EPT Monte Carlo Review
The European Poker Tour trip to the Monte Carlo Casino is one of the glitziest stops live poker has all year. All the usual faces could be seen doing battle for some of the most coveted titles in poker. Let’s take a look at who took down the most high-profile events of the series.
€5,300 Main Event
Unknown Frenchman Nicholas Dumont has won the main event against all the odds, beating legends of the game such as Patrik Antonius and David Peters. This €712,000 score marks only the seventh time Dumont has cashed in a live poker tournament. As well as securing his financial future he has also picked up one of the much sought after $30,000 Platinum Passes which gives entry to next year’s Player’s Championship to be run by Pokerstars and expecting to see most of the world’s best tournament players. Presently, Dumont makes his living as a driving instructor, but somehow, he has now catapulted his way into the battleground reserved for top class players in Monte Carlo, and in January the Bahamas. What an incredible story.
Playing in $100 multi-table tournaments is Dumont’s usual landscape, but when there were only eight players left he was leading the way with the world’s eyes upon him.
German superstar Ole Schemion was the first to leave – on the very first hand, adding only €68,300 to his almost $15 million live winnings total. A standard KQs shove ran into Patrik Antonius’s AJs and that was that.
Dumont kicked into action at this point, hitting quads against Antonius and getting paid for it. Javier Fernandez then busted his tiny stack, before Antonius gave his remaining 11 big blinds to Dumont with KQo running into A8o. Down to five.
Krisztian Gyorgyi was next to head home. The Hungarian qualifier had put in a massively spirited performance over the event and won himself a small army of fans for his never give up attitude, but sadly it wasn’t to be. Honglin Jiang squeezed all-in with pocket fours up against Gyorgyi’s AKo, and flopped a set to end the youngster’s dream until next time. The €184,000 now on his record is the only live tournament cash to date.
Along with Schemion and Antonius, David Peters was one of the guys to keep an eye on. This year marked his passing the $20 million mark and he now stands in 13th position on the all-time rankings.
In Monte Carlo, however, he didn’t really get going once the final table was set. After a double up against Antonius he then proceeded to run pocket jacks into Tomas Jozonis’s queens ending his tournament.
Jiang and Jozonis then clashed to leave us with two remaining. Jiang 5-bet bluffed A2s into pocket queens and thought he was on his was home, but a flopped flush draw gave him hope. Another club came on the turn to complete the draw and Jozonis was out.
Dumont and Jiang were remarkably deep for this stage of the tournament and took some time out to discuss the possibility of making a deal. Jiang was travelling with his sister, who is also apparently a stronger player, and she recommended that he go for glory and all of the first-place prize.
It didn’t last long though, as Dumont was clearly fired up and went on a rampage until the climatic final hand. Dumont limps his pocket queens and 3-bets Jiang’s pocket sixes. At this stage Jiang is in no mood to back down and assesses that his pair will be good often enough, and so he jams the rest of his chips into the middle. The bad news soon arrives and the board run out offers no help for the New Zealander, handing the championship to the ecstatic Frenchman.
"I tried to play the best that I can and I think I succeeded. I would like to show I'm a good player. Maybe I'm going to work Sunday... but I don't think so. Maybe Monday. It will be fantastic. I don't have words for saying how I'm feeling. It's unreal."
The High Rollers
On the EPT circuit, the high roller events now gather as much attention as the main event. They are incredibly well-supported as well as having fields full of established stars.
In Monte Carlo, things were no different and Sam Greenwood won yet another major event in the €100K Super High Roller. The Canadian is on a massive heater after winning a WPT high roller tournament in Amsterdam during April 2018. A couple of weeks before that he took down the Super High Roller at partypoker’s LIVE MILLIONS event in Barcelona, Spain.
For this €1,520,000 win, Greenwood now goes past the $10 million mark before he hits the ripe old age of 30.
Steve O’Dwyer and Justin Bonomo won the single day high roller events - €50,000 and €25,000 respectively. O’Dwyer bested a final table consisting of Steffen Sontheimer, Justin Bonomo, and Rainer Kempe to collect a €676,300 pay day which takes him within around half a million dollars of the all-time top 10 live tournament winnings standings.
Bonomo took home €378,000 for his win; not bad for a day’s work. Speaking to reporters afterwards he said
"It feels great. There have been three High Rollers here in Monte Carlo and I've cashed everyone one, so I don't have a single complaint in the world. It's an incredible streak I've been on."
Then there was another victory in a different €25,000 Single Day High Roller. €259,700 for this one had Bonomo going home a very happy man.
Albert Daher was the victor in the standard €25,000 event. After a three-way chop he walked off with almost €600,000. The man from Lebanon now has more than $3 million in live tournament winnings.
Bryn Kenney took down the relatively minor €10,000 event. The American beast probably won’t have thought much about his €153,000 prize seeing that he has already won close to $25 million. Afterwards he said
“It's like a break-even trip. I'll take it. To brick the €100k and the €50k and breakeven is definitely pretty nice.”