Pieter de Korver Captures EPT Grand Final in Monte Carlo
Posted at 10:56 2009-05-07
The PokerStars European Poker Tour wrapped up over the weekend with 26-year old Pieter de Korver being crowned champion!
Taking down the EPT Grand Final and €2.3million first prize wasn’t a walk in the park with the newly appointed member of the new team PokerStars Pro Netherlands having to battle through six days of tough poker to best a record field of 935 players – which set the record for the richest poker tournament outside of Las Vegas.
Turning pro only two years ago, de Korver triumphed in a PokerStars-sponsored TV Show called 'Poker Kampioen Van Nederland' which involved some 20,000 players last year. He then came 28th at the Master Classics in Amsterdam for €8,000 on his way to the EPT Grand Final; his third EPT event but eventual first cash.
De Korver staged a remarkable comeback during the intense nine-hour final table after being down to just two big blinds at one stage before winning a series of showdowns to take the chip lead from Full Tilt pro Dag Mikkelsen and eventually eliminate him on his way to victory. “It’s amazing! I was loving the atmosphere and just really enjoying playing cards” commented de Korver, “I had a little bit of luck . . . and then I won! That’s the best part of poker.”
Starting just over a week ago the EPT Grand Final played host to a wealth of stars with nearly the entire roster of the Team PokerStars Pro team being in attendance including Daniel Negreanu, Peter Eastgate, Joe Hachem and Grey Raymer. Celebrities turned up too, including rappers Nelly and Bruno ‘KoolShen’ Lopes and French national rugby star Sebastien Chabal as well as footballer Tomas Brolin and tennis legend Boris Becker. With PokerStars satellites in full swing, it was also no surprise to see 157 players qualifying online from over 57 countries.
The first ever €25,000 EPT Monte Carlo High Roller tournament was also a success with a bevy of great players taking their seat with PokerStars pro Vanessa Rousso capturing the €720,000 first prize after clawing her way back from a three-to-one chip deficit to best American randy Dorfman and the 79-player field. Three Australians also reached this final table with David Steicke (8th), David Eldar (5th) and Tony G (3rd) all putting in strong performances.
The first ever Ante Up For Africa in Europe also took place with the star-studded event on the eve of the main event raising a total of €160,000 for crisis-torn Darfur. It would be PokerStars pro Isabelle Mercier taking down the tournament to continue the success of Team PokerStars pros at this year’s Grand Final.
The 2009 EPT Grand Final demonstrated the phenomenal growth of the EPT since its launch way back in Barcelona in 2004 with that event just costing €1,000 to enter and attracting only 229 players! This year has seen a huge increase on the total numbers with season one attracting a total of 1,468 participants to nearly 8,000 from this year, along with a total generated prize pool of over €52million - €13 million of which went in first prizes.
“The loyalty and dedication of the players on the EPT has always astounded me and this season has been no different” stated EPT founder John Duthie.“ Next season is looking set to break all records with news venues such as Moscow, and the new structure which proved to be a most welcome addition to the Grand Final.” The PokerStars European Poker Tour Season Six kicks off at a brand new destination for the tour – Moscow, Russia; planned for August 17th – 23rd.
To keep your inner poker junkie at ease we have the local Melbourne Championships in the upcoming month, as well as the 2009 World Series of Poker knocking on our door with PokerNetwork supplying a range of updates and stories for what is expected to be another bumper year at the Rio!
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