Changing career from streamer to poker pro has worked out well for Dutchman Gilles Simon, who scooped the PokerStars EPT Cyprus Main Event this evening, winning $1,042,0000 and the coveted spadie trophy.
24-year-old Simon made the move back in 2019 after winning PokerStars’ inaugural Dare2Stream competition and a Platinum Pass to the PokerStars Players Championship (PSPC).
Today at the Merit Royal Diamond Hotel Casino and Spa, he came into the final table as chip leader, along with six others, all looking to become the inaugural EPT Cyprus Main Event champ. With $162,925 already sewn up, the seven players had their eyes on the magic $million up top.
Cowboys for Simon
Short-stack Bjorn Kozenkai was first to depart when he jammed from the cutoff pre-flop, only to find himself dominated by Sanchez, the Spanish player’s A-10 holding up against K-10.
Then it was Russia’s Nikita Kuznetsov’s turn to depart, having folded 8s (pre-flop against a raise by kings) only to walk into a similar problem the very next hand.
Nikita Kuznetsov: 4♦️ 4♣
Gilles Simon: K♠ K♦️
The board was a harmless 9♠ 8♦️ 3♦ 10❤️ 7♠, which meant sixth spot for Kuznetsov and $211,850.
The action continued apace, with Yannick Schumacher joining the pre-flop jamming gang from the blinds only to run his AQ-off into Halil Tasyurek’s jacks, another on the flop spelling the end for the German’s dreams of EPT glory.
Tasyurek out-flopped, out the door
It was cutthroat stuff, and a short while later, it was Tasyurek who found himself visiting the cashier in 4th spot, picking up $358,075, after his good pre-flop call of Andrea Dato’s shove was undermined by a painful flop. Top pair for the Italian was enough for the KO.
Now down to just three, Dato, Simon, and Sanchez filled the podium, but in which order would they finish?
Dato’s run from shortstack to chip leader continued with the execution of Sanchez, a hug to show no hard feelings, leaving Dato heads-up with Simon.
The Dutch player pulled back the deficit to take a commanding lead, and the end came shortly after the dinner break.
Andrea Dato: A❤️ J♣
Gilles Simon: K❤️ 8♠
Dato’s 1,000,000 raise was called by Simon, who took the lead on the 8❤️ 7♣ 2♦️ flop.
Dato continued for 500,000 and then shoved against a 1,500,000 bet, which was promptly snapped off by Simon. There was to be no help as the board was completed with the 3♣ and the 6♣.
“What did it take? I don’t know!” Simon revealed in his winner’s interview before adding, “Good cards. And I like to think also mostly good decisions… there were a couple of spots where I was like, I don’t know if I played that optimally, but yeah, I like to think that I made some good decisions in the end to manoeuvre my way to heads up and eventually to win.”
|1||Gilles Simon (Netherlands)||$1,042,000|
|2||Andrea Dato (Italy)||$652,200|
|3||Jose Gonzalez Sanchez (Spain)||$465,425|
|4||Halil Tasyurek (Turkey)||$358,075|
|5||Yannick Schumacher (Germany)||$275,425|
|6||Nikita Kuznetsov (Russia)||$211,850|
|7||Bjorn Kozenkai (Hungary)||$162,925|
Photos by PokerStars