Luke Martin Wins MPN Poker Tour Tallinn for €49,000
30 January 2019
PokerBrave (1119 articles)

Professional poker player Luke Martin, 30, has bested a total field of 562 to take home the 2019 MPNPT Tallinn Main Event trophy and €49,000 first prize, after a heads up deal with qualifier Paul Johnson.

Martin, originally from Bracknell, UK, but residing in Finland, saw off final table opposition including three previous MPNPT Main Event finalists, experienced amateurs and semi-professionals but his wealth of experience playing online saw him lose the chip lead on the final only once.

The Main Event, which ran from the 24th-27th January, awarded a total prize pool of €272,570, with 71 players paid.

Main Event Final Table Results

Position Player Prize in € Prize in $
1 Luke Martin €49,000 $55,889
2 Paul Johnson €40,000 $45,624
3 Peter Pihlstrom €29,000 $33,077
4 Jussi Mattila €21,500 $24,523
5 Cody Wagner €14,500 $16,539
6 Tiit Piller €11,500 $13,118
7 Arunas Garunkstis €8,500 $9,696
8 Jørn Inge Hvål €6,000 $6,844
9 Maarten Wichgers €4,220 $4,814

Main Event Final Day Recap

Two tables of hopeful players returned for the Final Day at the Hilton Tallinn Park. While temperatures outside sank to -12°, the battle for the title heated up as the largest portions of the €272,570 prize pool was awarded. Although they were already guaranteed at least €2,150, only half the surviving players could fit around the live streamed final table.

Martin saw off final table opposition including three previous MPNPT Main Event finalists.

Players such as Betsson qualifiers Declan Rice and Johan Goslings along with Jack Hardcastle busted before the final table, the latter jumping on the live commentary for a stint analyzing his former competitors. It was qualifier Rikard Andersson who finished in tenth place, sending the rest of them to the final table.

The final table’s play began with a bust-out. Within minutes, the shortest-stacked of the nine finalists, Dutchman Maarten Wichgers, hit the rail collecting €4,220. This elimination boosted Luke Martin’s stack to over 4.3 million – a million clear of his nearest rival Jussi Mattila.

Eighth place (€6,000) went to Norwegian schoolteacher Jørn Inge Hvål, and seventh to Arunas Garunkstis (€8,500).

After a long period six-handed, during which local player Tiit Piller and Paul Johnson took over most of the action, Piller found himself on the rail in sixth for €11,000, followed by MPNPT Manchester finalist Cody Wagner (€14,500). Another player making his second MPNPT final table, Finnish constructor Jussi Mattila, had played with calm and focus, but couldn’t find a chop when he had his final chips in the middle with A-7 against the A-8 of Johnson – himself a finalist at MPNPT Morocco. He finished fourth for €21,500.

Johnson started the heads up with the chip lead but Martin pulled back and regained it, out-flopping his opponent in the last hand.

Serial online qualifier Peter Pihlstrōm finished in 3rd place, winning €29,000. He already has a seat locked up for MPNPT Prague in May.

This left Johnson and Martin heads up for the title, and they evened out the prize money (at least 10% must be played for along with the trophy.) Although Johnson started the heads up with the chip lead, Martin pulled back and regained it, finally out-flopping his opponent and betting all three streets, amassing the rest of the tournament’s chips. Johnson, a financial advisor from Edinburgh, put in a good showing for his virtual rail on the Krackedkings forum, with whom he regularly travels to live events.

Martin had only to collect his hefty MPNPT Trophy and €49,000, which will be returning with him to Finland. Although he mainly plays cash games online, his foray into the arena of the MPNPT has been a profitable one, which he said he had enjoyed throughout.

Side Event News

No fewer than four side events concluded overnight. The €1,300 High Roller was won by Ottomar Ladva for €13,466 ($15,362.) The €220 MPNPT Omaha 6 Max Cup attracted 58 entries and paid out a total of €11,600, with winner David Docherty picking up €3,362 ($3,835). Docherty, more regularly winning at poker online, posed with friends for his winner picture, saying to the blog team, “Look! I won a live event.”

The two-day Hendon Mob Championship was well-received in Tallinn, with 262 entries generating a prize pool of €50,828. A total of 35 places were paid. Eventual champion Robert Bostocks took home €9,458 ($10,789) after making a deal heads up with Estonian player Kristi Kirs; she won €9,000 ($10,267).