4 Standout Stories in EPT Malta

During the past week, the infamous EPT festival has been underway in the beautiful country of Malta. Six figure scores have been collected by several players, including Aliaksei Boika, who made a stunning call to take down the Main Event. Here is our roundup of the biggest events.

5,300 Euro EPT Main Event: Aliaksei Boika

Aliaksei Boika (Photo Neil Stoddart – PokerStars Blog)

The Main Event saw 468 players put up the 5,300 Euro buy-in, and although the field size is a little smaller than most EPT Main Events, there was still a mouth watering 1st prize of 355,700 Euros on offer. The late stages saw former Main Event winner Dominik Panka generate some extra interest as he threatened to become the second ever two-time winner.

We were also treated to the rare sight of a Chinese player at the final table too. Panka eventually fell short in 9th place, and sadly for Xixiang Luo, he couldn’t push on any further than 8th place. Although the Chinese pro will surely be a little disappointed to have narrowly missed out on a prestigious victory, his 41,590 Euro cash is the latest in a string of good results over the three years that he has been playing live events.

The heads-up battle would eventually be contested by Aliaksei Boika from Belarus, and a Swedish pro by the name of Mats Karlsson. The Swede had looked like being favourite to win the event for most of the final table as he accumulated the chip lead and carried it into heads-up play. During one devastating level however, it was all over for Karlsson. Having been pegged back by his opponent in several big pots, Karlsson attempted a bluff shove on the river with his A4 giving him just a high card on a non paired board. Somehow, Boika made the hero call with a better ace-high of AJ, and deservedly, the trophy was his. He earned himself a place in EPT history, a trophy and 355,700 Euros for his win.

1 Aliaksei Boika € 355,700
2 Mats Karlsson € 261,730
3 Dmitry Yurasov € 192,650
4 Elie Saad € 141,780
5 Peter Ockenden € 104,340
6 Tomas Macnamara € 76,790

10,300 Euro One-Day High Roller: Jakub Michalak

Jakub Michalak
Jakub Michalak (Photo Jules Pochy – PokerStars Blog)

The One-Day High Roller was the first major event to conclude here in Malta, and despite only attracting 64 individual runners, 20 re-entries helped the prize pool to reach 814,800 Euros. There were plenty of familiar faces around the tournament area for this one, including Scott Seiver, who finished 5th, and Adrian Mateos who went on to finish 8th. Mateos has been making a name for himself lately, having picked up his second WSOP bracelet this summer, along with winning the Main Event of EPT Monte Carlo in 2015. Three-handed play saw a deal being struck, with Jakub Michalak eventually defeating Rocco Palumbo heads up to take the trophy and 178,133 Euro 1st prize.

Place Winner Prize (EUR)
1 Jakab Michalak 178,403*
2 Rocco Palumbo 138,763*
3 Charlie Carrel 170,754*
4 Orpen Kisacikoglu 80,250
5 Scott Seiver 63,550
6 Bahzad Ahadpour 49,700
7 Pratyush Buddiga 39,100
8 Adrian Mateos 30,550
9 Morten Mortensen 23,200
10 Steve O’Dwyer 20,400
11 Diego Zeiter 20,400

10,300 Euro High Roller: Manuel Kovsca

Stefan Jedlicka (Photo Manuel Kovsca PokerStars Blog)
Stefan Jedlicka (Photo Manuel Kovsca PokerStars Blog)

The second event in quick succession to feature a 10,300 buy-in began on October 27th and generated a much larger prize pool than the one-day event. The field of 144 players was enough to propel the prize pool well into the seven figure range, with the final number reaching 1,396,800 Euros. Much like the previous High Roller, there were a couple of familiar names for the neutrals to cheer during the final table. Pierre Neuville almost managed to take down the event, but fell just short in 2nd place, while Danish pro Theo Jorgensen took 3rd. Austrian pro Stefan Jedlicka went on to take the winner’s trophy, and the 335,200 Euros that go with it.

1 Stefan Jedlicka € 335,200
2 Pierre Neuville € 228,400
3 Theo Jorgensen € 150,850
4 Michael Kane € 124,330
5 Cristian Egues € 99,870
6 Liviu Ignat € 78,200
7 Charlie Carrel € 58,670
8 Kilian Kramer € 43,300

25,750  Euro High Roller: David Yan

David Yan (Photo Neil Stoddart – PokerStars Blog)

Given the fact that the 10,300 Euro One-Day High Roller had only attracted 64 individual runners, this larger event did well to bring in a total field size of 65. The prize pool grew to 1,592,500 Euros, with the eventual winner walking away with 465,800 Euros. Despite the likes of Max Silver and Ole Schemion gracing the final table, New Zealand pro David Yan showed his quality by storming to victory. There was no deal for the money, meaning that Yan adds 465,800 Euros to the 704,755 Euros he banked for 2nd place in the EPT Barcelona 25,500 Euro High Roller just over 2 months ago. He defeated Ramin Hajiyev to claim the title.

1 David Yan € 465,800
2 Ramin Hajiyev € 334,400
3 Oleksii Khoroshenin € 217,400
4 Max Silver € 164,030
5 Mikita Badziakouski € 127,400
6 Ole Schemion € 98,740
7 Davidi Kitai € 78,050
8 Patrick Leonard € 60,500
9 Adrian Mateos € 46,180

Article by Craig Bradshaw