Michael Watson Becomes Two-Time EPT Main Event Champion in Monte Carlo

Micheal Watson became the third player in history to win multiple European Poker Tour main event titles when he took it down in Monte Carlo for the trophy and €749,425 ($801K).

Micheal Watson

Micheal Watson is the 2023 EPT Monte Carlo main event champion. (Image: PokerStars)

He joins Mikalai Pobal and Victoria Coren Mitchell as the only three people in the world who have more than one EPT main event victory on their poker resumes.  Pobal won the mains in Prague (2019) and Barcelona (2012), while Mitchell scored hers in London (2006) and Sanremo (2014).

“Couldn’t be happier with the accomplishment,” Watson told PokerStars’ Joe Stapleton. “It’s definitely something that I’m really thrilled with. I’m going to keep trying to build on it, of course. But it’s definitely a huge result. Winning two main events on the same tour is really, really hard thing to do. I think it’s definitely right up there, maybe the biggest accomplishment of my poker career and I’m really happy with that.”

The Canadian was part of a field of 775 players who rebought 323 times. The 1,098 entries, each costing €5,300, built a prize pool north of $5.8 million. The top 159 earned at least €8,700 ($9,585).

His first EPT title came at the 2016 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure where he took home $730,000.

Not only does he have two EPT titles, he also won the €25,000 high roller event at EPT Paris in February for €324,500 ($343,788), a $50,000 short-deck event at the Triton Super High Rollers in March, and a €50,000 high roller event at EPT Barcelona in August of 2022 for €872,940 ($895,933).

He also final-tabled a $25,000 short-deck event in March, but flamed out in sixth for $91,000.

The EPT Monte Carlo main event win puts Watson only $600,000 away from cracking the $20 million lifetime tournament winnings mark.

EPT Monte Carlo Main Event’s Top Six

  1. Micheal Watson, €749,425 ($825,731)
  2. Leonard Maue, €697,175 ($768,161)
  3. Leo Worthington-Leese, €397,450 ($437,918)
  4. Joachim Haraldstad, €305,750 ($366,881)
  5. Sammy Boujmala, €325,150 ($259,093)
  6. Arnaud Enselme, €180,900, ($199,319)

The final table lasted more than seven hours and was streamed via PokerStars’ YouTube channel. The two final players made a deal heads-up, which gave the runner-up only 52,000 less. But they were playing for the title of main event champion.

In the last hand, Watson made a masterful call against Maue, believing the pair of tens he made on the flop were probably good. An ace on the turn gave Watson a little doubt– especially after facing an all-in bet from Maue when the board paired up on the river, but he took little time to call half his chips stack with the second pair.

Watson admitted taking the confidence of running great all tournament into the final table, and although he knew better, he felt like it was his tournament to lose.

“I think anytime you play a big final table like this you feel pressure. I don’t how you’d be human if you didn’t. As much as you do it, it never goes away entirely — at least not for me,” he told Stapes post-game. “But I don’t know if I expected to win.

But in some part of the brain you kind of do because you’ve been winning every hand for four days to get here and you kind of just think its going to keep happening and you’re going to win. But I’ve been close enough times to know that’s not always the truth of it.”

It’s a fun final table. Check it out:

Tips, corrections, complaints or kudos? Email CardsChatBob@gmail.com.

Written by
Bob Pajich
Bob Pajich is a poker news reporter, creative writer, and poker player who never met suited connectors he didn't like. Tips, corrections, complaints and kudos should go to CardsChatBob@gmail.com.

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