The penultimate stop of Season 11 of the European Poker Tour came to a close on Saturday with the conclusion of the EPT Malta €5,300 Main Event. The tournament attracted 895 players and created a prize pool of €4,340,750. Just six players returned for the sixth and final day of action, and after 14 hours of play, France's Jean Montury emerged victorious to capture the €687,400 first-place prize and a SLYDE championship watch.
EPT Malta Main Event Results
|5||Javier Gomez Zapatero||Spain||€205,300|
|7||Antonin Duda||Czech Republic||€108,200|
*Denotes heads-up deal.
Montury, 41, is a former pool champion who discovered Texas hold'em in the late 90s during a trip to Las Vegas. Nowadays, Montury runs a tourism complex and golf course in Arras, France, but makes no secret of his desire to become a professional poker player. His results include winning a Barriere Deauville event in 2012 for €30,300, finishing 41st at EPT Deauville for €12,080, and coming fourth in the FPS Deauville €2,000 High Roller for €57,290. Now, he is an EPT champion.
The day got off to a quick start when Hossein Ensan, who finished third in the EPT Barcelona earlier in the season, got his short stack all in holding the only to run into the of 2014 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure champ Dominik Panka, who was one day removed from his 24th birthday. Ensan failed to get lucky, and took his leave in sixth place.
Interestingly, Javier Gomez Zapatero, the Day 3 chip leader, would fall 23 hands later under similar circumstances. He got his stack all in holding the same hand Ensan did, and once against Panka woke up with . The board ran out clean, and Zapatero's hope of becoming the first Spaniard to win an EPT main event came to an end in fifth place.
Four-handed play lasted quite a long time, but eventually Germany's Stefan Schillhabel fell when he ran pocket fours into Valentin Messina's pocket sixes. Panka's luck finally ran out during three-handed play when he lost a pot worth 10.5 million after getting it in with the against the of Montury. Panka's hand held through the turn, but a ten on the river gave Montury Broadway and the win. Panka, who was playing his last event as a PokerStars-sponsored player, took home €347,300 for his third-place finish.
At that point, the two Frenchman struck a deal where Messina, who held a slight chip lead, locked up €615,000 while Montury secured €587,400. That left €100,000 and the title on the table, and both players fought hard for it, so much so that heads-up play lasted several hours. During that time, Montury worked his way into the chip lead and whittled Messina down.
It was a long, grueling affair that lasted into the early morning hours, but eventually Montury sealed the deal to etch his name in EPT history. On Hand #265, Messina moved all in with the and Montury called with the to emerge victorious after the board had paired twice to counterfeit the pair of Messina.
That does it for PokerNews' coverage of EPT Malta. Season 11 of the EPT will wrap up in a little over a month with the PokerStars and Monte-Carlo Casino EPT Grand Final from April 30 through May 8. Good news for poker fans, the PokerNews Live Reporting team will be there to capture all the action from the €100,000 Super High Roller, €10,600 Main Event, and €25,500 High Roller.