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Oleksii Khoroshenin Leads Final Eight in €25,000 High Roller

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Oleksii Khoroshenin
Oleksii Khoroshenin

After another exciting ten levels in the PokerStars and Monte-Carlo©Casino EPT €25,000 High Roller, Oleksii Khoroshenin from Ukraine leads the final eight players with a greater than 2:1 chip lead over his nearest rival Joao Vieira from Portugal.

Khoroshenin steadily accumulated chips throughout the day, and was the chip leader at the dinner break, before pushing ahead with the elimination of Bryn Kenney in 13th place (€51,000) and Fady Kamar in 10th place (€58,000). Both of these pots were substantial with the first coming ace-king against ace-queen, but the second was a massive pot which, at the time, gave Khoroshenin over two million chips. Although the Ukrainian's wings were clipped slightly, he still holds a healthy lead ahead of Day 3.

Here's how the remaining eight players stack up:

SeatNameCountryChip Count
1Mark TeltscherUK895,000
2Joao VieiraPortugal907,000
3Albert DaherLebanon744,000
4Yan Shing TsangHong Kong431,000
5Julian ThomasGermany421,000
6Oleksii KhorosheninUkraine1,848,000
7Shyngis SatubayevKazakhstan390,000
8Wouter BeumersNetherlands315,000

Earlier the money bubble burst, with Ryan Riess the unfortunate bubble boy, losing out with ace-queen against the ace-king of Fady Kamar after Kamar made quad kings. In the money were Pascal Hartmann & Mikalai Vaskaboinikau (17th & 16th - €44,400) Stephen Chidwick & Christopher Frank (15th & 14th - €46,500), Bryn Kenney & Thomas Muehloecker (13th & 12th - €51,000), Markus Durnegger & Fady Kamar (11th & 10th - €58,000), with Aleksander Uskov the final elimination of the night in 9th place for €70,500.

Here are the remaining payouts in the €25,000 High Roller.

PositionPayout (€)Payout ($)
1€711,500$853,800
2€481,000$577,200
3€312,500$375,000
4€259,000$310,800
5€208,700$250,440
6€164,535$197,442
7€126,000$151,200
8€94,500$113,400

With over €700,000 up top, there's still everything to play for as we head into the final day of the PokerStars and Monte-Carlo©Casino EPT €25,000 High Roller, and we'll bring you updates from it tomorrow as they play down to a winner.

Tags: Bryn KenneyFady KamarJoao VieiraMark TeltscherOleksii Khoroshenin

Bonomo's Big Week Continues With Another €25K Single-Day Win

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Justin Bonomo
Justin Bonomo

Justin Bonomo may not have made headlines in any of the very biggest events at PokerStars and Monte-Carlo©Casino EPT, but he's likely booked one of the biggest profits of anyone here after shipping his second €25K side event of the series.

Bonomo called it "an incredible run" after his last victory and it's only gotten sicker since.

This time, Bonomo bested a small field of 29 entries — 21 uniques plus eight reentries — to win €259,700 in the €25K Single-Day High Roller, which got started late in the afternoon.

PlacePlayerHome CountryPrize
1Justin BonomoUSA€259,700
2Ramin HajiyevAzerbaijan€179,000
3Adrian MateosSpain€114,100
4Timothy AdamsCanada€82,500
5Orpen KisacikogluTurkey€66,674

It's his fourth six-figure cash of EPT Monte Carlo. He won a different €25K Single-Day High Roller for €378,000, got fourth in the €50K Single-Day High Roller for €228,700 and fifth in the €100K Super High Roller for €401,000.

In total, that's over €1.2 million in winnings. Not bad for scarcely more than a week's worth of work.

In his latest win, Bonomo looked to be in command with around two-thirds of the chips three-handed. However, things got hairy for the American when doubled Ramin Hajiyev up and handed him the lead.

After that, a three-way all in occurred with Adrian Mateos the shortest and at risk for 370,000 at 20,000/40,000/40,000. Bonomo had the best of it with nines against Mateos' ace-seven and Hajiyev's king-nine but an ace on the river kept Mateos in it while Bonomo doubled in the side pot.

Bonomo retook control by dispatching the Spanish crusher with ace-ten against king-jack, and he then worked his way into the lead against Hajiyev.

After being hammered down to about 10 big blinds, Hajiyev got them in with king-four but Bonomo's ace-eight of diamonds was a superior hand. It held up for the win.

