PokerStars qualifier sees off game’s best for €1.35m
Season 8 of the European Poker Tour drew to a close in dramatic fashion this week, as Mohsin “Chicagocards1” Charania battled past 665 players to bank an impressive €1,350,000 and be crowned EPT Grand Final champ 2012.
Boasting a total prize pool of €6,650,000, this was a Grand Final like no other, and with the likes of Phil Ivey, Daniel Negreanu and the rest of poker’s superstars signing up, many predicted a big name would get their hands on the title.
But Chicago native Charania added his biggest ever career cash to over $3.5m in online cashes, including a SCOOP side event victory in 2010, and just over $500,000 in live events, after decimating the later stages.
The final table, which was broadcast with a one-hour delay on PokerStars.tv, featured past Italian Poker Tour San Remo champ Sergio Castelluccio and EPT Warsaw finalist Clayton Mozdzen, but it was qualifier Lucille Cailly who grabbed most of the headlines.
Cailly, who qualified for the €10k buy-in event online, was the first female player ever to make the final eight of an EPT Grand Final and walked off with €1.05m thanks to splitting the mammoth first prize heads-up with Charania.
The 29-yearold tournament pro from Paris has been playing the game for five years, but up until this week in Monte Carlo only had a €29k victory to her name to shout about.
‘I definitely underestimated her,’ Charania told PokerListings after seeing of Cailly heads-up.
‘I think I might have had the thinking that she’s a girl, so how aggressive can she be, and I played with her on the outer table when there was about 24 left and she just immediately started raising me every hand and I thought, “Ok, well that’s going to be a bit of a challenge”.’
In the final hand, Cailly got her stack all-in preflop with A-K against Charania’s Queens. Unfortunately for the Parisian, a nine-high board failed to hand her a much needed double-up.
‘I feel great,’ added Cailly. ‘This is my first trophy – I don’t think they give you these when you win a tournament online. I’ve spent two months playing poker in Europe and this is only the second time I’ve made the antes.’
The €10,000 Main Event was one of 37 tournaments taking place at Le Sporting Casino in Monaco as part of the eighth EPT Grand Final “Festival of Poker”. For more coverage from the Grand Final, check out next month’s PokerPlayer.
Here’s how the EPT Grand Final finished up:
1. Mohsin Charania €1,350,000
2. Lucille Cailly €1,050,000
3. Bernard Guigon €545,000
4. Sergio Castelluccio €400,000
5. Rodrigo Caprioli €315,000
6. Michael Dietrich €245,000
7. Clayton Mozdzen €185,000
8. Daniel Gomez €130,000