The final stop on the European Poker Tour (EPT) before the Grand Final in Monte Carlo gets underway next week, has taken place with the EPT San Remo in Italy. The main event had a record number of entrants with 1,178 poker players taking part. This included 237 online qualifiers from PokerStars.com.
The impressive field also included current World Series of Poker Main Event champion Peter Eastgate and former WSOP champions Tom McEvoy and Greg Raymer among many other top international players. However, the winner turned out to be a 20 year-old Economics student from Amsterdam named Constant Rijkenberg.
Rijkenberg made his way to the final table together with Ovi Balaj, Danilo D’Ettoris, Alex Fitzgerald, Dragan Galic, Kalle Niemi, William Reynolds and Gustav Sundell.
Dragan Galic entered the final table as chip leader and had dominated the previous four days of the event and made history as he is the first Croatian player to be in the money in an EPT event.
Danilo D’Ettoris was the first player to bow out early on, as he was eliminated into eighth place by Rijkenberg. Dragan Galic continued his good form to eliminate Alex Fitzgerald in seventh place. Ovi Balaj was the next player to go, losing out in an exchange with William Reynolds.
Galic couldn’t continue his fine run of form as he was knocked out of the tournament in fifth place by Rijkenberg. At least, he leaves the tournament as the best performing Croatian player in EPT history and 314,000 euros richer.
Rijkenberg again played his part in the next elimination which happened a long time after Galic was sent crashing out in fifth. This time it was William Reynolds who was the victim.
Then, it took just three hands of play to decide which two players would contest the heads-up. Kalle Niemi knocked out Gustav Sundell, to send him home in third place, 480,000 euros was Sundell’s consolation.
This set up a heads-up between Dutchman Rijkenberg and Finnish player Kalle Niemi. It was a short heads-up which only lasted five hands of play. In the final hand Niemi had the ace and 10 of diamonds and required a ten on the river to win the hand. However, the river came with the 4 of diamonds to hand Rijkenberg the title.
After his win, Rijkenberg said, “I really don’t know what to feel right now. My first dream was to play an EPT, my second to play on the featured TV table, my third was to make the final table and my fourth was to win. It’s the biggest dream you can have apart from the WSOP Main Event – and I’m too young to play that right now.”
Here is how the final table finished with the player’s prize money in euros:
1. Constant Rijkenberg – 1,508,000 euros
2. Kalle Niemi – 862,000 euros
3. Gustav Sundell – 480,000 euros
4. William Reynolds – 377,000 euros
5. Dragan Galic – 314,000 euros
6. Ovi Balaj – 229,000 euros
7. Alex Fitzgerald – 171-000 euros
8. Danilo D’Ettoris
The final event of the EPT season the EPT Monte Carlo Grand Final gets underway on 28th April.
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