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The European Poker Tour (EPT) made its annual springtime pitstop in Europe’s historical gambling capital: Monte Carlo, home to one of the most prestigious Formula 1 races in the world, as well as the most spectacular poker room on the planet. Here’s all the information from the festival, which ran from April 26 through to May 6, 2023.

The festival kicked off with the France Poker Series (FPS) and its €1,100 Main Event, before moving up in both stakes and prestige with the EPT and its four flagship events, headlined by the €5,300 Main Event.

MIKE WATSON LANDS EPT DOUBLE WITH FLAWLESS TRIUMPH IN MONTE CARLO

The European Poker Tour (EPT) crowned its third two-time champion tonight as one of the modern game’s leading lights completed an emphatic victory in the 2023 EPT Monte Carlo 2023 Main Event.

Mike Watson, a 39-year-old pro from Toronto, Canada, outlasted a field of 1,098 entries here in the Salle des Etoiles, Monte Carlo, to claim a payday of €749,425.

But more than that, Watson added this EPT triumph to his victory in the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure of 2016, joining only Victoria Coren Mitchell and Mikalai Pobal as owners of two EPT Main Event winners’ trophies.

READ: MIKE WATSON LANDS EPT DOUBLE WITH FLAWLESS TRIUMPH IN MONTE CARLO

THE 4 HANDS THAT LED MIKE WATSON TO THE EPT MONTE CARLO TITLE

Mike Watson demonstrated exactly why he’s one of the most successful poker pros of his generation. And when your generation is arguably the most-skilled and dominant in poker history, that’s really saying something.

He made it look easy on the EPT Monte Carlo 2023 final table, bobbing and weaving and running well at the exact right moments.

Here are 4 key hands that led him to his second EPT title.

ALL EPT MONTE CARLO 2023 CONTENT

The news, stories and interviews from EPT Monte Carlo 2023:

EPT MONTE CARLO FINAL TABLE PLAYER PROFILESFrom a starting field of 1,098 entries, the European Poker Tour (EPT) Main Event is down to its final six. Learn some more about them in our player profiles.

5 UNDER 25: THE YOUNGEST PLAYERS TO PLAY THE €25KBut 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?

€25K MONTE CARLO HIGH ROLLER HITS TOURNAMENT SWEET SPOTThe European Poker Tour (EPT) Monte Carlo High Roller tournament announced its prize pool today, and there’s going to be another winner of a seven-figure amount.

ROLL UP, ROLL UP! SPIN THE WHEEL! EVERYONE’S A WINNER!If you’ve walked through the lobby at a European Poker Tour (EPT) event over the past year, you can’t have missed the big wheel positioned by the Welcome Desk. The invitation is clear: spin the wheel, win a prize. Everyone’s a winner.

THE WORK OF ART AND LOVE THAT IS THE EPT MYSTERY BOUNTY BOXThe next time you wander close to the mystery bounty desk, take a while to admire the box those envelopes are stored in. Here’s its story.

LIFE AFTER THE PSPC FOR CHAMPION ALIAKSANDR SHYLKOThe first thing Aliaksandr Shylko thought about after he won the PSPC 2023 wasn’t the money ($3.12 million), the prestige, or how he was going to celebrate that night. It was what he was going to do next on the poker table.

RED SPADE WATCH IN THE EPT MONTE CARLO €25K HIGH ROLLERGrafton tells Pardo his “MalakaStyle” strategy and Talbot is conspicuous by his absence in the EPT Monte Carlo €25K High Roller.

SHE’S THE REIGNING WORLD CHAMPION, BUT JESSICA TEUSL IS DREAMING BIGGERThe Austrian player Jessica Teusl has won the WSOP Ladies Championship and the European equivalent three times. But she’s now planning to make a mark in open events.

HOW POKERSTARS QUALIFIER STEPHEN KEHOE WENT FROM LOW STAKES TO EPT MONTE CARLO AND SIX-FIGURE SCORESIn early 2020, Ireland’s Stephen Kehoe was a trainee accountant and aspiring poker player known as “penguy2” on PokerStars, who had just won a package for Lex Veldhuis’ Lex Live. But he’s had a crazy few years since.

MAGNUS CARLSEN’S NEW CHAPTER IN POKER: CHESS LEGEND’S FIRST INTERVIEW AS A FORMER WORLD CHAMPIONThe morning of Monday, May 1, 2023, was the first morning for 3,445 days that Magnus Carlsen woke up and was not the chess World Champion. And what did he do on the first day after his 10-year reign came to an end? He decided to spend the day playing poker.

WAKI WHACKED WITH ACES TO BURST MONTE CARLO BUBBLEThere’s been a very healthy contingent of Japanese players here at the European Poker Tour (EPT) Main Event in Monte Carlo. But last night, one of their number hit the headlines for the worst possible reason. In brutal fashion, too.

