The Third Rail: Pollak and Kempe Take €25k EPT Monte Carlo Events; Loeser Wins the Main Event

Manig Loeser’s tail is wagging. 

Manig Loeser
Manig Loeser

The German star has taken down the €5,300 buy-in PokerStars European Poker Tour (EPT) Monte Carlo Main Event, after an excruciatingly long final table that ended at 4 am. 

From the outside-in, PokerStars enjoyed an incredible resurgent in popularity as players flocked to the French principality in their droves. There was so much money piled up inside the Monte Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort the organisers had to stick a flashing red light on the top to stop the planes from crashing into it. 

I mean, come on, can you imagine having to stack it all up again.

Loeser overcame a 922-entrant field (the third largest in EPT Monte Carlo history), to win the €603,777 first prize. If you think that number is a tad low for such a big buy-in event, then it’s because the final three players cut a deal that left €78,061 to play for (who can blame them after nine hours of five-handed play). 

It’s Loeser’s seventh live tournament victory, and his third in the past six months after winning a $25,000 at the World Poker Tour (WPT) Five Diamond World Poker Classic, and a 1,250-entrant $400 No-Limit Hold’em event at the Venetian, both in a dazzling December. Loeser also finished runner-up to Toby Lewis in the AUD 50,000 Challenge at the Aussie Millions, so he came into the Monte Carlo with the scent of money sticking to his moustache.

It’s also Loeser’s second major win on the live circuit, after taking down the inaugural Triton Poker Series Main Event in Montenegro in 2017, winning $2,162.644. Loeser has decided against returning to the scene of his most significant win, in favour of heading to Kyrenia for the Merit Poker Classic where he will no doubt compete in the $5,300, $3M GTD Main Event, the $10,500 High Roller and $25,500 Super High Roller. 

It’s also worth noting that Timothy Adams fell seven places short of winning his fourth major event in succession. Adams finished 8th after winning a $25k High Roller at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (PCA), the Triton Poker Series Jeju Main Event, and a €25k High Roller earlier on in this event. The odds on us having another back-to-back Triton Poker Series Main Event winner are high as Adams heads to Montenegro in search of more glory.

Final Table Results

  1. Manig Loeser – €603,777*
  2. Wei Huang – €552,056*
  3. Viktor Katzenberger – €529,707*
  4. Ryan Riess – €265,620
  5. Nicola Grieco – €206,590
  6. Luis Medina – €152,800
  7. Rustam Hajiyev – €109,510
  8. Timothy Adams – €78,030
    *Indicates a three-handed deal.

Rainer Kempe Wins Another €25k Event.

Rainer Kempe

It was a good day for the No-Limit Gaming (NLG) Stream Team as Rainer Kempe joined Loeser in the winner’s enclosure after taking down a 53-entrant (36 entrants and 17 re-entries) €25k High Roller. 

Kempe is a man on form, and his win sees him move into the #2 in the Global Poker Index (GPI) World Rankings, and #3 in the 2019 GPI Player of the Year (POY) race. It’s his ninth win in the past 12-months. 

The German star doubled up through David Peters QQ>AK when six-handed, and he never looked back eliminating Steve O’Dwyer in fifth place AK>A9, and David Peters in fourth KTo>A7s after flopping a king. 

The three-handed play saw Kempe facing the Brazilian pairing of Andre Akkari and Joao Simao, but neither could stop his ascent. Kempe ousted Akkari when AK battered A2, and he coasted through the heads-up encounter with Simao – the final hand seeing his A6 besting J5. 

Final Table Results

  1. Rainer Kempe – €400,850
  2. Joao Simao – €289,500
  3. Andre Akkari – €184,520
  4. David Peters – €139,980
  5. Steve O’Dwyer – €108,170
  6. Seth Davies – €82,710
  7. Richard Yong – €66,800

Benjamin Pollak Prevents Koray Aldemir From Completing an NLG Clean Sweep

Benjamin Pollak prevented an NLG clean sweep, after beating Koray Aldemir in the heads-up phase of another €25k event. It’s the Frenchman’s tenth live tournament victory, with three of them coming in $25k+ buy-in events (He won the $50k at EPT Barcelona, and a $25k in the US Poker Open, last year).

Benjamin Pollak

The event pulled in 142 entrants (98 entries, and 44 re-entries), and there was a lot of heat at the final table. The aforementioned Aldemir came into this one on the back of a win and second in the US Poker Open, a third in the €25,000 at the Patrik Antonius Poker Challenge, and a runner-up in a €5k at the same event. Joao Vieira finished sixth in the €10,300, Daniel Dvoress placed fourth in the €100k, and Sergio Aido won that event for €1.58m. 

It was tight.

Aldemir was one card away from taking the title after the pair got it in on AsKd7s2h with Aldemir ahead with top pair versus a flush draw only for Pollak to hit it on the river. The final hand was also fortuitous as Pollak made the call on Kh6h4h holding 9h9d, and Aldemir ahead with KsTc, only for the Frenchman to hit a third nine on the river.  

Final Table Results

  1. Benjamin Pollak – €705,840*
  2. Koray Aldemir – €655,840*
  3. Marton Czuczor – €364,460
  4. Laszlo Bujtas – €300,340
  5. Michael Addamo – €241,290
  6. Sergio Aido – €188,980
  7. Laurynas Levinskas – €141,730
  8. Daniel Dvoress – €104,610
  9. Joao Vieira – €80,990
    *Indicates a heads-up deal