Derk Van Luijk Wins 2024 EPT Monte Carlo Main Event

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Derk van Luijk

The 2024 PokerStars European Poker Tour Monte Carlo witnessed its largest turnout yet, with 1,208 entries pouring into the €5,300 no-limit hold’em main event, setting a record for this prestigious tournament. For the fourth time in its history, the field exceeded a thousand participants, maintaining the trend from the last three editions. This surge of players amassed a staggering prize pool of nearly $6.3 million. The ultimate victor emerging from this intense week of competition was Derk van Luijk.

Initially facing an exit in eighth place, the 43-year-old Dutch player defied the odds by clinching a crucial all-in with A-J against pocket aces, securing his survival deep into day 5. Eventually, he triumphed, claiming not only the coveted title but also the lion’s share of the prize pool, a hefty $1,080,000.

Still in disbelief, Van Luijk exclaimed to PokerStars reporters, “I still can’t realize it. I’m serious, it’s amazing.” This triumph significantly eclipsed his previous recorded earnings, notably the $101,053 garnered from a victory in a 2022 EPT Barcelona €2,200 side event, boosting his total recorded earnings to over $1.3 million.

His victory also earned him 1,920 Card Player Player of the Year points, marking his first POY-qualified score of the year. This achievement catapulted him to 38th place on the 2024 POY leaderboard, as presented by Global Poker.

The event saw notable figures such as Dan Smith (29th), Mustapha Kanit (26th), and the 2015 champion, Adrian Mateos (11th), making deep runs. The final day began with Boris Angelov leading the pack, while Van Luijk started in sixth chip position among the remaining seven contenders.

As the day progressed, Van Luijk’s dominance grew, culminating in a head-to-head showdown with Angelov. Despite several hours of intense battle, Van Luijk ultimately emerged victorious, claiming the title after a dramatic final hand where his ASpade SuitQHeart Suit prevailed over Angelov’s KSpade Suit7Club Suit. With Angelov’s elimination in second place, Van Luijk secured his place in poker history, adding another remarkable achievement to his burgeoning career.

EPT Monte Carlo Main Event final table:

Place Player Earnings POY Points
1 Derk Van Luijk $1,080,000 1,920
2 Boris Angelov $670,140 1,600
3 Rania Nasreddine $478,332 1,280
4 Jovan Kenjic $367,740 960
5 Jonathan Pastore $282,636 800