Jean-René Fontaine Triumphs at EPT National Barcelona for €547kAugust 27, 2018 4:34 pm
The 2018 European Poker Tour Barcelona is in full-swing at the beautiful seaside city set in Spain’s Catalonia region. A total of 34 events are featured during its 12-day run, with the latest tournament to reach its conclusion being Event #4: €1,100 No Limit Hold’em – EPT National.
An impressive 4,348 players took part in the five-day tournament, resulting in a whopping €4,217,560 ($4,797,370) prize pool. Eventually triumphing over the competition was Jean-René Fontaine who collected a top prize of €547,000 ($622,198), as well as a $30,000 Platinum Pass through to the PokerStars Players NL Hold’em Championship (PSPC) scheduled for January 2019.
Fontaine hails from Réunion, an island of 843,617 people situated in the Indian Ocean, and considered an overseas region of France. According to the Hendon Mob, he had just one tournament cash prior to his recent success, also a victory after entering the €30 Cercle Clichy Montmartre Recurring Tournaments in 2016, and besting its 132 player field to claim a €1,000 ($1,117) first place prize. Following his latest triumph, Fontaine took time to admire the winner’s trophy, stating:
“It is pretty, it is too beautiful, I am very happy.. there is nothing more beautiful! It’s a pleasure to play against professionals, I learn a lot. After that, obviously, luck comes into play as well.”
€1,100 EPT National
The €1,100 EPT National’s huge field meant 650 players would see a return on their buy-ins, including Simon Mattsson in 253rd (€2,800), Alan Engel in 55th (€9,500), and Ludovic Geilich in 24th (€17,350).
The six competitors who reached its final table were subsequently guaranteed at least €123,000 each for making it thus far. Aside from a Dutch and an Italian player, all the rest were French, including Alberto Ah-Dine who also improbably hailed from Réunion.
After the action got underway, Fontaine (A-8) called Jan Teunis’ (K-Q) three-bet shove and eliminated him in 6th when the board ran out J-10-3-7-6. He then took a backseat and let fellow bigstack Julien Martini boss the action, the first of his victims being Jerome L’Hostis (A-4) on the small blind who called Martini’s 10-8 shove from the big blind and exited after the board ran out 3-4-5-5-8.
Next, Martini (Q-Q) took care of Claudio Di Giacomo (K-J) in 4th, before being dealt Q-10 and calling a 9-3 reshove move by Alberto Ah-Dine to send him to the rail in a 3rd place position worth €242,000.
Jean-René Fontaine vs Julien Martini
Julien Martini was the odds on favorite going into heads-up play as the pro had almost $700,000 in winnings prior to the contest’s start. This includes a sterling performance at the 2018 WSOP in Las Vegas in which he made three final tables and took down the $1,500 Omaha Hi-Lo 8 or Better event for $239,771 to capture a career first gold bracelet.
Nevertheless, Martini found it hard going against his less experienced but more unorthodox opponent, and by the time the deciding hand was played Fontaine had opened up a 2-1 chip lead. In the final hand, Martini (7d-6d) raised on the button leading to a three-bet by Fontaine (Ad-3d), and a call by Martini. Both then checked the Ac-Qd-7h flop, but the Jd turn saw Fontaine put out a bet that was called by Martini.
Fontaine proceeded to check the 2c river, and after Martini moved all-in, Fontaine practically beat him to the pot to close out a famous victory. Commenting upon the challenge of playing against such a hard to read opponent, Julien Martini stated:
“It was very hard for me to understand what he was doing and I think he used that very well. He was very unpredictable. I couldn’t adapt, unfortunately. He used his strengths, and that’s good for him. He won; I think he deserved it.”
Final Table Results
1: Jean-René Fontaine (France) €547,000
2: Julien Martini (France) €323,000
3: Alberto Ah-Dine (France) €242,000
4: Claudio Di Giacomo (Italy) €197,000
5: Jerome L’Hostis (France) €155,000
6: Jan Teunis (Neth) €123,000
€5,300 EPT Main Event
The eagerly awaited €5,300 EPT Main Event kicked-off earlier today at the Casino Barcelona, with registration to the tournament open until the start of Day 2. So far, 460 players have bought in, of which 77 have already hit the rail. The early chip leader is Spain’s Josep Manel Torta (110k), followed by Thomas Pettersson (100k), and Jeremy Nock (81,500).