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Monday, April 21, 2008 | Francis Lee


The grand final of this year’s European Poker Tour (EPT) was held in the glamorous city of Monte Carlo. 946 players started out the $15,764 buy in event, which pushed the total prize pool to well over $13 million dollars. The top prize everyone was fighting for was set at $3,198,500 and the EPT grand final crown.

It took four days to get down to the last 10 players left in this event, eight of whom would take there place at the televised final table. Play was stopped at the end of day four due to the time and play restarted early on day five to decide the final table positions. When we eventually reached this stage Glen Chorny was holding a healthy chip lead, over $1 million ahead of Isaac Baron who had $2.8 million in chips. The most well known player at the final table Antonio Esfandiari was on the short stack and needed to get to work early on to have a chance at one of the top prizes.
Final Table Chip Rankings:

  • 1st Glen Chorny $3,613,000
  • 2nd Isaac Baron $2,853,000
  • 3rd Valeriy Ilikyan $1,396,000
  • 4th Michael Martin $1,320,000
  • 5th Maxine Villemure $1,206,000
  • 6th Denes Kalo $1,119,000
  • 7th Luca Pagano $688,000
  • 8th Antonio Esfandiari $501,000

The two short stacked players locked horns early on which saw us loose the first player from the final table. Antonio Esfandiari moved All In with :ah :8s over the top of Luca Pagano’s initial raise. Pangano made the call in a dominant position with :as :jc Pangano flopped a broad way straight with the board showing :qs :10h :kd leaving Esfandiari needing a Jack to split the pot. This never came for him and he was out in 8th place collecting $226,004.

Just a few hands later Michael Martin had all his chips in the middle pre flop with :ad :kd and found himself in a dominant position against Valeriy Ilikyan with :ac :qc Martin’s King proved decisive as the final board came down :6d :7d :8s :ah :2h leaving Ilikyan to pick up $400,590 in 7th place.

Quite a few rounds had passed before the next knock out hand came. Luca Pangano moved all in with :ah :js after Denes Kalo made it $125,000 to call. Kalo didn’t hesitate to call showing pocket Queen’s looking to avoid an Ace on the board. The Queens held up for Kalo sending Pangano out in 6th place.

Glen Chorny the chip leader at the start of the days play, was quiet up until the 121st hand of play when he eliminated Michael Martin out in 5th place. The action started with Chorny opening the betting to $125,000. Martin was the only caller and the flop came down :6h :7c :10h Martin checked and Chorny fired out another $225,000 into the middle. Martin went into the tank before re raising to $675,000, Chorney moved all in and Martin called. Martin tabled :qc :10d having hit top pair, but found himself behind against Chorny’s pocket Jacks. The Jacks held up as the :ad and :2h completed the board.

Just under 100 hands had past before the next player headed for the rail. This came about when Isaac Baron moved all in with :as :qd but ran into Chorny with pocket Aces. The Bullets easily held up increasing Chorny’s lead even further, leaving Baron to collect just under $1 million dollars in prize money for finishing 4th.

Chorny didn’t take long to take out his next victim to set up the heads up showdown. He slow played a nuts straight which he hit on the Turn, allowing Maxime Villemure to hit a lower straight on the River. Villemure was sure she had the winning hand when she shoved all her chips in the middle, falling into Chorny’s trap revealing his monster. Villemure collected a cool $1,132,107 finishing in 3rd place.

Chorny started out heads up with a massive 10-1 chip lead over Kalo and put this advantage to good use, winning the event in just two hands. Kalo all in with :kh :qd was up against :ah :5h and needed help to stay in the event The flop :as :qs :6s brought Chorny the top pair hitting an Ace but Kalo still had outs having hit a pair of Queens. The :6d on the Turn wiped out half of Kalo’s out’s and only a Queen on the river would stop Chorny taking the title. The :10d came down on the river eliminating Kalo out in 2nd place leaving Chorny to pick up a well deserved $3,198,500 and the EPT Grand Final Championship title.

Final Standings:

  • 1st Glen Chorny $3,198,500
  • 2nd Denes Kalo $1,866,790
  • 3rd Maxime Villemure $1,132,107
  • 4th Isaac Baron $932,692
  • 5th Michael Martin $666,606
  • 6th Luca Pagano $533,601
  • 7th Valeriy Ilikyan $400,590
  • 8th Antonio Esfandiari $266,004



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