Live poker may be thin on the ground at the moment, but the European Poker Tour (EPT) hasn’t stopped entirely and crowned its latest champion at the weekend.
Over in Sochi, Russia, one of the home nation’s most celebrated players, Artur Martirosyan, added his name to the long list of EPT winners. Martirosyan, who is very well known at the PokerStars tables as the man behind the “mararthur1” screen-name, picked up the Main Event title at the end of a two-week festival.
There were 852 entries to the Main Event, which had a buy-in of ₽175,000 ($2,300 approx), and Martirosyan picked up ₽24.633 million for the win, which equates to around $325,000. It puts his career live tournament earnings through the $1 million mark, and adds another prestigious title to his online accolades. Martirosyan has two SCOOP titles, both won last year, in events with buy-ins of $10,300 and $5,200.
“I have always wanted to win the EPT title,” the 23-year-old winner said shortly after closing things out. He beat his countryman Vladislav Naumov heads-up, with ace-nine beating ace-six on the final hand.
“The trophy has such a cool design – it was one of the reasons why I did not think of cutting a deal,” Martirosyan said. Martirosyan, from Voronezh, became the sixth Russian winner of an EPT Main Event. The tournament had a prize pool of ₽131,899,810, approximately $1.74 million.
“I have a lot of experience with playing on final tables,” Martirosyan said. “I think it helped me a lot.”
Naumov, the runner-up, was at his second consecutive EPT Sochi Main Event final table, having finished sixth at the same venue in 2020. This time, Naumov’s efforts earned him close to ₽15 million ($197,000 approx).
Of the 127 players who finished in the money, all but 21 were Russian. The top-ranked overseas player was Muhtar Taysi, of Turkey, who finished third for ₽10.5 million ($140,000 approx). Serbia was also represented at the final, with Vladimir Bozinovic finishing seventh.
EPT Sochi 2021 Main Event
Dates: March 23-28, 2021
Buy-in: ₽175,000 ($2,300 approx)
Entries: 852 (inc. 304 re-entries)
Prize pool: ₽131,899,810
The High Roller event, which played out over the final three days of the EPT Sochi festival, drew the largest field in its history. There were 105 entries, including 12 re-entries, of ₽371,000 ($4,900 approx) apiece, building a prize pool of more than ₽35.6 million ($470,000 approx).
The final two players — Viktor Kudinov and Giorgiy Skhulukhiya — cut a heads up deal, with Skhulukhiya taking the larger slice of the prize pool, a little over ₽8 million ($106,000 approx). However, Kudinov ended up winning the heads-up battle when they played it out, meaning he took the trophy along with his ₽7.4 million ($98,000 approx).
Again it was a Russia-dominated field, but Armenia’s Vahe Martirosyan finished third and Aleksandr Tomovich of Serbia was eighth. Fifteen players made the money.
EPT Sochi 2021 High Roller
Dates: March 26-28, 2021
Buy-in: ₽371,000 ($4,900 approx)
Entries: 105 (inc. 12 re-entries)
Prize pool: ₽35,647,500 ($470,000 approx)