Sunday, 26th May 2024 14:51
Home / Poker / 5 under 25: The youngest players to play the €25K High Roller at EPT Monte Carlo

There’s a conflicting comfort in knowing that a €25K High Roller final table will be full of familiar faces. 

On the one hand, we know how good the players are, and their backstories. You’ve probably grown up watching them. Learning from them. Idolising them.

But what about the new blood challenging the old guard? Aren’t there any young wizards in the European Poker Tour (EPT) Monte Carlo High Roller who you might not be familiar with, destined to become superstars of the future?

In the spirit of the Forbes 30 Under 30 list, we thought we’d see if there were 25 players in the €25K aged 25 or under. It had a nice ring to it.

So, walking through the €25K field, we began looking for the freshest faces, those who almost certainly still get ID’d when they go to a bar after a long day at the tables. 

Spoiler alert: There aren’t 25 of ‘em.

It might have been the case ten years ago, but it’s hardly surprising that it’s not in 2023. The game has gotten tougher, and the High Roller buy-ins bigger.  

It takes a special breed to reach the dizzying heights of the EPT High Rollers so young. 

But a few have managed it. Here are the youngest players to take part in this year’s €25K High Roller in Monaco.

LEON STURM (a.k.a. “RUMUKULUS”)

Leon “RUMUKULUS” Sturm

At just 22 years old, Germany’s Leon Sturm has become a fixture in High Roller events at the EPT, online, and beyond. 

Known as “RUMUKULUS” on PokerStars, you’ll find Sturm playing all the biggest tournaments on the regular schedule from his home in Austria, as well as the larger buy-ins during the Spring Championship of Online Poker (SCOOP) and World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP).

His breakout result came on the World Poker Tour (WPT) in July 2022, when he finished fourth in the Venetian Deepstack for $327,000. Sturm then captured his first WCOOP title later that year with a win in a $2,100 NLHE event, banking $64,257.

To date, Sturm has $568,657 in live earnings.

MEHDI CHAOUI 

Mehdi Chaoui

Tying Sturm as the youngest in the field is Morroco’s Mehdi Chaoui, who has been on an absolute tear the past couple of years.

In less than three years of live poker, Chaoui has amassed an impressive $975,416 in cashes, headlined by a win at the All Poker Open in Paris for €155,000 in February 2022. He immediately followed that up with a final table finish at the record-breaking EPT Paris, busting in ninth for €111,000.

Multiple juicy five-figure scores make up the rest of Chaoui’s resume, and now that he’s playing €25Ks like the one here in Monte Carlo, that amount is only going to increase.

PEDRO NEVES

When 25-year-old Pedro Neves was hurtling towards the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (PCA) final table back in January 2023, his fellow Portuguese professional Joao Vieira was on the sidelines telling us just how good he is.

And he was right. Neves, who started playing when he was 18, only began playing live poker seriously in March 2022 when the EPT returned from its pandemic hiatus. Since then he’s acquired $1.7 million in live earnings, most of which came from his PCA runner-up finish ($1.18 million).

“As I’m getting better at it, I start to like [live poker] more than online poker,” he said. “There are more factors to it than online; you have to watch the whole table.”

ARTUR MARTIROSIAN (a.k.a. “Marathur1”)

Artur “Marathur1” Martirosian

You’d be forgiven for thinking Artur “Marathur1” Martirosian was older than he is. It feels like he’s been crushing both live and online for at least a decade, and with $7.1 million in live cashes and unknown millions won online, he has a poker résumé far older than his years.

At just 25, Martirosian has already reached the highest echelon of tournament poker–super high roller regular status–and has a chock-full trophy cabinet to show for his five years of playing professionally. 

It was in his hometown of Voronezh in southwestern Russia where he first discovered poker at 16, and he’s come a long way since. 

In March 2021 he took down his first European Poker Tour title, on home soil no less, winning EPT Sochi for $325K. He followed that up with an impressive $100K Super High Roller Bowl victory worth $1.4 million in August 2021. 

He’s since won a €25K High Roller at EPT Barcelona for €540K, finished third in the PCA for $677K, fifth in the PCA Super High Roller for $854K, and just a few days ago he got a fourth at the Super High Roller here in Monte Carlo for €412K.

And that’s just his live poker accomplishments. Online he’s won just about everything including multiple Championship of Online Poker titles. He even won two WCOOP events in one night.

The guy is a beast, plain and simple.

ARTHUR CONAN

France’s Arthur Conan is only 25 or 26, but he’s been doing the business since he was 18 and has put together an impressive poker CV that even members of the old guard would be proud of. 

He’s got just shy of $3 million in online cashes, his biggest win coming in a $50K WPT Super High Roller for $733K. Conan also has a WSOP bracelet, won online in 2021.

ROMAN HRABEC (a.k.a. “Gogac Sniper”)

Roman “Gogac Sniper” Hrabec

At 26, Roman “Gogag Sniper” Hrabec technically doesn’t make the cut for this list. But screw your technicalities.

Originally from Prague but now based in the poker hub of Vienna, Hrabec switched from pro hockey to pro poker in his late teens and enjoyed a rapid ascent to the high stakes.

Hrabec has $11.8 million in online cashes to date and is currently ranked fourth in the world, according to PokerStake. He’s got both SCOOP and WCOOP trophies on his mantle, as well as a plethora of other accolades.

But while online is Hrabec‘s bread and butter, he has also earned almost $2 million live. At EPT London in October 2022, Hrabec picked up £155K for second place in the UKIPT High Roller, as well as £277K for fourth place in the London Main Event. 

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