Manig Loeser has notched up a career first and denied someone else making history by winning the EPT Monte Carlo main event.
As ever, the level of competition in the €5,300/$5,900 tournament was world-class.
When the final day got underway, Timothy Adams and 2013 WSOP champion Ryan Riess were the top threats to Loeser. However, when the chips started to fly, it was China’s Wei Huang that proved to be the surprise package.
China Crisis Doesn’t Stop Huang Grinding in Europe
Despite cashing in previous EPT events, the Asian pro had just over $114,000 in live earnings prior to the EPT Monte Carlo finale.
That fact didn’t seem to phase Huang as he pushed Loeser and Hungary’s Viktor Katzenberger to the very end.
With Riess out in fourth, the final three discussed a chop. Using ICM calculations, the players haggled back-and-forth over their share of the $5 million prizepool before reaching an agreement.
By virtue of holding the chip lead, Germany’s Loeser secured the lion’s share of the pot. However, with none of the final three holding EPT main event titles, there was still everything to play for.
That dream quickly ended for Katzenberger. After losing a flip with A♣J♣, the Hungarian shoved A♦8♣ into Huang’s A♠K♣.
Although he picked up a straight draw on the flop, Katzenberger couldn’t snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.
History Made at EPT Monte Carlo
Now down to two, Huang was not only playing for his first EPT trophy but China’s. Even though his homeland has been railing against poker for the last year, the game continues to grow in popularity.
A win at EPT Monte Carlo would have only helped to boost its current status. That dream, however, wasn’t meant to be.
Even though Huang edged ahead at one point, Loeser’s experience eventually proved decisive. A regular on the live circuit, the popular Germany pro made a bold move with king-high to assert his dominance.
After bluffing his opponent into submission, Loeser sealed the deal with Q♥8♥. Calling a raise pre-flop, the two players checked to the turn.
With the board showing J♦9♣5♠10♣, Huang took a chance with K♠8♣. Moving all-in over the top of Loeser’s bet, he needed a queen to win after Loeser called with a straight.
The A♦ on the river wasn’t enough to redress the balance, which meant Huang had to settle for second place.
EPT Monte Carlo Main Event Result
- Manig Loeser – $676,890*
- Wei Huang – $618,906*
- Viktor Katzenberger – $593,772*
- Ryan Riess – $297,745
- Nicola Grieco – $231,576
- Luis Medina – $171,280
- Rustam Hajiyev – $122,755
- Timothy Adams – $87,467
*Denotes a deal.
In taking down his title, Loeser not only succeed last year’s winner Nicolas Dumont but denied China an EPT champion.
However, with another Chinese player making it deep in one of the circuit’s toughest tournaments, it’s only a matter of time before an EPT trophy finds its way to Asia