Quan Zhou Wins the $3,000 Mystery Bounty at EPT Cyprus ($242,623)
The PokerStars European Poker Tour at the Merit Royal Diamond Hotel Casino & Spa, in Northern Cyprus, continued today with an action-filled Day 3 of the $3,000 EPT Mystery Bounty. A total of 981 entrants made up this field generating a prize pool of $2,664,396, of which $981,000 was set aside for the elusive Mystery Bounties that came into play on Day 2.
After 27 levels of play over two days, 18 players returned to the felt this afternoon for their shot at EPT glory and the first-place prize of $298,496. A further ten levels elapsed and it was Quan Zhou who emerged victorious, claiming the silver PokerStars spadie trophy and the title of the EPT Cyprus Mystery Bounty champion.
Zhou had a close call earlier this week, coming in sixth for $156,200 in the $50,000 EPT Super High Roller on Sunday. For his second final table of the series, Zhou came dressed to impress with an all-white suit and shades in preparation for his second chance at a winner's photo. This win today is Zhous fifth and largest cash of the series, so far.
$3,000 EPT Mystery Bounty Final Table Results
|Walid Bou Habib
|Jacques Der Megreditchian
Day 2 saw the introduction of the Mystery Bounties. For each opponent a player eliminated, they would claim a token that would grant them the opportunity to pull a mystery bounty. While there was plenty of fortune on offer, it was the two $75,000 bounties that captivated the attention of the field.
Francesco Blasio was the first player to lay claim to a $75,000 bounty on the 16th level of Day 2. At the time of the bounty pull, Blasios recorded live tournament cashes stood at $23,246, ensuring this bounty alone exceeded his career earnings by more than three times.
I was five levels later that the second $75,000 bounty was pulled by Georgios Vrakas. Vrakas is no stranger to tournament success; this run in the Mystery Bountry became his fourth and largest cash in Cyprus this week.
A lengthy list of players to have claimed one of thirteen $25,000 Mystery Bounties include tournament veterans Jon Kyte, Alexandre Vuilleumier and Aliaksandr Shylko. The eventual winner Zhou was also a recipient of both a $10,000 and a $25,000 bounty.
Day 3 saw finalist Manuel Fischer become the beneficiary of the last $25,000 bounty as he got tablemate Dumitru Pora to pull the bounty from the chest on his behalf.
Day 3 Action
It was Silius Moll who was first to depart the final 18, exiting in the first 20 minutes of play. Moll was quickly followed by both Ouassini Mansouri and Damir Gabdullin which prompted the final two table redraw.
The penultimate reshuffle of the day saw the final 15 take their seats as the field thinned down to a final table. Ekrem Sanioglu, Farid Jattin, Milos Petakovic, Deividas Daubaris and Nikolay Ponomarev steadily made their way to the payout desk over the following two levels.
With ten players remaining, the finalists were on the bubble of the final table. With a pay jump of $6,350 and a priceless amount of glory for making the final nine, a heavy amount of stalling meant it was one and a half hours before Hossien Taki departed in tenth place.
Final Table Action
With the pay jump secured, the chips started to move fast. Damir Zhugralin was the first to bust this final table after being left short by Dylan DeStefano. Zhugralin was effectively forced all in blind, resulting in him committing the rest of his stack with the worst starting hand in holdem, ultimately leading to his departure.
Kemal Aslan followed in eighth place as his short stack ran into the kings of Dumitru Pora. Aslan couldnt find any help by the time the dealer had completed the runout and he made his way to the rail.
Bowing out in sixth place was Jacques Der Megreditchian. Der Megreditchian got his money in good against Walid Bou Habib, but the flop reversed their fates and he exited the tournament floor. Der Megreditchian came into the day short and managed to consistently ladder up to seventh place, so wont be disappointed as he left with $60,700.
One of the most accomplished finalists was DeStefano, who eventually made his departure in sixth place. DeStefano lost the final flip of his tournament journey, as his pocket jacks fell behind the ace-queen of Zhou, sending him to the rail.
It was Fischer who left proceedings in fifth place. Fischers Kings got cracked by the ace-queen of Dmitrii Nazarov, and he was sent packing with $78,950 as an apt consolation prize.
Pora left in fourth place. His ace-four was all in and behind against the ace-queen of Zhou, ending his deep run. This made Pora the third player in a row to be eliminated by an opponent holding ace-queen.
After a lengthy three-handed battle, the start-of-day chip leader, Dmitrii Nazarov was the first player to be eliminated in podium position, as he exited in third place. This marked the start of a fierce heads-up battle between Zhou and Habib.
Both players originally made a deal to chop the money evenly, leaving $25,000 and the trophy to play for. This remained the plan for nearly an hour, but after the chip lead switched hands multiple times and Habibs urgency to register the upcoming high roller, the deal was revised.
The money was split evenly but the floor insisted the trophy must be played for. Zhou had a greater interest in being crowned the victor, so Habib agreed to dump his chips to Zhou, hand-by-hand, until his stack was no more. Habibs last big blind found its way into Zhous possession, and he claimed the title and trophy.
That wraps up the PokerNews coverage of the $3,000 Mystery Bounty. Stay tuned as live reporters follow the Main Event and other key events as the series concludes over this weekend.
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