Igor Kurganov Wins PokerStars and Monte-Carlo®Casino EPT Grand Final €25,000 High Roller

Igor Kurganov

The PokerStars.com and Monte-Carlo® Casino European Poker Tour Grand Final €25,000 High Roller was completed on Tuesday night and Igor Kurganov emerged victorious to win the €1.08 million first-place prize. To win the event, Kurganov had to defeat one of the greatest players in the game, Team PokerStars Pros Daniel Negreanu, in a heads-up battle that went back and forth.

PokerStars and Monte-Carlo®Casino EPT Grand Final €25,000 High Roller Final Table Payouts

1Igor Kurganov€1,080,000
2Daniel Negreanu€598,600
3Philipp Gruissem€366,000
4Justin Bonomo€266,000
5Artem Litvinov€216,000
6Noah Schwartz€166,000
7Nathan Schoo€133,000
8Max Lykov€100,000

When the final table began, this week's wonder boy Justin Bonomo led the way by a big margin. He had nearly double the chips that anyone else had at the final table to start the day. The other Team Pro to reach the final eight, Max Lykov, brought up the rear.

Lykov went out in eighth place when his kings got cracked by Negreanu's {a-Diamonds}{10-Clubs}. Following that, Negreanu eliminated Nathan Schoo in seventh place after Noah Schwartz did most of the dirty work by crippling Schoo. Then it was Schwartz's turn to fall in sixth place after his flopped two pair couldn't hold up against Philipp Gruissem's flush draw.

Falling in fifth place was Artem Litvinov. He was all in preflop with pocket jacks and behind the pocket queens that Bonomo held. The board ran out {7-Clubs}{6-Spades}{4-Diamonds}{2-Diamonds}{9-Spades} and Litvinov headed to the rail before four-handed play began.

Things lasted a while between Bonomo, Negreanu, Gruissem and Kurganov before the tournament finally had its fourth-place finisher. That player was Bonomo as he fell in Level 25 to Negreanu with the blinds at 25,000/50,000/5,000.

On the button, Negreanu had raised to 100,000. Bonomo reraised all in from the small blind for around 500,000 and Negreanu made the call with {a-Hearts}{10-Spades}. Bonomo held {a-Clubs}{k-Diamonds}, but couldn't hold on as the board ran out {9-Hearts}{8-Clubs}{5-Clubs}{10-Clubs}{q-Spades}.

Bonomo had one heck of a week at the EPT Grand Final. Highlighting his week, Bonomo won the €100,000 Super High Roller for €1.64 million, came 28th in the Main Event for €35,000 and then took home €266,000 for this finish.

Shortly after Bonomo exited, Gruissem headed out the door. He, too, was eliminated by Negreanu, although this time Negreanu held the best of it going in with two black kings against Gruissem's {a-Hearts}{3-Clubs}. The flop, turn and river ran out {8-Hearts}{6-Diamonds}{6-Clubs}{9-Diamonds}{4-Clubs} and Gruissem was out the door.

When heads-up play began, Negreanu held the edge with 3.9 million in chips to Kurganov's 2.75 million. From there, it was a back-and-forth battle that saw the lead change a few times before Kurganov finally started to pull away.

A big turning point came when Negreanu had flopped top pair on the {k-Spades}{j-Clubs}{8-Diamonds} flop with the {k-Hearts}{9-Hearts} and got all the money in against Kurganov's {a-Diamonds}{a-Spades}. The aces held and Kurganov surged into the lead. Then, Negreanu had to make a big fold after committing a lot of chips to the pot on a {7-Hearts}{6-Diamonds}{4-Spades}{10-Spades}{3-Diamonds} board. He had bet the river for 340,000 and Kurganov raised him all in. With just 540,000 behind, Negreanu was able to find a fold, but wasn't able to come back.

On the very next hand, Negreanu moved all in from the button for six big blinds and Kurganov called with {k-Diamonds}{3-Spades}. Negreanu held {a-Clubs}{j-Clubs}. The flop gave Kurganov the lead with the {k-Clubs}{5-Diamonds}{4-Spades} falling before the {5-Clubs} on the turn and {10-Diamonds} on the river officially ended things.

For his runner-up finish, Negreanu score €598,600. Combine that with the sixth place he took in the €100,000 Super High Roller for €310,000 and he had a €908,600 week.

Entering the final table, Kurganov already had just shy of $900,000 in live tournament earnings. Now he's got over double that and locked up a major win under his belt. Kurganov has had an amazing season on the EPT, especially in High Roller events. This season alone he's earned a third-place finish in the EPT Tallinn €10,000 High Roller for €40,450 and a second-place finish in the EPT London £20,000 High Roller for £318,300. And don't forget the second-place finish he scored in the EPT Grand Final €10,000 High Roller Turbo last season in Madrid where he won €123,000.

This wraps up PokerNews' coverage from Monaco for the EPT Grand Final. It also wraps up our coverage from Season 8 of the EPT. It was another very, very successful one and we can't wait until Season 9 kicks off in Barcelona in August. Until then, stay tuned to our live reporting pages for coverage of events from all across the globe. We'll see you next time!

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