Jiachen Gong Top Canadian in EPT Dublin Main Event; Longo, Chartier, Symesko, Difelice, and Greenwood Win Side Events
The final regular stop on Season 12 of the European Poker Tour (EPT) has come to an end before we look ahead to the Grand Final at Monte-Carlo Casino in April. EPT returned to Dublin, Ireland for the first time in eight years for a tournament series that ran from February 9 to 20.
The setting was The Royal Dublin Society which is one of Europe’s premier venues, established in 1731 and located just minutes from downtown Dublin. The series was made up of 67 tournaments (including satellites and Flipouts) and incorporated the UK and Ireland Poker Tour (UKIPT) as well.
It started well for the Canadian contingent who made the trip to Ireland’s capital. The first two events were satellites and the third was Day 1a of the UKIPT Main Event. So the first tournament to come to a conclusion and award a signature spade trophy was in Event #4. It was a €330 no-limit hold’em tournament and a Canadian came out victorious. Toronto, Ontario’s Tyler Longo won €6,189 after topping the 111-entry field.
The next Canadian to scoop a significant cash was Mike McDonald who managed second place in Event #5 — a €5,300 turbo that saw just 15 entries. His runner-up result earned him €21,830 to start off the series.
Mike McDonald’s next trip to the payout booth came in Event #9. The €1,100 turbo received 96 entries and McDonald survived until he was among the final five players. That’s where his tournament came to an end and he collected a further €7,170.
After a short dry stretch without Canadians booking results within the top few spots, two players from our nation finished within the top four of Event #36, the €10,200 Single Day High Roller. Francois Billard collected €128,120 for fourth place and Mark Radoja picked up €144,180 for third out of 66 entries.
In the very next event — a €550 mix of limit stud hi-lo and Omaha hi-lo — Canadian David Spencer finished runner-up for €3,090 out of the small field of 25 entries.
Immediately following that, Event #38 saw Sam Chartier win the €2,150 turbo for €43,220 when he proved to be the best out of the 81 entries in that tournament.
The third spade trophy to be picked up by a Canadian came in Event #49 — a €1,100 no-limit hold’em event allowing players a single reentry. When registration closed, 245 entries had paid the buy-in. When they played down to a winner, it was Red Deer, Alberta’s Chris Symesko who collected a €50,260 payday.
There were 25 entries into Event #51. The €5,200 turbo “Win the Button” event saw Canadian Timothy Adams pick up second-place money of €37,890.
Then a fourth spade was won for our country in Event #53. The €330 tournament received 220 entries and was won by Andre Difelice. The Torontonian earned $13,400 to add to a previous cash in the series. He had already collected €7,375 for seventh place in Event #29.
Event #54 was the EPT €10,300 High Roller which brings out some of the biggest talent in the game. The top Canadian result was booked by Timothy Adams who finished in seventh place to add €67,120 to his wallet.
In Event #55, Ambrose Ng was the runner-up finisher in the €550 pot-limit Omaha hi-lo event after outlasting 50 entries by coming just short of the win. He earned €5,740 for that result.
The fifth spade coming back to Canada was earned by Sam Greenwood. After having an incredible breakout 2015, he’s up to more of the same this year. He topped Event #66 — a €2,150 six-handed turbo — and won €44,280 for the feat.
The headlining event of them all — the €5,300 EPT Main Event — was billed as Event #28 but was one of the last to conclude. The top Canadian there was someone who was just recently in headlines. Jiachen Gong finished 15th out of 605 players for €28,760 just a week after winning the TonyBet Winter Festival Main Event back in his home province of Quebec.
Congratulations to all of the Canadians who represented our nation well in Dublin.