EPT MALTA MAIN EVENT WON BY BELARUS POKER PRO
Euro 355,700 take-home for Aliaksei Boika.
Aliaksei Boika, a 28-year-old poker pro from Belarus, is Euro 335,700 wealthier this weekend after emerging victorious from the Euro 5,300 buy-in European Poker Tour Malta main event.
Boika survived a field of 468 entries over six grueling days of competitive poker, and was the low stack when final table action commenced. However through skill and aggression he made it through to the heads up against local player Mats Karlsson, a 59-year-old Swedish retiree who lives on the island.
Karlsson turned in a formidable performance in the event, holding the chip lead for most of it, but in the end succumbed to one of the best calls in EPT history to give Boika the trophy and the cash.
The heads up started with Karlsson holding a 2 million chip lead on the Belarus pro after Dmitry Yurasov of Russia exited in third place for Euro 192,650.
Boika and Karlsson squared off, and almost immediately the former started eroding Karlssons lead, ultimately overtaking it over the next two hours, leading to a situation in which Boika held just ace-jack high against an all-in shove from Karlsson.
Boika mulled over the possibilities for around five minutes and then made his ballsy call, which showed that Karlsson held just ace-four high. The Swede acknowledged defeat and took away the second placing check for Euro 261,730.
It was Boikas first major live poker tournament title and one he can be proud of, given the large and quality field and that hero call that gave him the lions share of the Euro 2.26 million prize pool.
Other final table cashes included:
Elie Saad Lebanon Euro 141,780
Peter Ockenden United Kingdom Euro 104,340
Tomas Macnamara United Kingdom Euro 76,790
Bastian Dohler Germany Euro 56,520
Xixiang Luo China Euro 41,590
Dominik Panka Poland Euro 41,590