ROBERT GOLLE LIVING THE POKERSTARS QUALIFIER’S DREAM IN MONTE CARLORobert Golle qualified for the EPT Monte Carlo Main Event for just €2.20. Now he’s cruising around Monaco in a green Lamborghini.

JOINT-BIGGEST FIELD CONFIRMED FOR EPT MONTE CARLO MAIN EVENT!With record-breaking fields across many poker events, the 2023 €5,300 EPT Monte Carlo Main Event has joined the list. We dive into the stats and learn everything there is to know about this Main Event field.

IS THE SALLE DES ETOILES THE BEST PLACE TO PLAY POKER IN THE WORLD?We take a close look at the storied history of the EPT Monte Carlo tournament room – without question the best looking tournament room in the world game and our home for close to 15 years.

HOW TO…GET REGISTERED ON THE EPTWhen you arrive to any European Poker Tour (EPT) event for the first time, things might seem a little daunting. But here’s a step-by-step guide to help newcomers navigate their way to their tournament table.

KULEV COMPLETES RISE TO THE TOP WITH €1M SUPER HIGH ROLLER TRIUMPHThe inexorable rise of Alex Kulev through poker’s ranks hit a new high point today in Monte Carlo where the Dublin-based Bulgarian claimed the first seven-figure prize of his career.

EPT MONTE CARLO: POKERSTARS PLAYERS’ PARTY PHOTO GALLERYOn Saturday, May 29, 2023, the picture-perfect April Jardin of the Monte Carlo Bay Hotel was the location for this year’s EPT Monte Carlo Players Party.

POKERSTARS QUALIFIERS: TURNING SMALL BUY-INS INTO MASSIVE PAYDAYS“I would never have come if I hadn’t qualified.” Read how Tomas Patka qualified for the FPS Main Event online, then made the final table in Monte Carlo.

TASTING THE HIGH LIFE IN MONACO AT EPT MONTE CARLOEvery year, an unknown quantity of super high rollers board choppers heading straight to the Principality for the European Poker Tour (EPT) Monte Carlo festival. But this morning, it was our turn.


EPT MONTE CARLO NEWS IN BRIEF

What happened around the festival:

ANOTHER CHOP FOR DAVIES AND HAXTON

Isaac Haxton and Seth Davies once again found themselves involved in an ICM chop at the end of a High Roller tournament in Monte Carlo, with the American pair the last two involved at the end of Event 34. That was a €25K buy-in single-day high roller with 40 entries. The duo had to chop the best part of €500K between them.

Davies was the chip leader at the time and he took €277,732. Haxton had to settle for €269,668, but went on to win the trophy.

It was a near repeat of Event 25 earlier in the week, where Davies, Haxton and Stephen Chidwick were the last three in the tournament. That time, they chopped it, Davies took the most but Chidwick won.

None of these guys are exactly glory hungry. Their motivation is more financial, and they are desperate for any more trophies. But Davies must wonder what he has to do to finally get his hand on a Spadie.

VIEIRA BESTS THOREL FOR LATEST €25K WIN

Joao Vieira is no doubt preparing for a trip to the SCOOP tables next week as that series gets started on PokerStars. He’s a five-time champion and always a good bet to pick up at least one more crown. He warmed up in style here in Monte Carlo with victory in the latest €25K single-day event on Tuesday, earning €314,830 for his troubles.

With 38 entries, Vieira came out best from a final table also featuring relative newcomers Corel Theuma, Biao Ding and Timothe Busso. Vieira then beat a familiar adversary Jean-Noel Thorel heads up to claim the latest prize.

CHIDWICK COMES OUT TOP AFTER THREE-WAY €50K CHOP

During the final stages of the €100K Super High Roller event this week, both Alex Kulev and Mikita Badziakouski were keen to reduce the blinds so that they could jump in to the €50K Single Day event. They managed it, but it wasn’t worth their while. They busted the 17-entry event before the money.

More EPT Monte Carlo news in brief

Full EPT Monte Carlo side event results

KULEV COMPLETES RISE TO THE TOP WITH €1M SUPER HIGH ROLLER TRIUMPH

€100K Super High Roller
Entries: 37 (inc. 8 re-entries) | Prize pool: €3,589,740 | First prize: €1,238,440

The inexorable rise of Alex Kulev through poker’s ranks hit a new high point today in Monte Carlo where the Dublin-based Bulgarian claimed the first seven-figure prize of his career.

The inexorable rise of Alex Kulev through poker’s ranks hit a new high point today in Monte Carlo where the Dublin-based Bulgarian claimed the first seven-figure prize of his career.

