For the first time ever, poker players around the world will be able to compete in a prestigious European Poker Tour (EPT) Main Event from the comfort of their homes.
Yep. EPT Online runs from 8-18 November, with 20 events of varying buy-ins ranging from $215-$25,000 (just like a regular EPT schedule), and $20 million guaranteed in prizes.
For years, many of us have watched the EPT Live streams from our desks or armchairs and dreamed of one day being able to compete, and maybe, just maybe, win a title.
With the $5,200 EPT Online 8-Max, No Limit Hold’em Main Event kicking off on 15 November, we wondered: which former EPT Main Event winners are most likely to claim another title this time around?
There are more likely candidates than you’d imagine.
It’s safe to say that Canada’s Mike “SirWatts” Watson has never been better at poker than he is right now, and that’s really saying something.
Watson has been a crusher for as long as we can remember ($7.37 million in online cashes, plus $12.1 million won live), but right now he sits at No.4 in the online tournament world, his highest ever ranking, according to PocketFives.
You don’t get to that position without being at the top of the game, and Watson certainly has been throughout 2020. This year he won his third Spring Championship of Online Poker title ($80,642), finished second in a World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP) event for $152,682, second in a Stadium Series event ($72,912), and third in a Turbo Series event for $113,451. That’s on top of regular scores in the weekly High Roller events.
Watson is an undisputed frontrunner to join Coren-Mitchell and Pobal in the two-time champions club.
To this day, Adrian “Amadi_017” Mateos remains the only Spaniard to have won an EPT Main Event, but he was already the county’s best player long before his win at the Grand Final in Monte Carlo back in 2015.
Mateos has a poker CV that boggles the mind for a player so young (he’s still only 26). Despite $21.3 million won live and millions banked online, he’s still a guy who truly loves the competition and never rests on his laurels, so it’s been no surprise to see him crush online throughout 2020.
Mateos won his second SCOOP title back in May ($164,398), and in October he won two WCOOP titles on back-to-back days for $543,685 and $80,211, taking his overall WCOOP tally to four wins.
Mateos always shows up for the big events.
Sitting 10th on poker’s all-time money list with $30.4 million in cashes is Steve O’Dwyer, known on PokerStars as “Mr. Tim Caum”. He’s put in the work online too, and throughout his successful career has banked $7.1 million in online earnings.
This year O’Dwyer won one of the toughest events on the SCOOP 2020 schedule–the $25,000 Super High Roller–for $521,598. He also finished second in two WCOOPs for $167,421 combined.
The “Irishman” always seems to perform his best on the big stages.
Sweden has so many online crushers that you could argue some of the country’s best players get overlooked in favour of the “Lena900”s and “C. Darwin2”s. Robin “robinho” Ylitalo is certainly one of them.
Ylitalo has had a fantastic year, winning his first SCOOP title for $87,775 and finishing fourth in the WCOOP Main Event for a massive $543,301 score.
We certainly wouldn’t be surprised if he goes on to win his second EPT title in EPT Online.
A decade after his EPT win, Ylitalo’s fellow Swede Anton “Bomber&Granater” Wigg is still crushing at the high stakes.
Throughout his career he’s won the Sunday Million and plenty of other big events, and at this year’s SCOOP he was on fire.
Wigg won two titles: a $1,050 NLHE event for $110,486, followed by the $1,050 Super Tuesday Special Edition for $112,056.
He’s a regular in the weekly High Roller Club events, so he’s never taken his foot off the gas when it comes to playing against the best in the game on a regular basis. EPT Online will be full of beasts, so Wigg will feel right at home.
If you can call yourself one of the best poker players in Russia, you’re really onto something. And Arsenii “josef_shvejk” Karmatckii can say it with pride.
Karmatckii has $5.29 million in online earnings throughout his career, plus $1.7 million won on the live felt. His biggest score remains his EPT Sochi win for ~$478,451.
He won his second WCOOP title this year (a $1,050 Midweek Freeze for $80,681), finished second in a $109 Stadium Series event ($52,494), and took down the High Roller Club’s $1,050 Super Tuesday ($36,899). Most recently he won a $215 Bounty Builder Series event for $21,067.
He plays everything, and you can guarantee he’ll be in the mix during EPT Online.
This Polish wunderkind was an absolute phenomenon when he burst onto the poker scene in 2015, scoring big in high rollers left, right and centre, plus winning an EPT Main Event in 2016 to boot.
He’s a mixed game crusher with five WCOOP titles (he won his fifth in September) but there’s nothing wrong his No Limit Hold’em game.
If he taps into his hold’em A-game next month he’ll be one to watch. Becoming a two-time EPT champion at just 25 years old would be mighty impressive.
A feared tournament player as well as a high stakes cash game player, Manig “swordfish007” Loeser will definitely be among the favourites to win a second EPT. After all, his Main Event win is the most recent of all of them.
Loeser has $11.1 million in live earnings plus $1.89 million in online cashes.
He’s been a little quieter than usual on the online poker streets this year, but that’s only because Niall “firaldo87” Farrell became a father at the end of 2019. And baby rungood is definitely a thing.
Farrell has $3.4 million in online cashes on top of his $6.2 million won live, and he’s one of only nine players in poker history to win a ‘Triple Crown’ (an EPT title, WPT title, and WSOP bracelet). It only makes sense that he’d become the first ever online EPT winner, too.
Although quiet, Farrell still finished second in a $530 Stadium Series event for $33,738 and sixth in another for $22,973.
He can turn it on when he needs to.
But which other EPT champions would we not be surprised to see win their second title?
Recent: Won a massive WCOOP in 2020 ($400,495)
Recent: Won a Summer Series ($29,442) and finished second in two SCOOPs ($109,426 and $58,713)
Recent: Two WCOOP titles in 2020
Recent: Won a Bounty Builder Series event ($16,792)
Recent: Won his fifth SCOOP title in 2020 ($154,039)
Recent: Still plays all the online High Rollers
Recent: No big wins but still plays regularly