Friday could see the players fire up another €25K, and if they do, PokerNews will keep an eye out to see if Bonomo can keep his phenomenal run going here in Monaco.

Tags: Justin Bonomo

Emotional and Intense, Gyorgyi Takes on Stacked Final Table at EPT Monte Carlo

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Krisztian Gyorgyi
Krisztian Gyorgyi

Playing poker for €712,000 in prize money creates a pressure-packed environment, but you wouldn't know it by watching David Peters, Patrik Antonius and Ole Schemion at the PokerStars and Monte-Carlo©Casino EPT Main Event final table.

All three of those seasoned pros, veterans of countless hours of high-stakes cash and/or tournaments, are right in their comfort zones. Watching Peters' calm, unmoving face while playing pots for tens of thousands of dollars in equity, one gets the sense that a mosquito bite would be of greater concern than the outcome of the hand.

But one man at the final table appears to be sweating those outcomes — literally and figuratively — far more than any of his opponents. Watching him, it's clear Krisztian Gyorgyi has more emotional investment than anyone else still left in the event.

Talking to the 26-year-old Hungarian quickly makes it clear why. While €712,000 represents a princely some for just about anyone short of, well, the prince of Monaco, it's a particularly heaping pile for a man who qualified for €5 on PokerStars.

Gyorgyi told PokerNews he started with a lowly €5 steps satellite and continued to work his way up the ladder. He made it to the $530 final and binked a seat into a prestigious €5,300 EPT Main Event about 500 miles from where he resides in Germany.

Krisztian Gyorgyi
Krisztian Gyorgyi made an unlikely final table run.

There, he makes his living as a metal worker and plays poker for fun both online at PokerStars and live at a casino in Stuttgart. He has no known live cashes before this one and said this is the first time he's attended a big live event.

Now, he's trying to become the first Hungarian to win an EPT Main Event, besting the second-place finishes of Denes Kalo (twice) and Marton Czuczor.

"This here is a dream," he said through a translator. "I won't say I will become a pro after this, but I am definitely interested to play more poker."

Usually, Gyorgyi plays tournaments on PokerStars, preferring knockouts and sit-n-gos. He wouldn't say what his usual stakes are, only that a tournament simply has to be "interesting" to entice him to play.

Given the way he's been reacting to some of the big hands here in Monte Carlo, it seems safe to say he's interested.

For instance, late on Day 4, with 21 players left, Gyorgyi flopped trip kings with king-four suited defending his big blind. He got a check-raise in, but Federico Petruzzelli turned a flush with his combo draw. Stacks went in with Gyorgyi's tournament life on the line, and stood, hands on hips, staring at the spot from which the river card was about to emerge.

It was a four.

Everyone in the room turned to look as Gyorgyi shouted in his native tongue, running down an aisle between tables to the barriers that ward off spectators from sweating final tables. Have a look:

Another Gyorgyi trademark is pounding on his own chest as he shouts after dragging a crucial pot. That's how he celebrated knocking out Josip Simunic on the final table bubble when jacks held against ace-jack blind versus blind.

He puts the incredible intensity on display for all to see, unafraid to show how much this run means to him. At the same time, he's quick to console a defeated opponent, as he did to Simunic after the river card fell. While some might be put off by the raucous reactions, Simunic seemed to understand the situation and graciously accepted an embrace from his Hungarian opponent.

Krisztian Gyorgyi (L) and Josip Simunic
Gyorgyi embraced Simunic after busting him on the final table bubble.

One big-name opponent down, but plenty more left. Facing off with the likes of Peters, Antonius and Schemion at the final table certainly could mean the end of the line is coming for an unknown $5 qualifier from Hungary.

However, he does see one small edge for himself.

"I think I have an advantage," said. "I know all the players because I always watched the EPT, but nobody knows me.

“Before the event, I told everyone that I will win it and everybody was laughing," he said. "Now we'll see what happens."

Reporting from Christian Zetzsche contributed to this piece.

Tags: Krisztian Gyorgyi

'Thee Best Hands' and Drea Renee in Action in Monte Carlo

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Drea Renee
Drea Renee

If you've ever attended a poker tournament, you may have seen a team of masseuses in bright red tops, going to work on some of the best poker players in the world. Luckily, Drea Renee, part of the 'Thee Best Hands' massage team stopped by on a break to speak to PokerNews.com about what constitues a normal day in the life of a masseuse.

