Natan Chauskin wins IPT7 Malta2 Main Event from the front

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Natan Chauskin - the winner

A total of 947 players turned up a few days ago to play the IPT Main Event, and here on a Sunday evening, just one man was left standing. Natan Chauskin defeated Govert Metaal in a relatively short heads up battle to claim the trophy and €149,560.

Chauskin entered the day as clear chip leader and, taking that stat (alone) into account, was expected to win. Metaal came in to the final table as the short stack so was never expected to get as far as he did, so can be very proud of his achievement.

Asked if he was happy and expected to win, he responded with, "Yes, very, and I came to win, and I was sure I would. When back in Belorussia, we were in a bar with our team and my coach, Jenya Gavrilovich, winner of EPT12 Barcelona €2k, asked me, when shooting a video, "What about this IPT Malta?" and I said: "I'm going to win it! Go there and win it for sure!" This is what happened, so I can say I was just looking forward to it."

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Trophy Presentation

He went on to say, "It's not the amount of money that changes my life, and plus, I don't play just for the money, I play to become a sportstar, because poker is a sport, where the competition is the most important thing. I will play the EPT Main Event tomorrow and win it too!"

The final hand saw Metaal three-bet all in with pocket fives and Chauskin call after he had raised with king-queen. The Belorussian took the lead when he turned top pair and victory was confirmed when he improved to a flush on the river.

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Fortune favoured this brave man today

Meetal won the €10,000 High Roller event at EPT Campione back is Season 8 and was so close to claiming a second major trophy on tour. The €124,080 he won today tops the €110,000 he won back in 2008 and, after the tournament had ended, he had this to say on both achievements, "The field was harder here so this result is more valuable to me."


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Timofeev was downed first

Day 3 started with two quick eliminations and a bustout (on average) every 12 minutes throughout the day, whereas today it took around two hours for the first player to bust. Denis Timofeev, short stacked at the time, made his move with pocket fours but failed to stay ahead of Chauskins ace-jack. The Belorussian only took five more minutes to claim another scalp and this time he didn't event need coin-flip odds to get the job done. After raising with ace-seven, he called James Grogan's shove with big slick and rivered a seven.

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Grogan got his chips in good


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Garp after his last hand

They say bad things come in threes and Tobias Garp will agree with that sentiment. He three-bet all in with pocket sevens after Metaal -who was midway through his rush up the leader board - had raised with pocket aces. An easy call and an ace high board later saw Garp leave stage-central. A period of consolidation followed before the second Dutch representative at the final table, Joep Raemaekers, was given his marching orders. He moved all in with jack-eight suited from the button but Chris Brammer, and his pocket queens, lay in wait in the small blind.

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Gomez couldn't gain traction today

David Gomez helped start Metaal's resurgence at the beginning of the day and, ten minutes after Raemaekers bust, his nemesis came back to finish off the job. Metaal opened with ace-king and called the Spaniard's shove with pocket nines. The board ran ace high and just three remained.

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Chris Brammer headed off to start his Sunday session after busting third

The second period of consolidation kicked in and chips were passed around the table before Metaal, who was left short after an end of level confrontation with Chauskin, returned from break and made his second recovery of the day to the ultimate cost for Brammer. First he doubled his very short stack through Chauskin and then, when armed with more chips, took most of Brammer's when his pocket jacks stayed ahead of his king-queen.

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The final hand

Before heads up play began, the two player struck a deal that meant they were effectively playing a €20,000 heads up sit and go. Chauskin held a 13.8 million to 9.8 million lead and only extended it until he had all the chips. He proved over the last two days that he's a phenomenal front runner and has made a very impressive start to his live poker career.

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Updates provided by Marc Convey, with photos coming from René Velli and Tomáš Stacha.

Marc Convey
@The_Conv in European Poker Tour