EPT11 Grand Final: Red hot Ivan Luca leads €2K NLHE to highlight side action

We're crossing 2 a.m. here in Monaco at the PokerStars and Monte-Carlo®Casino EPT Grand Final, but the poker keeps right on going with cash games around the clock and tournaments nearly also always running. Since we last checked in, the big €2,000 no-limit hold'em event wrapped up the first of its two days, the €500 limit Omaha hi/low event has nearly played to a conclusion, and we've other information to report from the voluminous side action.


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They've concluded play for Day 1 of the two-day €2,000 no-limit hold'em Event #46 where Ivan Luca bagged the big stack at night's end with 157,200.


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Ivan Luca

A total of 263 took part in Event #46, building a €510,220 prize pool to be divided among the top 39 finishers. Just 62 remained when play ended just now, with Luca's big stack placing him ahead of nearest challenger Isabel Baltazar (140,000) who just won the Women's event a couple of days ago.

Hailing from Argentina, Luca looks to continue a hot 2015 that has seen him collecting cashes at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure, EPT11 Deauville, LAPT8 Chile, UKIPT5 Nottingham, and EPT11 Malta where he earned a career-best €397,000 prize for finishing runner-up in the High Roller. And that followed a triumphant EPT11 Prague visit that included three final tables (a second, and two thirds).

Luca qualified for packages at Prague, and in fact ever since has made it his practice to win his way into events when playing abroad. "For an Argentinian to play the European circuit is not easy," explains Luca, noting how both the distance and time needed to travel plus the expenses make it hard to play events such as on the EPT. "However, this year I decided to try playing the international circuit, beginning with online qualifiers to different tournaments," he says.

That plan has been working out just fine for Luca.

He and the other survivors of Day 1 are all eyeing a €102,300 first prize up top in this one. Others with big stacks to end the day include Diaz Gilbert (128,000), Iosif Beskrovnyy (113,700), Vladimir Alekseev (112,400), and Rene Knapp (110,800).

Meanwhile we'll see several other familiar faces again tomorrow in Event #46 such as Byron Kaverman (57,000), Anthony Zinno (35,800), Jeremy Ausmus (34,600), Team PokerStars Pro Liv Boeree (26,600), and Mike Watson (12,600).

Also returning tomorrow are a couple of players from Japan, Tomochika Kamiya (39,600) and Daichi Tominaga (72,600). Tominaga has promised our photographer Tomas he'll return in a kimono tomorrow for Day 2, and Tomas says he will be ready.


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Daichi Tominaga

Here are the payouts awaiting those making the top 39:

1. €102,300
2. €68,000
3. €49,800
4. €40,160
5. €31,500
6. €23,800
7. €17,500
8. €12,850
9. €10,650
10-11. €8,930
12-13. €7,800
14-15. €7,040
16-17. €6,275
18-20. €5,510
21-23. €5,000
24-27. €4,490
28-31. €3,980
32-39. €3,520


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As they finished up Event #46, tucked away in a corner were the final three players in Event #45, all who remained from the 32-player field in the €500 limit Omaha hi/low event.

The top six cash in that one, and more than two-thirds of the €15,520 prize pool was still up for grabs when it appeared the final trio was going to talk about a possible deal before continuing play.

The €500 NL Turbo Bounty (Event #47) continues as well, an event that drew 192 entries with a total prize pool of €96,000. The top 27 finishers will split those riches, with €10,000 due the winner. Also happening currently is that €100 NL "Deuces Wild" Turbo with unlimited €50 rebuys (Event #48) and the midnight-starting Event #49, another €550 NL Turbo.

We'll catch you up on the results of all of that late action tomorrow along with continuing coverage of the €2K, a handful more no-limit hold'em events, and a €500 H.O.R.S.E. as well.

Until then, bonne nuit from Monaco!


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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.