"A normal day is waking up from three hours of sleep, walking to work, and then seeing what vultures are here first!" joked Renee "I mean unless you have a list already, but most of the High Rollers need 30 minutes before they want a massage. Some of them are like 'Yep!' right away, but some you have to give some time.

"Hopefully you get some time to eat. If it's a great day you don't. I know that sounds terrible; if you have 15 minutes to eat you know it's been a good day. If it's more like an hour, you're like 'Ehhh'."

The team of masseuses aren't on any set schedule; Renee says that sometimes you look up at the clock at 2 am, only to realize you have four more hours - if you're lucky. Bedtimes usually range between six and seven o'clock in the morning, but that often depends on the tournament.

The 'Thee Best Hands' team covers many tournaments all over Europe and the rest of the world and Renee is no stranger to some crazy stories from what she's witnessed at the poker table.

"The craziest thing I've seen was probably a guy in a tournament who had his lunch brought to him by his wife, and then his dinner brought by his mistress! That was really nuts to see at the table. I really didn't know what was going on!

"Then one time there were these two Asian guys who got into a huge fight over tanking. They were 60 years old and just ready to throw down. They were standing there and they almost went at it. I really am a fly on the wall to everything that's going on."

Renee, just like any of the massage team, has forged strong relationships with several players on the global poker circuit.

"I've worked on some of these guys forever, and when you're standing behind someone for hours you get to know how they play. I'm not a poker pro by any means, but I know when people are doing something stupid - and I have zero poker face!

Drea Renee

"There was this one hand here where this guy had queen-six off-suit. I'm working on this guy; I don't remember the action - like I said I'm not a poker player - but I'm sure there was a blind-raise-fold-call-limp-rainbow something. I mean that's what it sounds like to me!

"But he had queen-six and he was probably one of the craziest players at the table, and it was anxiety-inducing just massaging him. It was nuts. And he went all in! And this other guy, with way more chips, calls him with Aces!"

Just like the pros that she massages, Renee has a packed schedule.

"After a tournament like this, you definitely need time to relax. I head to Vegas next. I'm hosting the Super High Roller Bowl for Poker Central, and then of course the World Series starts. The Series is a little different; you really treat it like a massage. I don't work every single day until 4 am, I try to leave at one or two.

"I take a day or two off every once in a while and just sleep. I just sleep the entire day. To be honest, even the thought of going to get a massage sounds exhausting!"

Tags: Drea Renee

€25k Update: Players All in the Money on Dinner Break

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Ryan Riess Bubbles the €25,000 High Roller
Ryan Riess Bubbles the €25,000 High Roller

The remaining 16 players in thePokerStars and Monte-Carlo©Casino EPT €25,000 High Roller are on a 75-minute dinner break, and it is Oleksii Khoroshenin who leads the way from Bryn Kenney.

The bubble burst in the last level before the dinner break, and compared to other High Roller bubbles this EPT, today was a relatively short one.

After short-stacked Ryan Riess doubled with {6-Hearts}{6-Clubs} through the {9-Spades}{4-Diamonds} of Fady Kamar. Fortunately for Riess, the flop came {5-Clubs}{6-Spades}{5-Hearts} rendering the rest of the hand inconsequential. Unfortunately for Riess, a few hands later he got {a-Diamonds}{q-Hearts} in against the {a-Hearts}{k-Hearts} of Kamar again.

The flop came {a-Spades}{k-Clubs}{q-Clubs} giving both players two pair. Riess called for a jack to try and raise the possibility of a chop, but the turn and river came {k-Diamonds}{k-Spades} improving Kamar to quad kings and sending Riess to the rail.

That left 17 players remaining, and after Pascal Hartmann became the first player to receive the min-cash of €44,400, the players were redrawn around two tables.

SeatNameChip CountNameChip Count
1Markus Durnegger340,000Julian Thomas61,000
2Thomas Muehloecker166,000Albert Daher455,000
3Mark Teltscher380,000Christopher Frank278,000
4Yan Shing Tsang328,000Wouter Beumers635,000
5Mikalai Vaskaboinkiau146,000Joao Vieira136,000
6Oleksii Khoroshenin760,000Stephen Chidwick68,000
7Fady Kamar204,000Shyngis Satubayev463,000
8Bryn Kenney795,000Alexander Uskov636,000

Play will resume at approximately 20:35 local time, with four further levels of 60-minutes scheduled before players bag ahead of Day 3.

