Monday May 1, 2023 at 8:50 pm

The 2023 EPT Monte Carlo is underway and Bulgaria's Alex Kulev outlasted a tough field of 29 runners (plus 8 re-entries) and won the €100K Super High Roller. Kulev picked off Mikita Badziakouski after the two agreed to a heads-up chop. Kulev won the Super High Roller title and banked €1,036,287 for the win.

Alex Kulev Wins 2023 EPT MC SHR
Alex Kulev - 2023 EPT Monte Carlo Super High Roller Champ (Pic by PokerStars)

Ship it to Bulgaria. The top players in the world descended upon Monte Carlo for an annual pilgrimage to the swankiest gambling spot on the planet to battle it out on the felt. The EPT Monte Carlo had a slew of events on the docket this year, but everyone was talking about the EPT Monte Carlo High Roller which finished off its final table on Monday.

The 2023 EPT Monte Carlo Super High Roller had a 100,000 buy-in. A total of 29 runners took a shot at the cash and trophy, and there were eight additional entries added to the prize pool which swelled to €3,589,740. The top six places paid out in this top-heavy event.

Bulgaria's Alex Kulev headed into the 100K final table as the chip leader with over 2M in chips. Russia's Artur Martirosian and Ukraine's Mikita Badziakouski were not far behind with over 1.8M each, and Turkey's Orpen Kisacikoglu was the only other big stack with 1.4M. British pro Ben Heath, India's Santhosh Suvarna, and Adrian Mateos from Spain rounded out the final table of seven. Mateos was the shorty with 625K, but he'd sneak into the money.

Santhosh Suvarna bubbled the money and final six after he busted in seventh place.

Orpen Kisacikoglu met his fate in sixth place and settled for a min-cash when his Carte As de carreauCarte Dame de cœur ran into Mikita Badziakouski's Carte As de piqueCarte Roi de pique. Kisacikoglu turned a gutshot draw, but Badzman also turned a flush draw. Badziakousk rivered a nut flush, and Kisacikoglu headed to the rail.

Adrian Mateos, the last player from Spain still alive in the Super High Roller, picked a spot with Carte Roi de carreauCarte 3 de trèfle. However, Ben Heath was waiting to murk him with Carte As de cœurCarte 9 de trèfle. Neither player improved and Heath dragged the pot with Ace-high. Mateos was knocked out in fifth place, which paid out €323,100.

Short-stacked Martirosian went to battle with Carte As de piqueCarte 8 de pique against Ben Heath's Carte Roi de trèfleCarte 3 de cœur. Heath flopped a pair of Kings, turned two pair, and then rivered a full boat. Martirosian busted in fourth place, which paid out €412,800.

Heath eventually found himself on the end of a short stack and made a final stand with Carte Dame de piqueCarte 9 de pique, but he was ousted by Kulev's Carte Roi de piqueCarte 5 de pique. Kulev caught a wee bit of the flop and improved his hand with a pair of fives. He'd drag the pot with two pair -- fives and deuces. Heath, the last Brit standing, busted in third place, which paid out €556,400.

It was Ukraine and Bulgaria heads up for the title and cool million in cash. Badziakouski held a slight lead 4.7M to 4.5M when heads-up began. The two agreed to an ICM deal. Badziakouski locked up €1,009,853 and Kulev secured €993,213. The two left €43,074 on the table and slugged it out for the high-ball trophy.

The final hand was a doozy. Badziakouski shoved all-in with Carte As de cœurCarte Valet de pique and Kulev called with Carte As de carreauCarte 10 de carreau. Both players flopped a pair of Aces, but Kulev caught a fortuitous Carte 10 de pique on the river to drag the pot and win the tournament.

Badziakouski busted in second place which paid out €1,009,853 according to the heads-up chop. Not too shabby, eh? Kulev banked €1,036,287 for first place.

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