Arnaud Mattern narrowly missed out on becoming the first ever player to win two European Poker Tour Main Event titles, as he finished third at Tallinn’s inaugural EPT event, for €160,000.
The first tournament of the seventh EPT season was held at the luxurious Swissotel in Estonia’s capital city and the Frenchman took his place at the final table as chip leader, as well as the focus of everyone’s attention.
But it was the young Norwegian Kevin Stani who would emerge victorious, to claim his first EPT title and the €400,000 in prize money. The 27 year old, who won his seat in a PokerStars online satellite, came out on top of a 420 strong tournament field and is playing the best poker of his life. Last month, Stani made the money in two World Series of Poker events, including a deep run in the WSOP Main Event, where he placed 127th for $52,102.
But like all poker tournament winners, Stani needed a little fortune to take the title. Finding himself all in with pocket threes against Mattern’s pocket queens, Stani found a miracle three on the turn and avoided a flush on the river to bust the EPT double seeking Mattern, leaving the Norwegian in a dominant heads up position over Konstanin Bilyauer.
Bilyauer was powerless to overcome the large chip deficit, but still put in an impressive performance, considering EPT Tallinn was just his second ever live poker tournament. He earned €250,000 for his troubles.
Stani described his win as “awesome”, explaining, “I’ve been through some tough times which have made it hard to focus, but I stayed with poker and told myself things are going to get better. I’m glad I did”.
The poker world never sleeps for very long and there are several other high profile poker tournaments already underway. Friday saw the commencement of the World Poker Tour’s $5,000 “Legends of Poker” tournament at LA’s Bicycle Casino, with the likes of Phil Hhellmuth and Daniel Negreanu in attendance.
Meanwhile, in Cyprus, the Full Tilt Poker Merit Cyprus Classic has also kicked off, with the $25,000 High Roller tournament well underway. 36 participants took to the felt, including Phil Ivey, Sorel Mizzi and “November Niners” John Dolan and Michael Mizrachi, but it was Frenchman David Benyamine who took the chip lead into the second day’s play.
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