Tags: Bryn KenneyFady KamarOleksii KhorosheninRyan Riess

€25k Update: Down to Three Tables; Money Bubble Looms

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Oleksii Khoroshenin
Oleksii Khoroshenin

The PokerStars and Monte-Carlo©Casino EPT €25,000 High Roller is down to 24 players.

The chip leader at the moment is Oleksii Khoroshenin. Khoroshenin is third on the Ukrainian all-time money list and is a former EPT champion after he took down EPT Vienna back in 2014. Khoroshenin's best result in an EPT 25k is a third place in Malta two years ago where he took home €217,400.

Close behind him is Bryn Kenney, who has a rich pedigree in High Roller tournaments, having taken down the €100,000 Super High Roller this time last year in Monte Carlo for €1,784,500, and finishing fifth in the €25,000 Single Day High Roller earlier this week. He also is one of a select few players to have won a PokerStars-branded 25k, 50k and 100k (PCA 2017, PCA 2017 & Monte Carlo 2016)

SeatNameChip CountNameChip CountNameChip Count
1Albert Daher80,000Bryn Kenney510,000Liwei Sun80,000
2Fady Kamar250,000Benoit Lam40,000Markus Durnegger280,000
3Pascal Hartmann165,000Shyngis Satubayev400,000Justin Bonomo150,000
4Christopher Frank160,000Joao Vieira130,000Mark Teltescher240,000
5Rainer Kempe350,000Roman Emelyanov125,000Ryan Riess110,000
6Wouter Beumers495,000Thomas Muehloecker290,000Alexander Uskov470,000
7Mikalai Vaskaboinika390,000Stephen Chidwick50,000Saar Wilf160,000
8Oleksii Khoroshenin622,000Julian Thomas150,000Yan Shing Tsang120,000

A reminder that 17 places will be paid, with a min-cash worth €44,400. The payouts are as follows, with the winner taking home €711,500.

PositionPayout (€)Payout ($)
1€711,500$853,800
2€481,000$577,200
3€312,500$375,000
4€259,000$310,800
5€208,700$250,440
6€164,535$197,442
7€126,000$151,200
8€94,500$113,400
9€70,500$84,600
10-11€58,000$69,600
12-13€51,000$61,200
14-15€46,500$55,800
16-17€44,400$53,280

Stay tuned to PokerNews.com for continuing coverage, and head over to the PokerStars blog for live updates from the €25,000 High Roller.

Tags: Bryn KenneyOleksii Khoroshenin

Former Aspiring Volleyball Player Jozonis Making Impact on Live Poker

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Tomas Jozonis
Tomas Jozonis

As a former athlete who gets his competitive juices flowing nowadays with poker, Tomas Jozonis fits in neatly with thousands of others who enjoy the game. Where he stands out from the crowd is his sport of choice.

After all, you can hardly walk through a poker room without finding a basketball, soccer or football player who turned to poker when their athletic dreams ended or were put on hold by injury. A beach volleyball player, though, is a little more rare.

But setting and spiking in the sand is Jozonis' jam, and he once aspired to be one of the best in his home country of Lithuania. In a June 2016 interview with PocketFives, he said that while he hadn't yet reached the top level of beach volleyball, he planned to try to get there within two years.

Two years later, however, he bagged a massive chip lead on Day 4 of PokerStars and Monte-Carlo©Casino EPT €5,300 EPT Main Event with 16 players remaining. What happened in the interim to his beach volleyball dreams?

PokerNews caught up with Jozonis at the close of Day 4, and he confirmed his days as an aspiring beach volleyball pro are finished. While he still plays recreationally, a knee injury from which he never quite recovered put an end to his efforts to climb the volleyball ranks.

"I was trying to get into the Lithuanian professional league," he said. "But, I think I started too late to get into the top level. I had the knee injury, then I had problems after the injury and had another surgery. I didn't rehabilitate well.

"I still had a great experience and I love the sport."

Instead Jozonis appears to be all in on poker for the time being, although he allowed it might only be for a few more years. He's certainly doing what he can to build up a nice financial nest for himself, putting in the volume both live and online.

Jozonis might not be a familiar name to most poker fans, but he's been racking up winnings for years online as "dartazzzz" on PokerStars. He currently counts more than $3 million in online cashes and grinds hard enough to currently be ranked 31st in the world on PocketFives' leaderboard, and first in Lithuania.

Live, he's venturing out more onto the international circuit over the past few years. He finished 66th in this very event in 2016, followed the EPT that fall and winter and then had his biggest score in January 2017 when he made the trip to Aussie Millions. There, he fired in the $25K Challenge and got ninth for $72,545.