Kulev is the latest Super High Roller champion on the European Poker Tour (EPT), taking down the €100K buy-in event at EPT Monte Carlo for €1,036,287. It came after Kulev defeated the two-time Super High Roller champion Mikita Badziakouski heads-up, and after the pair agreed an ICM deal when they were the last of 29 players standing.

“I’m extremely grateful,” Kulev said in his post-game interview, shortly before hoisting the trophy. “I’ve been looking forward to doing something like this. I’ve had a few opportunities before but I couldn’t take it down. But doing this, doing it here, I’m very grateful and delighted with the result.”

Read a full report from the EPT Monte Carlo Super High Roller here.

Key festival dates

FPS:

FPS Main Event: April 26-30- €1,100
FPS Cup: April 28-29- €550
FPS High Roller: April 29-30- €2,200

EPT:

EPT Super High Roller: April 29-May 1 – €100,000
EPT Main Event: April 30-May 6 – €5,300
EPT Mystery Bounty: May 2-4 – €3,000
EPT High Roller: May 4-6 – €25,000

RESULTS

There are 53 events on the schedule, including satellites.

Here’s where you’ll find all results from the festival so far:

EPT MONTE CARLO RESULTS

PREVIOUS WINNERS

For many years Monte Carlo was the home of the EPT Grand Final, before simply becoming one of the most glamorous stops on the poker calendar. 

Previous winners include poker superstars Steve O’Dwyer in 2013 – who overcame arguably the toughest final table in poker history – and Adrian Mateos in 2015.

2005 – Rob Hollink (Netherlands) – €635,000

2006 – Jeff Williams (United States) – €900,000 (RECAP)

2007 – Gavin Griffin (United States) – €1,825,010 (RECAP)

2008 – Glen Chorny (Canada) – €2,020,000 (RECAP)

2009 – Pieter de Korver (Netherlands) – €2,300,000 (RECAP)

2010 – Nicolas Chouity (Lebanon) – €1,700,000 (RECAP)

2012 – Mohsin Charania (United States) – €1,350,000 (RECAP)

2013 – Steve O’Dwyer (United States) – €1,224,000 (RECAP)

2015 – Adrián Mateos (Spain) – €1,082,000 (RECAP)

2016 – Jan Bendik (Slovakia) – €961,800 (RECAP)

2017 – Raffaele Sorrentino (Itay) – €466,714 (RECAP)

2018 – Nicolas Dumont (France) – €712,000 (RECAP)

2019 – Manig Löser (Germany) – €603,777 (RECAP)

2022 –  Marcelo Simões (Brazil) – €939,840 (RECAP)

A GUIDE TO MONTE CARLO

Everything you have heard about the tiny principality of Monaco is true: it is lavish, ostentatious and eye-wateringly expensive. But it is also exceptionally beautiful with a fine beach and stunning views across the Mediterranean.

More to see in Monaco than just the inside of a tournament room

From how to get there to what to do when you arrive, check out this guide:

THE COMPLETE GUIDE TO EPT MONTE CARLO

MONACO ON A BUDGET

No one who works for PokerStars Blog is a millionaire, yet we have been coming to Monaco as long as the European Poker Tour (EPT) and we’re still alive.

That’s because over the years we’ve found out how to survive in Monte Carlo on a relatively meagre budget. Whatever you may think, our per diem doesn’t stretch to anything lavish, but we no longer approach Monte Carlo with a terror of bankruptcy.

We’re happy to share some of our tips for how to survive in Monte Carlo on a budget. Of course, you can break the bank if you want to, but you absolutely don’t have to.

Check out:

SURVIVING EPT MONTE CARLO ON A BUDGET

Activities calendar

It’s been a fixture on the European Poker Tour (EPT) calendar since the earliest days, and this year’s trip to Monte Carlo has the potential to be the best yet. With huge numbers expected, the exclusive principality on the Mediterranean Sea will once again be the place to be for poker players this spring.

But, as usual, it’s not only about what you can expect at the tables. The EPT will once again lay on a full schedule of activities for players and their guests. There’s always something to do whether you’re playing poker or not.

Here’s what to expect this time around.

EVERYTHING ELSE…

POKER NEWS LIVE UPDATES
Our live reporting partner will offer hand-by-hand updates from a number of tournaments across the series.

EPT MONTE CARLO OFFICIAL SITE
The PokerStars Live official page, with everything you need to know about the tournament series in Monaco.

FULL TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE
There are 53 events set to play out across the tournament series. Here’s the day-by-day schedule.

DOWNLOAD THE POKERSTARS LIVE APP
All the info you need on your mobile device from the Apple iStore or Google Play for Android.

POKERSTARS BLOG ON TWITTER
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