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Antonio Buonanno Wins 2014 EPT Grand Final Main Event

Italian Wins €1,240,000 After Longest Heads-Up Battle In EPT History

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Antonio BuonannoAfter ten hours of heads-up play, the longest one-on-one battle in European Poker Tour history, Italy’s Antonio Buonanno finally defeated Britain’s Jack Salter to win the 2014 PokerStars and Monte-Carlo® Casino EPT Grand Final main event. At around 7:00 AM in Monaco, roughly 18 hours after the eight-handed final table began, the 47-year-old finally lifted the trophy.

“It was very hard and very long. Salter is a good player and it was very difficult to win this EPT," said Buonanno after the marathon battle. "I played five days very short-stacked but I think I played good poker yesterday and today.”

In addition to the title and the trophy Buonanno also earned the €1,240,000 ($1,715,439 USD) first-place prize and 2,100 Card Player Player of the Year points, enough to move him into a tie for tenth place in the overall Player of the Year race standings.

In 2013 the EPT Grand Final main event final table featured some of the biggest names in the game, including Daniel Negreanu, Jason Mercier, Jake Cody, Johnny Lodden, Noah Schwartz, Andrew Pantling and eventual champ Steve O’Dwyer. This year’s final table was remarkable for quite a different reason: seven of the eight finalists satellited their way into the event. Eighth place finisher Sebastian Bredthauer didn’t even have to invest any of his own money, making his was to a $178,184 payday after qualifying using PokerStars VPPs (loyalty points).

Jack SalterBuonanno, a former clothing store owner who has traveled the EPT circuit for the past four years and has a big final table at the WSOP under his belt, was the only player to directly buy-in. The other seven combined to invest only €1,700 between them in qualifying for the €10,600 buy-in event. They cashed out for a total of €2.7 million.

Runner-up Jack Salter earned €765,000 and 1,750 POY points for his deep run, but surely will be disappointed after holding the chip lead for much of heads-up play and having three huge all-in hands where he was ahead or flipping to win the tournament, but failed to win any of them. He kept his composure, but the steady Buonanno was able to stretch his advantage until the final hand arose.

With unprecedented (for the EPT) blinds of 150,000 /300,000 with a 40,000 ante, Buonanno raised to 600,000 from the button with the ASpade Suit4Heart Suit and Salter moved all-in for just under 5 million with the KDiamond Suit7Diamond Suit. Buonanno called and the board ran out JHeart Suit9Spade Suit2Heart SuitQDiamond Suit3Spade Suit to secure the pot and the title for Buonanno. Salter, who had one prior final table finish in 2014 already, now sits in 13th place in the overall standings.

Here is a look at the payouts and POY points awarded at this final table:

Place Player Earnings (USD) POY Points
1 Antonio Buonanno $1,715,439 2100
2 Jack Salter $1,058,315 1750
3 Malte Moennig $756,730 1400
4 Mayu Roca Uribe $579,653 1050
5 Magnus Karlsson $459,295 875
6 Sebastian Von Toperczer $357,337 700
7 Kenneth Hicks Jr $260,774 525
8 Sebastian Bredthauer $178,184 350

Photos courtesy of PokerStars / Neil Stoddart.