England’s Rupert Elder Wins EPT San Remo Final for €930,000

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British pro Rupert Elder has won EPT7 San Remo for a giant first prize of €930,000 after besting a gripping and star-studded final table.

As well as the title, former economics student Elder, 24, also wins a stunning bracelet from Shamballa Jewels, the Official Bracelet Sponsor of EPT Season 7, a seat to the EPT Grand Final Main Event – which starts on Saturday in Madrid - and a seat in the EPT Champion of Champions event on May 13.

Elder, who is the fourth British champion this season, snatched the title after beating German player Max Heinzelmann. He said: “I’m very happy to have won, very excited. It hasn’t actually sunk in yet. Max is a great player – he was definitely my toughest opponent at the table.”

For Heinzelmann, it was his second runner-up finish in only three weeks. He picked up €500,000 for his second place at EPT Berlin and has now added another €600,000 to his bankroll here in Italy.

Xuan Liu, who came third for €360,000, was the first female finalist of Season 7 – and the ninth female EPT finalist overall. The 25-year-old Canadian, a contemporary of players like Glen Chorny, Michael Watts and Michael “Timex” McDonald at Waterloo University, was formerly a cash game player until recently switching her focus to tournaments. She went on the road last November and only a month later won an IPT San Remo side event for €48,000.

Liu busted three players out of the final including Team PokerStars Pro and EPT6 Kyiv champion Max Lykov, who finished fourth for €290,000. Lykov, 23, from Moscow, has now earned more than $1.8 million in live tournaments winnings.

Liu was only the ninth woman to make an EPT final and the previous three won theirs: Liv Boeree (EPT6 San Remo) Sandra Naujoks (EPT5 Dortmund) and Vicky Coren (EPT4 London). All are now Team PokerStars Pros. The other finalists were Xuyen Pham (Dublin1), Isabelle Mercier (Deauville2), Anina Gundesen (Copenhagen2), Katja Thater (Warsaw3) and Annette Obrestad (Dublin4).

Among those who made the money in this season’s San Remo Main Event were Team PokerStars Pros Joe Cada (13th, € 35,000), Richard Toth (51st, €15,000), Victor Ramdin (90th, €11,000), Ruben Visser (124th, €7,500) plus back-to-back NAPT Mohegan Sun champion Vanessa Selbst (136th, €7,500).

A total of 987 players from 57 countries entered the €5,300 Main Event creating a total prize pool of €4,786,950. 144 places were paid. It was the EPT’s fourth visit to San Remo.