For many people, making it to a final table in a major live poker tournament just once would be a great accomplishment. It would be enough. Big money, lots of fun, a great memory…maybe we wouldn’t say, “Now I can die happy,” but we very well might be content if that’s as far as we ever got in poker. But for Hossein Ensan, just making it to a final table was not enough. Last week, after twice reaching European Poker Tour final tables in the last year and a half but failing to collect the ultimate prize, Ensan broke through, winning the 2015 EPT Prague Main Event and just over three-quarters of a million Euro.
His first journey to an EPT final table came in August 2014, when he finished third in the EPT Barcelona Main Event, good for a healthy €652,667 ($860,091). Prior to that success, he Ensan had never even had a five-figure cash in a live tournament, according to his resume at TheHendonMob.com. Less than a year later, in March 2015, Ensan again made a final table, this time bowing out in sixth place in the EPT Malta Main Event. That run made him €153,700 ($166,263).
Ensan had the second smallest chip stack going into the final table: just 2.715 million chips compared to the chip leader, Ilkin Amriov’s, 9.975 million. He looked like he was going to be done quickly, as Ensan fell to a million chips after three hands, but he soon doubled-up to get back in the game. He continued to grow his stack as the orbits went on and ended up eliminating Thomas Butzhammer in fourth place to give his stack a boost.
Going into heads-up play against Gleb Tremzin (who, by the way, has an awesome name and sounds like he should be a character in Star Wars: The Force Awakens), Hossein Ensan had a 17.5 million to 13.8 million chip lead. The one-on-one confrontation was a little bit anti-climactic as the two men agreed a deal beforehand, each taking €724,510 and leaving €30,000 for which to compete, in addition to the title.
At the same time, though, while players who cut a deal often don’t let the heads-up match last a long time because the money motivation has largely disappeared, this contest still lasted another five hours. On the final hand, Ensan limped pre-flop, Tremzin raised, and Ensan called. They checked the flop of Q-7-7 and then Ensan called Tremzin’s 1 million chip bet after a 9 was dealt on the turn. With the 4 on the river, Tremzin bet 1.9 million, Ensan moved all-in, and Tremzin called. Ensan revealed pocket Aces, which beat Tremzin’s Q-J, to take down the tournament.
2015 European Poker Tour Prague Main Event – Final Table Standings
1. Hossein Ensan – €754,510
2. Gleb Tremzin – €724,510
3. Ilkin Amirov – €391,910
4. Thomas Butzhammer – €294,180
5. Slaven Popov – €226,330
6. Olivier Ferrero – €166,080
7. Onur Unsal – €122,530
8. Vlado Banicevic – €87,700