The European Poker Tour has kicked off once again, this time starting in Tallinn, Estonia. This is the first time the EPT has held a stop in Tallinn and it was a great success enjoyed by all, and an especially exciting time for Kevin Stani. The young Norwegian player made a great run in the main event outlasting a tough field and taking down the first place prize.
The PokerStars.net European Poker Tour is a televised series of poker tournaments which takes place throughout Europe. There are a number of different stops, each at a different beautiful city, over a period of several weeks. We are now beginning the seventh EPT season and it’s gotten off to a fantastic start. The next stop will be in Vilamoura, Portugal, and if you’re a keen golf and poker enthusiast then be sure to check out the side event Fairways and Felts, the world’s first mixed golf-poker tournament.
Kevin Stani is a relatively unknown player despite having been on the poker scene for seven years. While he’s not the most famous, he’s been happily living off poker winnings since 2003, so he’s certainly doing something right. His only other live tournament finish worthy of note netted him $57,102 in this year’s World Series of Poker. However Stani is principally an online player, and has enjoyed six figure cashes in the past, albeit none as large as the prize he walks away with today. As a testament to his online tournament skill, Stani qualified for this EPT event through a PokerStars satellite tournament.
As the final day of the EPT Tallinn Main Event commenced, eight players sat around the final table. Of those eight, three among them had 75% of the chips and it’s hardly surprising to learn that they held onto those chips and placed first, second and third. As Stani sent third-place-getter Arnaud Mattern to the rail, he killed the former EPT champion’s hopes of a repeat performance and entered heads-up play against Konstantin Bilyauer.
Stani had a 2:1 chip advantage over Bilyauer as heads-up play kicked off, and this chip lead would prove decisive. After an hour and a half of play, the final hand unravelled. Stani opened preflop and was flatted by Bilyauer to see a 392 rainbow flop, which was checked by both players. The turn brought the 4 of hearts and a bet from Bilyauer, which was raised. Bilyauer flatted, saw the 8 of diamonds on the river and lead out once again. This time as Stani raised it was met with a sigh from Bilyauer, who eventually called and mucked his hand upon seeing Stani’s nut straight. €400,000 and the EPT title were awarded for this first-place performance.
Clearly it was an exciting stop for Kevin Stani, but Tallinn has been a great all-round start to the seventh season of the European Poker Tour. There are many stops to come in many more beautiful cities, so stay tuned for more updates or log onto PokerStars to start winning your way into these fantastic events yourself.