Monte Carlo has a new winner and he’s a first-timer! Dutch poker player Derk van Luijk was all-in six times with his tournament life on the line on the final day of the EPT Monte Carlo Main Event. Each time he survived and ended up winning the top prize of a million euros ($1.07m) on the French Riviera, with a prizepool of over $6 million.

EPT 2024 Monte Carlo €10,300 Main Event Final Table Results:
1stDerk van LuijkNetherlands$1,077,250
2ndBoris AngelovBulgaria$668,500
3rdRania NasreddineUnited States$477,100
4thJovan KenjicSerbia$366,800
5thJonathan PastoreFrance$281,900
6thNiclas ThummGermany$216,500
7thJonathan GuedesBrazil$166,850
8thJozef CibicekSlovakia$128,200

Big Names Make It to the Brink

With such a huge field, a big pool of the players made the 176 money places. French star Sylvain Loosli (175th) made it into the money places, while the British WSOP Main Event finalist from 2023 Philippe Souki (154th) also reached profit. The ever-consistent American Byron Kaverman came 85th for $15,000 as the field thinned, with Spanish star Ana Marquez busted in 71st place.

In 61st, the infamous EPT Barcelona champions Sebastian Malec was allowed to go for a toilet break before the final table rather than during. Dan Smith, known as ‘Cowboy’ was shot down in 29th place for $25,000. Scottish player David Docherty (16th for $43,700) and Spanish three-time WSOP bracelet winner Adrian Mateos (11th place for $75,725) also just missed out on the finale.

Seven started the final with Bulgarian player Boris Angelov top with 11.5 million chips, or 77 big blinds. Behind him Rania Nasreddine (7.9m) and the eventual winner van Luijk were the only two players within range of the leader. Brazilian Jonathan Guedes busted first, exiting in seventh for $166,850 when his pocket jacks were outrun by Angelov’s king-queen, a flop of J-T-9 instantly giving the Bulgarian an improbable straight and reducing the field to six players.

Thumm Hitches a Lift Home

After an extended period without an elimination, there were a flurry of them. First to bite the bullet was German player Niclas Thumm. All-in with ace-eight, he was ahead on the flop of A-A-Q when he shoved but Angelov, who called with pocket kings, rivered a third king for a fortunate full house and Thumm hit the rail for $216,500.

Next to move all-in was Jonathan Pastore. The French star, possibly the most experienced player still in the hunt, called off his stack with ten-eight on a flop of T-9-5. He was right to do so, too, ahead of Angelov’s queen-jack, but a seven on the turn was followed by a queen on the river to once again provide exactly what the Bulgarian needed just at the time he required it, sending Pastore home with $281,900.

Serbia’s Jovan Kenjic was busted in fourth place for a score of $366,800 when he moved all-in with ace-king and lost a ‘flip’ to Dutchman Derk van Luijk’s pocket jacks. Female player Rania Nasreddine folded ace-jack, and a ten-high board came to send Kenjic to the rail.

Lady Luijk on Derk’s Side

“I wasn’t really worried – I was more trying to enjoy the ride that I was in.” – EPT Monte Carlo Main Event champion Derk van Luijk.

Rania Nasreddine can consider herself unlucky not to become the first female EPT winner since Victoria Coren-Mitchell made it two EPT victories a few years ago. The American player was right to fold ace-jack and was correct again when she moved all-in with four-five on a board displaying J-4-3-5. Called by Derk van Luijk with jack-ten,  Nasreddine begged the river not to come jack, ten or three but the Poker Gods didn’t hear her pleas, as a ten completed the board and sent her home with memories of a magical journey and a career-high score of $477,100.

Heads-up, van Luijk led by around 2-to-1 and while the lead switched hands, it was that situation that led to the Dutch player calling off his stack with ace-queen pre-flop. Boris Angelov had shoved with king-seven and couldn’t get there, a queen-high board defining his final table run as ‘neatly but not quite’ as he picked up the runner-up prize of $668,500.

Van Luijk, meanwhile, collected the trophy and top prize of over $1.07 million and was beside himself with joy as the final card fell and he was confirmed as the latest EPT champion.

“It’s an amazing feeling,” he said. “I cannot even realize still that I’ve won. It’s an amazing feeling. My brother flew in this morning when he realized I was in the final seven last night. He bought a ticket and came this morning. I was very relaxed during my play. I wasn’t really worried about busting. I got down to 10 big blinds, and that’s enough to spin it back up. I wasn’t really worried – I was more trying to enjoy the ride that I was in.”

Derk va Liujk was the latest thrilling winner on a European Poker Tour that has set new records in 2024.

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Paul seaton


Paul Seaton, a poker luminary with over a decade of experience, has reported live from iconic poker events, including the World Series of Poker, European Poker Tour, and World Poker Tour. He’s not just a spectator; he’s been the Editor of BLUFF Europe Magazine and Head of Media for partypoker. Paul’s poker insights have graced publications like PokerNews, 888poker, and PokerStake, where he’s interviewed poker legends such as Daniel Negreanu, Erik Seidel, Phil Hellmuth, and The Hendon Mob’s, entire lineup. His exceptional work even earned him a Global Poker Award nomination for Best Written Content. In the poker world, Paul Seaton’s expertise is a force to be reckoned with, captivating enthusiasts worldwide. 

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