Online qualifier wins £330k at EPT Tallinn
Kevin “KevBoyStar” Stani beats 420 players to EPT Tallinn title
|by Jackhunter||August, 17th 2010||
Above: Kevin Stani celebrates his EPT Tallinn victory
An online qualifier has won the £330,000 (€400,000) European Poker Tour event in Tallinn after deciding to enter at the last minute.
Norwegian Kevin Stani beat a field of 420 players at the €4,250 No Limit Hold'em Main Event, the biggest poker tournament ever held in Estonia.
The 27-year-old, who plays online under the alias “KevBoyStar”, also wins a seat to the Season 7 EPT Grand Final in Spring 2011.
The business management graduate, who has been playing poker for seven years, admitted he only won his seat four days before the event began.
He said: "I was playing cash games online and just randomly saw a $530 satellite advertised in the PokerStars lobby.
"I wanted to come here anyway so I thought I’d play it. It feels awesome to win.
"I’ve been through some tough times which have made it hard to focus and made it hard to play.
"But I stayed with poker and told myself things are going to get better. I’m glad I did."
Stani, one of 120 players who qualified on PokerStars, is only the third Norwegian to win an EPT after Andreas Hoivold and Bjorn-Erik Glenne triumphed in Copenhagen and Barcelona respectively in Season 3.
The victory is the latest in a run of impressive results for Stani. He came sixth in the $10,000 High Roller WCOOP last year for $134,000 and beat 1,204 players to win the PokerStars Sunday 500 in February 2009 for $108,000.
His best live result before now was 127th in this year’s WSOP Main Event for $57,000.
Runner-up in Tallinn was Moscow student Konstantin Bilyauer, 22, who was playing only his second major live tournament. He knocked out pros Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier and Ivan Demidov on his way to a whopping €250,000 payday.
But there was disappointment for French pro Arnaud Mattern who narrowly missed his chance to make history and become the first ever double EPT champion. Mattern, who won EPT Prague in Season 4 and came fifth at EPT Warsaw in Season 5, came third here in Tallinn for €160,000.
Another online qualiifer, Dmitry Vitkind from Moscow, who won his seat in a $22 rebuy satellite on PokerStars, walked away with €120,000 after finishing fourth.
Entrants from 40 countries competed in the Main Event creating a total prize pool of €1,596,000.