EPT Season 6

Recap of the 6th EPT Season

Season 6 offered entertainment like none of the seasons before it. Events were filled with nail-biting action that involved some of the top players in the world (and some unexpected turns of event).

Perhaps one of the most notable events in the Season 6 EPT was the first place win in Barcelona by American Carter Phillips, a relative unknown in the poker world until his two significant wins in 2010– first the 1.2 million dollars he walked away with in the Barcelona event of the EPT, and then shortly thereafter in the World Series of Poker, where he won almost half a million dollars in the $1500 No Limit Hold’em Six Handed event.

The London event was also won by an American– this time Aaron Gustavson– while Peter Eastgate, the Dane who took the title at the World Series of Poker in 2008, took second place. Eastgate put his poker career on hiatus a year later, making this his last big win (over half a million pounds), despite coming in second.

The Warsaw event, which was the smallest of the Season 6 European Poker Tour with only 207 buy-ins, was won by Frenchman Christophe Benzimra, while Sweden’s Anton Wigg took first place in Copenhagen.

Jake Cody exploded onto the poker scene less than a year before winning the event in Deauville, France, making this Brit, for all intents and purposes, an overnight sensation. He had barely made waves by winning the Grosvenor UK Poker Tour side event and the UK and Ireland Poker Tour (UKIPT) money in the maiden event in 2009 when he beat out the other 768 players and won the Deauville Main Event. Seven months later, he would go on to win the main event at World Poker Tour London. Cody has one of the more unique poker stories: he claims to have given himself an initial bankroll of 10 pounds and ever added money since then, creating what would eventually become millions of dollars in winnings with that initial investment.

During Season 6 of the European Poker Tour, Berlin was added as a stop for the first time, with unexpected and tumultuous results. On March 6th, 2010, four men wearing masks entered the Grand Hyatt Hotel at Potsdamer Platz in Berlin and robbed the casino while the event was taking place, although they did not enter the tournament area itself. The crowd was shocked, as is documented in footage of the event, but no one was seriously injured. A guard attempting to detain one of the robbers, all of whom were armed only with knives and/or handguns, suffered a minor cut. Play was interrupted when people began to flood into the room in a panic, and while EPTLive ceased their broadcast of the event, the main game was not suspended or canceled, a decision that many of the poker players have openly disagreed with. Kevin MacPhee, who went on to win the main event, stated, “Obviously, it worked out for me, but at the time, I was upset about continuing. I still think they should have consulted with the players more. Although most of them wanted to play, I think some were affected by the incident psychologically.” The ladies event was delayed and a side game was canceled. The robbers got away with almost a quarter of a million euro, but they were apprehended days later and were sentenced to three years in prison.

Also added to the tour in Season 6 were Kiev, Ukraine, where Russian Maxim Lykov took the title, Saltzburg, Austria (referred to as “Snowfest”), where the prize went to Allen Baekke from Denmark, and Vilamoura, Portugal, where Antonio Matias won on his home soil.

In Prague, Italian poker player Luca Pagano came in 6th place, a considerable step down from his previous third place position in the Barcelona Open Season 1 EPT event or his 4th place finish in Warsaw earlier in Season 6. Luca is known as a serious EPT contender, and he has also placed in two events in the 2006 World Series of Poker (one of which was Seven Card Stud). Luca has had several money finishes in the EPT, and he has made it to the final tables six times. Ultimately, the Prague title went to Czech Jan Skampa.

By far the largest event in the European Poker Tour with 1,240 buy-ins, San Remo had heavy competition for the 1.25 million euro prize. First place was captured by wonder woman and poker celebrity Liv Boeree, who had at that time already made a substantial name for herself in the world of poker. Boeree started her poker career when she was one of five contestants on Ultimatepoker.com Showdown, a reality show in her native United Kingdom. Until that point, Boeree had never been a serious player, but after her stint on the show, she became a sort of spokesperson for the game, hosting television shows and writing poker columns and articles for leading magazines, all the while winning tournaments. As though that wasn’t enough, Boeree also holds a degree in physics/astrophysics, is an accomplished guitarist, and is a model. The competition in San Remo, however, was by far her biggest win, demonstrating with absolute finality that she was more than just a pretty face.

Like all the previous seasons before it, the Season 6 EPT Grand Final was held in Monte Carlo, Monaco. Nicolas Chouity of Lebanon came into the main event with a substantial chip lead, which he maintained the entire game, and finally won the €1.7 million prize with pocket aces.