It remains his best cash to date.

He finished the year, his heaviest on the live grind, with $231,000 in cashes. Overall he's cashed for $400,000, but that number could go way up with a win here in the Main Event, which is set to pay out €712,000 to the winner.

Jozonis has certainly put himself in prime position after his tremendous Day 4 showing. He flopped no less than three sets that he showed down, the first two earning him massive pots against ace-kings that had hit top pair, while the third came all in preflop with eights against ace-five.

Tomas Jozonis
Tomas Jozonis bagged the Day 4 chip lead in Monaco.

"I got some coolers," he allowed. "It was really crazy."

He said he planned to watch a replay of the live stream and go over some hands on his computer to prepare for Day 5. Heading into the first break, he appears to be treading water so far as his stack hasn't budged much from his start-of-day lead, meaning the pack is inching closer as opponents hit the rail.

With such an a stacked final 16, Jozonis said table draw would be crucial for Day 5. Part of what allowed him to stack up so quickly on Day 4, he said, was an early table break that saw him grab one of the prime seats where he could open up and start playing more hands.

The Day 5 draw provided a mix of good fortune and challenges. Sitting with Adrian Mateos is going to be a massive obstacle no matter what, but Jozonis was at least fortunate enough to draw the seat on the Spanish crusher's left. Patrik Antonius, however, got the spot on Jozonis' own left and caught an early heater, so Jozonis will have to be on his toes and ready to tangle with the experienced nosebleed-stakes legend.

No matter what happens, look for Jozonis to make an appearance at the WSOP "in the middle of June." Summer for most poker players means maximizing their ROI at all costs with a full summer's grind, but for the Lithuanian, it means something else entirely.

It'll be volleyball season again, and he'll be back on the beach.

Adrian Mateos on Another Deep Monte Carlo Run and Eyeing Up the Big One for One Drop

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Adrian Mateos
Adrian Mateos

Three years ago, on his way to taking down the 2015 EPT Grand Final Main Event for€1,082,000, Adrian Mateos sent Ole Schemion to the rail in sixth place. This time around, with 13 players remaining in the PokerStars and Monte-Carlo©Casino EPT Main Event, the shoe was on the other foot.

Mateos three-bet all in from the big blind with pocket fives but Schemion called with pocket nines and sent Mateos to the rail. After his elimination, Mateos spoke briefly with us about another deep run in the sovereign city-state.

"I have good memories and it's really good to play here," he said. "I like the place, I like the casino. It's always a pleasure to play here."

Making one deep run in an EPT Main Event field is difficult enough, but things were made especially difficult this time around with the strength of the field.

Javier Fernandez Alonso_Adrian_Mateos

"It's true that the table had a lot of good players remaining, so of course it's going to be tough. To win a tournament you need a lot of luck, and against a strong field you need even more luck to win or even to be in the top three. Making deep runs is difficult, but this time I didn't have the luck I had in 2015 to win."

Following Mateos' exit, Schemion is now vying for the chip lead with 12 players left. Mateos said that he has a lot of respect for the German.

"He's one of the best players in the world; I really like his game. I knocked him out at the final table in 2015, and now he's eliminated me. That's just how it goes. I had more luck then, and sometimes he has more luck!"

Mateos still has some interest in the Main Event, with friends Davidi Kitai and Javier Fernandez still in contention.

"I'd be really happy for them if they win," said Mateos. "So I'm going to be railing both of them."

Adrian Mateos

Like most poker players this time of the year, Mateos' attention now turns to an extended summer in Las Vegas for the 2018 World Series of Poker. Having won a bracelet last year in the $10,000 No Limit Hold'em - Heads-Up Championship - the Spaniard's third and second in two years - how does he rate his chances for further WSOP glory?

"I think I'm ready to have a really good result there," he said. "I'm really excited to play and compete with the best. I aim to play all the High Rollers and to win a lot of money."

This year there is an extra special High Roller, with the return of the $1,000,000 Big One for One Drop. Will we see Mateos in action there?

"When I say all the high rollers, I mean all the high rollers, so probably the One Drop. I've not decided yet, but I think I have a really big chance if I do play it."

The Spaniard already tops the Spanish money-list, and at 23 years old, he is the youngest three-time bracelet winner. But a win in the One Drop would cement his status as one of the best young poker players of the modern era.

Tags: Adrian MateosOle Schemion