Mike Watson claims second EPT title with Main Event win in Monte Carlo

Mo Afdhal
Posted on: May 8, 2023 12:19 PDT

Canada's Mike Watson took down the European Poker Tour Main Event in Monte Carlo this past Saturday. Watson battled through a stacked tournament field of 1,098 runners to claim the title, along with €749,425 in prize money.

The win marks Watson's second EPT Main Event title , joining Victoria Coren Mitchell and Mikalai Pobal in a small club of highly accomplished players.

In his winner's interview with Joe Stapleton, Watson said, "Couldn't be happier with the accomplishment. It's definitely something that I'm really thrilled with. I'm going to keep trying to build on it, of course. But it's definitely a huge result."

Watson's win in Monte Carlo further cements him as one of the game's current greatest players.

Canada's Mike Watson is the reigning EPT Monte-Carlo Main Event champion Canada's Mike Watson is the reigning EPT Monte-Carlo Main Event champion

"...the biggest accomplishment of my poker career"

Watson came into the final day of play sitting second in chips, with only a fine margin separating him from the chip leader. As the most experienced player at the table, Watson was a strong favorite to close out the victory. The expectation to do well, however, comes with a great deal of pressure.

“I think any time you’re playing a big final table like this, you’re going to feel pressure. I don’t know how you’d be human if you didn’t,” Watson said. “As much as you do it, it never goes away entirely, at least not for me.”

The path to the title was not an easy one and Watson faced tough competition at the final table, particularly from rising star Leonard Maue of Germany. With his wife Sarah watching from the rail, along with friend and fellow high roller regular Sam Greenwood, Watson was able to fend off the hopeful challengers.

The final hand of the tournament saw Watson make a tough call with only second pair. Maue put his opponent to the test by moving all-in as a bluff, but Watson was able to put the pieces together and make the right decision.

“Winning two Main Events on the same tour is a really, really hard thing to do,” Watson said. “I think it’s definitely right up there, maybe the biggest accomplishment of my poker career and I’m really happy with that.”

Final six payouts

  1. Mike Watson, Canada - €749,425*
  2. Leonard Maue, Germany - €697,175*
  3. Leo Worthington-Lesse, United Kingdom - €397,450
  4. Joachim Haraldstad, Norway - €305,750
  5. Samy Boujmala, France - €235,150
  6. Arnaud Enselme, France - €180,900

The * denotes the ICM deal payouts that Watson and Maue agreed to at the heads-up stage of play.