Jean Montury is the latest European Poker Tour Main Event champion, after beating Valentin Messina, in heads-up action, to take the first prize of €687,400 on the tiny island of Malta.That’s it!
Draw a line under it.
Pack it away.
Consign it to the history books.
69 events have whistled by like a bullet train from Japan, and the inaugural European Poker Tour (EPT) stop in Malta has been a rip roaring success.
The jewel in the crown was, of course, the €5,300 buy-in Main Event. 895 players made it the third largest of the season – behind Prague (1,107) and Barcelona (1,496) – and it was left to two men from France to fight it out for the largest piece of a pie that contained €4,340,750 of moolah.
Two Germans, two Americans, a Bulgarian, and now a Frenchman, as Jean Montury defeated Valentin Messina, in heads-up action, to take the first prize of €687,400.
When the final table was boiled down to eight, two names stuck out like recently hammered thumbs. Hossein Ensan has his GPS firmly tuned in to EPT Main Event final tables, and Dominik Panka is…well…Dominik Panka.
Ensan had an incredible run when he finished third at EPT Barcelona. He picked up a career high of €652,667 for that run, and he added a further €153,700 with a sixth place finish in this one.
But all eyes were on Panka.
Could the young PokerStars players repeat his success of the Season 10 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (PCA) and walk away with two EPT Main Event titles? The title of this post gives you a slight clue as to the answer to that question – but he came mighty close. A third place finish, and during his birthday celebrations no less.
The PokerNews blog said that Panka evaded the losing end of nine all-in pots on his birthday. It’s a shame he wasn’t born one day later. His pocket nines reaching the river, ahead of Montury’s [Ac] [Qc], only for the board to run out [Kc] [7s] [2d] [Jd] [Ts] ripping the Pole out of the ground and sending it like a javelin to the rail.
Messina, who once beat Freddy Deeb, in heads-up action, to win $189,146 in a Paris Open of Poker event, started the heads-up phase with a slight chip lead. That advantage gave him the most money when the pair agreed to a chop. It was €615,000 for Messina, €587,400 for Montury; leaving €100,000 to play for, and of course, the glory of becoming an EPT champ.
€100,000 is a lot of dough. It took the players several hours of grueling play before Messina moved all-in, holding pocket fives, Montury called with [Ad] [Th], and the board double paired to hand the latter the title.
It was a great festival for Montury. Prior to Malta his record spoke of consistency; not supremacy. His Main Event victory was his fourth final table of the festival.
Not bad at all.
Final Table Results
1st. Jean Montury – €687,400*
2nd. Valentin Messina – €615,000*
3rd. Dominik Panka – €347,300
4th. Stefan Schillhabel – €260,500
5th. Javier Gomez Zapatero – €205,300
6th. Hossein Ensan – €153,700
7th. Antonin Duda – €108,200
8th. Remi Wyrzykiewicz – €76,000
*Denotes a heads-up deal