11 Grand Final: Koon, Palumbo among latest round of side event winners

Thursday was the busiest day of the PokerStars and Monte-Carlo®Casino EPT Grand Final festival, with not only the Main Event and €25,000 High Roller playing out their penultimate days but 10 other events ongoing including seven more EPT Grand Final trophies won.

Here's a quick recap of the voluminous side action from Thursday, plus a look at what's on tap for this last day of poker at the Monte Carlo Bay Resort and Hotel.

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Event #68, a €500 NL Deepstack event, started early and ended late, with 113 players working all of the way down to just one -- France's Jean-Jacques Zeitoun. Zeitoun and his fellow countryman Karim Lehoussine struck a deal heads-up to split the remaining prize money, and thus both took away €11,550 as the best rewarded among the tournament's 17 cashers.


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Jean-Jacques Zeitoun


The €3k NL Hold'em "Escaltor" Event #69 had a unique structure in which the first three levels were 15 minutes each, then every level therefter increased by five minutes. The original plan had been to allow two days for this one, but the Escalator escalated more quickly and they were able to play down to a winner last night.

Rocco Palumbo took away the top prize, earning €71,850 for beating out a field of 93. Diogo Cardoso (second) and Daniel Dvoress (third) came closest to the top, with Simon Deadman (ninth), Fedor Holz (10th), Team PokerStars Pro Jake Cody (11th), and Nicolas Chouity (12th) also cashing.


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Rocco Palumbo

Meanwhile a €500 8-Game tournament -- Event #70 -- drew 14 runners with the top three being paid. Another Frenchman, Philippe Bouhnik, took top honors and the €3,400 first prize, with Ireland's Joseph Nelson (second) and Dan Heimiller of the USA (third) also profiting.


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Philippe Bouhnik


We spent some time yesterday looking in on the intriguing Event #71, a €100 NL Turbo, ante-only, "All In or Fold" tournament with unlimited €50 re-buys during the first four 15-minute levels. As you might guess, the choice was "All In" a lot during that first hour, then "Fold" more frequently thereafter.

Twenty-two played the event, taking 37 re-buys among them and thus building a prize pool of nearly €4K. The top four made the money, with Greece's Vasileios Charalampakis the champion.


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Vasileios Charalampakis

One of the bigger side events yesterday was the €2k NL Turbo Bounty -- Event #72 -- drawing 155 players of which the top 23 cashed. Italy's Iacopo Brandi triumphed to earn a €33,870 first prize, the biggest share of the €145,700 prize pool.

Brandi had to outlast an especially tough final table that included Byron Kaverman (who took second), Ariel Celestino (third), and Juan Martin Pastor (fourth), with Jason Wheeler there as well (finishing eighth). Grant Levy (11th), Anton Astapau (12th), and Benny Spindler (16th) also cashed.


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Iacopo Brandi

Speaking of tough fields, the small group of nine players who took part in Event #74, a €5,000 8-game Turbo tournament, was a talented one as well. Jason Koon ultimately grabbed the €21,830 first prize, outlasting Team PokerStars Pro and 2014 World Series of Poker Player of the Year George Danzer (second) and Scott Clements (third), both of whom also cashed.


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Jason Koon

Finally, Event #75 was the last tournament to get going late last night, a €200 no-limit Omaha hi/low event that drew 31 with the top five making the money. France's Nicolas Fraioli earned the trophy in this one, his €1,879 prize being just a single euro less than what runner-up Frederic Bussot-Fuentes took away after a heads-up deal.


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Nicolas Fraioli

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An exciting final day awaits here in Monaco, with both the Main Event and €25K High Roller playing down to winners, plus four other side events playing out as well.

Event #73, the €200 NL Monaco Megastack that drew 108 runners yesterday is down to 10 players and will finish today, with a €5,390 prize scheduled to go to the winner.

Additionally three last events will begin and end today, highlighted by Event #76, a €10,000 NL Turbo that will likely draw a tough field from those still in Monaco. Event #77, a €300 NL Turbo Edition of the EPT Main Event, goes off as well, as does the very last Event #78, a €2,000 NL Turbo.

We'll keep tabs on those last side events along with the marquee tournaments today. Stick with us as we see the EPT Grand Final festival -- and Season 11 -- through to its stirring conclusion.

Click here for a continually updated list of all side event results from the EPT11 Grand Final.

Follow all the action from the €10,000 Main Event is on the Main Event page. Also watch on EPT Live. It's also about time you downloaded the EPT app. There you will get all the latest news, chip counts and payouts. You can download it on Android or IOS.

Martin Harris is Freelance Contributor to the PokerStars Blog.