Jean-René Fontaine Wins EPT National and Platinum Pass

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The European Poker Tour (EPT) has been a rather exciting affair altogether. One of the highlights of the event, featured French professional player Jean-René Fontaine defeating his fellow challengers at the EPT 2018 €1,100 EPT Barcelona National and grabbing both the title and the solid prize pool that came with it. Here’s what happened.

Jean-René Fontaine and His Quick Victory

After Saturday, the EPT National returned on Sunday at noon in Barcelona, Spain. The competition on Saturday took nearly 9 hours to eliminate the bulk of the players, leaving only 6 competitors for the final table. Conversely, on Sunday things happened rather quickly with Jean-René Fontaine managing to benefit from his solid chip lead and overwhelm everyone who stood in his way.

Defeating a field of 4,348 runners, Fontaine’s victory is two-fold. On the one hand, he has managed to secure himself €547,000 in cash money and on the other – he got the $30,000 Platinum Pass which will see him join the Bahamas PokerStars tournament early next year.

The finalists were not really a random crop of players. They all came with a solid background in poker and the leading trio were all French. Fontaine was followed closely by Julien Martini who finished second and won €323,000. The third spot went to Alberto Ah-Dine who added €242,000 to his life-long winnings.

The final trio who placed 4 through 6th were also rewarded handsomely for their participation. Claudio Di Giacomo from Italy managed to win €197,000 for his fourth place. He was followed by another Frenchman, Jerome L’Hostis who added €155,000 to his total winnings. Lastly, Jan Teunis from the Netherlands rounded things up with €123,000.

Reaping the Rewards

Fontaine’s victory is quite important. Other than the clear monetary boost he is getting for his participation in the EPT event, he also grabbed himself the all-desired Platinum Pass, which will guarantee him an entry in the Bahamas competition in January, 2019.

Many professional players have had a chance to distinguish themselves and make sure that they don’t spend any of their bankroll for traveling expenses and entry fees in poker tournaments. PokerStars has long been incentivizing its best players by handing out multiple and generous ways of entering its competitions.

But the Platinum Passes hardly target the best players alone. PokerStars has been hosting a series of satellite events, allowing lesser known individuals of particular merit and skill to also win themselves a way into the hottest competition in January next year.

Fontaine’s Unpredictability – An Advantage

Fontaine’s own game was marked by an ability to throw his opponents off the scent. He continuously acted unconventionally throughout the game, eliciting compliments, respect, and naturally – the envy of his fellow players.

According to Julien Martini, the runner-up, Fontaine’s game was particular and unique and he admired his countryman for the style and excellence he had demonstrated. Martini openly admitted that he had a difficult time following with Fontaine’s strategy and by the time he had caught up, he had begun to lose.

It’s difficult to keep track of Fontaine’s game, indeed, and that’s what poker is about after all.

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