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PokerStars qualifier wins EPT Berlin

8 Mar 2010

BERLIN, Germany -- (PRESS RELEASE) -- PokerStars qualifier Kevin "ImaLuckSac" MacPhee has won EPT Berlin for a record €1 million first prize. The 29-year-old from Idaho beat Finnish player Ilari Tahkokallio to take down Germany's biggest ever poker tournament and the first EPT in the German capital. As well as the title, MacPhee also wins a seat to the EPT Grand Final in Monte Carlo in April.

A total of 945 players from 48 countries entered the €5,300 Main Event creating a total prize pool of €4,725,000.

MacPhee has a phenomenal track record of winning seats to EPT events but has never before had a big cash. He's been following the EPT circuit since the beginning of Season 5 and has competed in 15 events, winning seats to 14 of them. He was one of 243 players who won their seats to EPT Berlin on PokerStars.

MacPhee is a well-known online player who broke the PokerStars record for most Tournament Leader Board points in April 2008, accruing more than $100,000 profit in a month. EPT Berlin was the second time he had found himself heads-up against Tahkokallio. The first was last October in a £1,000 side event at EPT London – which Tahkokallio won.

MacPhee said: "Winning an EPT was a real goal of mine. I have worked very hard for this. It feels awesome. Ilari is an extremely good player and I've got a lot of respect for him."

EPT Berlin, which was held by Casino SPIELBANK Berlin, was interrupted on Saturday – Day 4 of the event – when an armed robbery took place. The gunmen targeted the registration desk outside the tournament area at the Grand Hyatt Hotel but no one was seriously injured and the suspects fled after a security guard intervened. The tournament resumed after a few hours and a police investigation is now under way.

At the time of the raid, Tahkokallio was involved in a huge pot with Italian Luca Cainelli. Cainelli was ahead with AQ v Tahkokallio's AT. When the event resumed, tournament director Thomas Kremser said the players could consider the hand dead and take their chips back. However, despite the fact that he was losing the hand, Tahkokallio said the river card should be dealt – a sporting gesture greeted by applause. Tahkokallio, a professional poker player for two years, said: "I like to be fair and play in good spirit. It wasn't even really a choice for me." He later busted Cainelli and his second place finish netted him €600,000

Among those who made a deep run in the EPT Berlin Main Event were Russian EPTLive commentator Ilya Gorodetskiy, who came 16th for €25,000 and Team PokerStars Pro Jude Ainsworth who went out in 19th place for €23,500. Other Team PokerStars Pros to make the money were Johannes Strassman, Ben Kang and George Danzer from Germany, Vlad Zguba from Ukraine, Vadim Markushevski from Belarus, Briton Julian Thew, the "Flying Dutchman" Marcel Luske and William Thorson from Sweden.

In EPT Berlin side events, Team PokerStars Pro Noah Boeken came fifth in the €1,000 PLO tournament and Team Poker SportStar Fatima de Melo made the final of the €330 Ladies Event.

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