Sebastian Bredthauer stood in the foyer of Le Sporting at the Monte Carlo Bay Hotel and Resort looking a disheveled mix of happy and shell-shocked. It’s been a long week for the 23-year-old student, but also a very happy and profitable one.
Bredthauer arrived in Monaco a week ago to play the PokerStars and Monte-Carlo® Casino European Poker Tour Grand Final and its €10,600 Main Event. The German had qualified through a number of tournaments, first starting with a 100 Frequent Player Point satellite on PokerStars, an amount worth 13% of a PokerStars Rafa Nadal keyring. Simply the trip away was by far his largest poker win ever and to cash would be a huge bonus, especially among the talented field of the EPT Grand Final. Then he cashed for €19,200. Then he made Day 4 and was guaranteed €24,400. Then he made Day 5 and was guaranteed €55,850. Then he made the final table and bust in 8th place for €128,800.
It’s an incredible story, which we started tracking a few days ago, and one that the German still can’t quite get his head around.
“I’m just happy about everything,” said Bredthauer. “I can’t really realise what I did and how lucky I got.”
His eyes backed up his story. It will take Bredthauer some time before it all sinks in and we can expect to see him at the first event of next year, EPT Barcelona. Not because he’s decided to drop his studies and turn pro after one result, but because he’d won an F1 simulator competition put on by the EPT. He’d managed to complete the fastest circuit of a computerised Monaco track giving him free hotel accommodation during the next event It has been a good week.
“I won’t spend it on anything crazy but I’d like to do some travelling with my girlfriend,” said Bredthauer. “Maybe I go to Barcelona because I won this F1 thing. For sure I’ll go there, but I’m not sure if I will invest €5,000 for the event.”
Possibly getting a little beyond myself I asked whether he’d considered selling some action for the event. He looked blank. I explained the concept, that other people could buy a percentage of your buy-in in return for a corresponding return of any winnings. “Oh really? Maybe I will do that,” said Bredthauer. “That’s an alternative. I’d never thought of that.”
Buying and swapping is a norm on the circuit, which just goes to show how green the German was. It’s an amazing result and an incredible – dare I say ‘life-changing’? – experience for him. While Barcelona is a summer away and studies still beckon, there is now the excitement of a holiday to book.
“I’ve always wanted to go to Africa travelling the countryside, maybe South Africa,” said Bredthauer. “Safari would be great. I know Europe and America so this is the only continent left that I really want to explore.”
Qualifying for events is an oft told story, but for a low stakes recreational player to make it to Monte Carlo, beat many of the best players in the world, play on one of the largest stages in the world, pocket €128,800 and then ride off, via an F1 win, with your girlfriend into the African sunset. It’s one hell of a story.
Click through to live updates, features and interviews from the EPT Grand Final Main Event and the EPT Grand Final Super High Roller. You can also check out all the EPT Grand Final side event results.
Rick Dacey is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog.