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Biggest EPT Sochi Winners

The first European Poker Tour festival since PokerStars brought back its popular live poker brand was held at Sochi Casino & Resort in the Russian city of Sochi. The EPT Sochi proved to be a great success, particularly its Main Event, which drew a massive field of more than 860 entries.

Bearing the above-mentioned in mind, it can be said that PokerStars has clearly made the right decision to dust off and revive its EPT brand, which had previously built a solid base of fans across Europe and the rest of the world. In addition to this, it should be pointed out that Sochi has great potential to become a new popular live tournament poker destination with its casino.

The EPT Sochi attracted thousands of players, both professionals and recreational ones. And millions were distributed in prize money to the ones who made it deep enough into the festival’s events. Here are some of the biggest winners during the EPT Sochi, the first of what we all hope will be a series of successful EPT festivals.

EPT Sochi ₽192,000 Main Event

Arseniy Karmatskiy bested a field of 861 entries to win the tournament on Thursday. The player’s share of the ₽150-plus-million prize pool totaled ₽27.3 million (approximately $478,451). Karmatskiy dominated the event’s final table, winning key pots and busting fellow competitors to build his stack and pull ahead of the other players left. In the end, he busted fellow countryman Viktor Shegai in second place to claim his first-ever EPT Main Event title.

Karmatskiy had some previous triumphs on the live tournament circuit. Last August, the player won the €2,200 German Poker Championship as part of the partypoker German Poker Championships at King’s Casino Rozvadov for a first-place prize of €185,000. During last year’s PokerStars Championship Sochi, Karmatskiy topped the field of a ₽19,800 event.

As mentioned above, Viktor Shegai finished runner-up to Karmatskiy in the EPT Sochi Main Event. The player collected ₽16.56 million ($290,225) for his efforts. Ernest Shakarian, Vahe Martirosyan, and Mikhail Kovalyuk were the other three players to cash big from the tournament, collecting payouts of ₽11.688 million ($204,840), ₽8.766 million ($153,630), and ₽6.923 million ($121,335) for finishing third, fourth, and fifth, respectively.

EPT National ₽66,000 No-Limit Hold’em

The EPT National was the first event on the schedule of the EPT Sochi festival. The tournament featured a buy-in fee of ₽66,000 and was played over March 20-23 at the host venue. As many as 439 entries bought into the event, including 266 re-entries. They contributed to the creation of a ₽41.031 million ($710,727) prize pool. The money was distributed to the top 103 finishers.

Czech player Matous Houzvicek was crowned the event’s victor. The player collected the amount of ₽7.77 million ($134,590) for besting the whole field of the tournament. This was Houzvicek’s largest cash from a live tournament. Including his EPT National first-place prize, the Czech’s live tournament earnings now amount to $241,500. Houzvicek cashed in one more tournament during the EPT Sochi. He finished 18th in the ₽132,000 No-Limit Hold’em Single Re-Entry for ₽228,000 ($3,978).

Other Players

Other players who cashed big from the EPT Sochi, included Sergei Kerzhakov and Viktor Ustimov. Kerzhakov finished sixth in the Main Event to collect ₽5.19 million ($90,958) for his deep run into the major tournament. This was the player’s third ever cash from a live poker tournament.

As for Ustimov, he cashed in two tournaments within the EPT Sochi. He first finished runner-up to Houzvicek in the EPT National, good for ₽4.745 million ($82,191) in prize money. He then took 42nd place in the Main Event for a payout of ₽498,000 ($8,728). The player currently has more than $620,000 in live tournament earnings.

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