Shortly after the conclusion of the record-breaking European Poker Tour (EPT) San Remo event, several players shuffled on over to Monte Carlo to be a part of the last stop of EPT Season Five. The Grand Finale in Monte Carlo drew a record-high 935 runners this season, generating a total prize pool of €9,350,000 for the €10,000 buy-in event. By comparison, last year’s Grand Finale drew 842 entrants.
The field was populated with its typical crop of online qualifiers as well as a large number of live tournament pros from the United States. Big names who crossed the Atlantic in an attempt to take down the prestigious title included Phil “The Unabomber” Laak, “Miami” John Cernuto, Phil Ivey, Daniel Negreanu, David Williams, Brandon Cantu and Nenad Medic.
They were joined by a large number of European and online pros who are regulars on the EPT circuit like Annette “Annette_15” Obrestad, Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier, Yevgeniy “atimos” Timoshenko, last year’s winner Glen “choron” Chorny, Faraz “The-Toilet” Jaka and Dag Martin Mikkelsen of Norway.
Mikkelsen is best known for his deep run and aggressive style of play during the 2007 World Series of Poker Main Event. Despite being chip leader during much of the late stages of the tournament, he failed to make the final table and finished in 42nd place. At Monte Carlo, he once again built up a big stack deep into the event and he was the chip leader headed into the final table.
The 22 year-old pro was the big name and the big stack at the final table with several million more chips than his next closest competitor, American Matthew Woodward. Peter Traply was 3rd in chips at the start of the final table, which made his early exit in 8th place all the more surprising. Only 26 hands into play, Traply and Mikkelsen got it all-in preflop in a classic race of AK versus pocket queens. Mikkelsen’s queens held and he extended his already ample chip lead. Mikkelsen picked off Daniel Zink shortly after that, which left him with half of the chips in play and made him the odds-on favorite to win the title.
Mikkelsen maintained his chip lead as the field narrowed to four players while Pieter de Korver of Holland adopted a strategy of folding up the money ladder. His stack dwindled until he was forced to get it all in preflop against the slightly shorter stack of Woodward in a race situation. Woodward won the race and de Korver was left with just three big blinds. He was able to triple up, double up and double up once again all at the hands of Mikkelsen. An ill-timed bluff by Mikkelsen against de Korver spelled the end for the young pro who was eliminated in 4th place, while de Korver went from super short stack to chip leader in just a few orbits.
Heads-up play came down to de Korver and Woodward. The former’s claim to fame prior to the event was his victory on a PokerStars-sponsored television program in the Netherlands called “Poker Champion of Holland” while the latter is an online limit poker cash game grinder from Maine. Woodward took control of the match early on, but de Korver amped up the aggression and steamrolled his opponent on the way to victory. He earned €2,300,000 (or roughly $3 million) for his first major tournament win and Woodward took home a more than respectable €1,300,000 for second place.
Here are the complete results from Sunday’s final table:
1st Place: Pieter de Korver (Holland) – €2,300,000
2nd Place: Matthew Woodward (United States) – €1,300,000
3rd Place: Mikhail Tulchinskiy (Russia) – €800,000
4th Place: Dag Martin Mikkelsen (Norway) – €600,000
5th Place: Eric Qu (France) – €470,000
6th Place: Alem Shah (Germany) – €350,000
7th Place: Daniel Zink (Germany) – €250,000
8th Place: Peter Traply (Hungary) – €170,000

This site is registered on as a development site.