David Laka etched his name in the history books on Sunday, becoming the first-ever European Poker Tour Online champion.
With Events #1 and #2 ongoing, the Spaniard sailed to victory in Event #3, the $5,200 High Roller, on Nov. 8.
In addition to becoming the first EPT Online champion in history, Laka added to his $1.6 million career earnings by securing a $143,567 payday.
EPT Online Off to Strong Start
The opening day of action saw the three EPT Online events get underway. Day 1 of the $1,050 Arena Championship kicked things off just after midday.
1,589 unique entries and 596 rebuys pushed the prize pool beyond its $1.5 million guarantee, and just over the $2.1 million mark. The four-day event will run until Nov. 12 when one player will walk away with the title and $325,594.
Next up was the $10,300 Pot-Limit Omaha High Roller. 39 players anted up at the start of play and, with a $500,000 guarantee and an EPT Online title up for grabs, 31 rebuys were made before registration closed. That means the final seven will win the lion’s share of $700,000 later today.
Event #3 rounded out the opening trio of tournaments. The line-up was, as expected, a tough one as 131 total entries were added to the pot. This meant Laka, aka MonkeyBausss, had to get past the likes of Parker Talbot, Chris Oliver, and Jon Van Fleet to win the title.
Laka Beats PokerStars’ Finest
And get past them he did. With those pros sent to the sidelines, Laka dispatched with Artem Vezhenkov in third place to take the lead against Pascal Lefrancois.
Lefrancois was the more accomplished of the two pros before the tournament started. With both WSOP and WPT titles to his name, he would have been the favorite on paper had everything been even.
As is often the case in poker, things weren’t even, as Laka had almost 6X more chips than his opponent. This allowed him to push the pace and claim the title just five hands into heads-up play.
Lefrancois shoved from the button with J♠ 8♥ and Laka called with K♣ T♣. The Q♠ K♥ K♠ flop left Lefrancois with little way back and, after the 8♣ and 2♦ fell on the turn and river, that was all she wrote.
EPT Online Event #3 – $5,200 High Roller – Result
- David Laka – $143,567
- Pascal Lefrancois – $111,234
- Artem Vezhenkov – $86,183
- Vyacheslav Buldygin – $66,774
- “zufo16” – $51,736
- Jon Van Fleet – $40,085
- Chris Oliver – $31,057
The win marked Laka’s first EPT title. Although it may not have come in the way he would have expected, it’s a major milestone, nonetheless.