Here you’ll find a daily dose of EPT Monte Carlo news from around the festival.
THURSDAY – MAY 4
KASPER CONTINUES BOSSING THE SENIORS
He’s been around the poker scene for more than 20 years, but the Estonian player Henri Kasper has hit a real purple patch since he got old enough to play Senior’s Events.
Talking to PokerStars Blog in Paris, Kasper described how he earned one of the biggest cashes of his career in the first senior’s event he qualified to play, in Barcelona last August.
That was on the eve of his final table appearance at EPT Paris, where a fifth place multiplied his biggest win by 10. And last night in Monte Carlo, Kasper won another Seniors Event, picking up €30,420 after beating Matthew Khouri heads up.
That earned Kasper his first Spadie. Long may the hot streak continue.
WEDNESDAY – MAY 3
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.
TUESDAY – MAY 2
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.
MONDAY – MAY 1
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.
Only four players did return a profit, and the very familiar faces of Isaac Haxton, Seth Davies and Stephen Chidwick chopped it up after Sirzat Hissou was knocked out in fourth. Davies took €256,050, Haxton €244,990 and Chidwick €224,680, representing their chip stacks at the time. But Chidwick took the official win after they decided it somehow — probably by a couple of all-in-blind hands.
The win was Chidwick’s 13th in PokerStars-sponsored tournaments down the years.
MAGNUS CARLSEN TAKES A SEAT IN THE MAIN EVENT
This morning was the first in ten years that Magnus Carlsen woke up and wasn’t the World Champion of chess.
So, what did he decide to do?
He hopped on a plane to Monaco and jumped in the EPT Monte Carlo Main Event, hoping to add a new championship trophy to his mantle.
Check out our exclusive interview with Magnus Carlsen, arguably the greatest chess player of all time.
OGITA WINS RECORD-BREAKING FPS MAIN EVENT
The record for the largest-ever France Poker Series (FPS) Main Event has been broken for the second time this year, first in Paris back in February, and now in Monte Carlo.
It was Japan’s Daisuke Ogita who outlasted the enormous 2,138-entry field to win a career-best €307,160 after defeating France’s Rubens Sallam heads-up. Ogita has been in fine form of late, having won a €5K 6-max side event at EPT Paris for €111K.
This win takes him up above €1.15 million. Moreover, he’s now entered the top 10 of Japan’s all-time money list.
PokerStars streamed the entire final table, which you can watch here.
LIPERIS LEADS ALL THE WAY AND WINS FPS HIGH ROLLER
Yiannis Liperis of Cyprus enjoyed a tournament performance that most of us can only dream of in the €2,200 FPS High Roller, another record-breaking event for the French tour.
First, he ended Day 1A as the chip leader. Then he put that big stack to good use and made it to the final table, no small feat as this event had an easy-to-remember 1,234 total entries. And this morning, he arrived second in chips and with demolition on his mind.
Liperis eliminated every single player on the final table today before besting Malaysia’s Sim Kok Wai heads-up to win €406,670, the biggest prize of his poker career. Before today, his career highlight was 13th place in the inaugural PokerStars Players Championship back in 2019, good for $261,750.
SUNDAY – APRIL 30
GRAFTON HITS THE GROUND RUNNING
The EPT Monte Carlo festival got off to the best start for the PokerStars Ambassador Sam Grafton. At the end of the €10K Mystery Bounty, his ledger read, “Played: 1 Won: 1”.
Grafton banked a total €145,400 from the event, picking up the €97,900 first-place prize as well as €47,500 in bounties. Although Sam Greenwood was the official runner-up, third-placed Conor Beresford actually took the second most money thanks to a bounty haul of €82,500.
Grafton’s victory required him to overcome a significant heads-up chip disadvantage against Greenwood. Grafton hit several outdraws — including winning with pocket threes all-in pre-flop against Greenwood’s jacks — to seal the deal.
SPRAGG (NOT THAT ONE) IN THE WINNER’S ENCLOSURE
The champagne is out in the Spragg household after Marle Spragg claimed her first Spadie in the women’s event here in Monte Carlo. (It may or may not have been mentioned that Marle’s husband, the PokerStars Ambassador Ben, doesn’t even have that many.)
The title came with a €5,570 payday after Spragg beat a field of 54 entries. It brings her career earnings from live tournaments close to €200,000 and represents her biggest win outside of the United States.
Ben cashed the €2K FPS high roller in 132nd place, good for €3,850. These are all small potatoes in comparison with the paydays on offer here this week, of course, but it’s these small returns at the start of a festival that can get the momentum going. Even better performances may well follow.
KISACIKOGLU CONTINUES HOT STREAK
The London-based Turkish businessman Orpen Kisacikoglu has been in an incredible run of form recently with multiple high-ranking finishes in events across the globe.
It all started for Kisacikoglu on the EPT and that hot streak has continued on his return to Monte Carlo with victory in the first €25K Single Day high roller on the schedule.
This latest triumph came with a payday of €497,000, with Kisacikoglu beating the PSPC final tablist Thomas Eychenne heads-up. Eychenne was in one of his first high roller events, perhaps demonstrating where he intends to reinvest the $800K he won in the Bahamas.
Although the 69-entry field was full of the usual suspects, many of the players in the money were less than familiar. Andrew Leathem (third), Nozomu Shimizu (fourth), Motoyoshi Okamura (eighth) and Maher Nouira (ninth) are far from household names, but found form as they took a stab at the €25K. It bodes well for the poker economy.
Check back throughout the week for more brief snippets of EPT Monte Carlo news.
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