Father-to-be Stefano Schiano Wins EPT Monte Carlo €1,100 French National Championship (€209,000)

Father-to-be Stefano Schiano Wins EPT Monte Carlo €1,100 French National Championship (€209,000)

After three days of playing, the €1,100 French National Championship at the 2019 PokerStars and Monte-Carlo®Casino European Poker Tour (EPT) has crowned its champion. Out of a field of 1,425 entries, Italy's Stefano Schiano reigned supreme to claim the trophy, as well as the first-place prize of €209,000 from the €1,382,250 total prize pool.

Five-time Aussie Millions champ Sam Higgs, who's on holiday in Monaco with a trusted friend that railed him for days, finished runner-up for €175,000 after making a deal with Schiano heads-up. James Romero finished in fourth place, 2015 WSOP Ladies Event winner Jacquelyn Scott made her first cash outside of the US and finished in sixth, while Jack Sinclair ended up in ninth.

It was Schiano's third lifetime cash according to The Hendon Mob, following up on a second place in Malta three weeks ago where he won €39,211 in another 1k event. Here in Monaco, Schiano steamrolled the final table up until the heads-up, where he'd start out with a 6:1 lead on Higgs. However, the Australian put up some real resistance and even claimed the chip lead at one point before Schiano ultimately turned it around again to capture the trophy and make his mark in the live poker circuit.

2019 €1,100 French National Championship Official Results

PlacePlayerCountryPrize (EUR)Prize (USD)
1Stefano SchianoItaly€209,000$233,746
2Sam HiggsAustralia€175,000$195,721
3Mario MosböckAustria€98,200$109.827
4James RomeroUnited States€72,200$80,753
5Emrah CakmakFrance€56,600$63,305
6Jacquelyn ScottUnited States€42,800$47,868
7Sylvain MazzaFrance€32,600$36,460
8Yota MitsuiJapan€23,000$25,724
9Jack SinclairUnited Kingdom€17,750$19,852
Stefano Schiano - 2019 PokerStars and Monte-Carlo®Casino EPT€1,100 French Natio
Stefano Schiano - 2019 PokerStars and Monte-Carlo®Casino EPT€1,100 French National Championship

2019 €1,100 French National Championship Final Day Action

Just 16 out of 1,425 players returned at noon for the third and final day of the €1,100 French National Championship, the most popular tournament entries-wise at the EPT Monte Carlo. Within two hours, the final table was set after players like Shachar Haran, Arnaud Enselme, and Dennis Schienagel were dispatched in quick succession.

The final table became a short affair for its biggest star, Jack Sinclair. The WSOPE champion shoved ace-king over a raise from Higgs, who looked the Brit up with king-nine. A nine on the turn spelled an early demise for Sinclair, who had to settle for €17,750.

After Yota Mitsui and Sylvain Mazza busted, it took a while before Jacquelyn Scott became the next to go. At 70 years of age, the American noted her first recorded cash outside of the United States, but she was unable to follow up on her WSOP Ladies Event win with an EPT title. To learn more about Scott, read the interview with PokerNews' Valerie Cross.

Another strong USA hopeful, James Romero, made it until the final four, where an ill-timed reshove with king-five offsuit got picked off by Schiano with ace-jack. With his most accomplished adversary out of the way, Schiano worked his monster stack to put pressure on his remaining two opponents. It was Mario Mosböck who made a stand first, finding pocket tens in the big blind only to run it into Schiano's pocket kings to bust in third.

Sam Higgs - Stefano Schiano Heads Up
Sam Higgs (left) and Stefano Schiano Heads Up

Heads-up play started off with a 6:1 lead for Schiano, and while the packed rail was anticipating the 'when' rather than the 'if' in regards to Schiano's victory, it was Higgs that had other plans. He doubled with pocket jacks and ace-queen, got several three-bet shoves through uncontested, then spiked a crucial three-outer with ace-five versus ace-ten to suddenly claim the lead. The pair quickly agreed on a deal with each of them taking a slice of €175,000 already, and left €34,000 in the middle to play for.

Unfazed, Schiano went back to work and clawed himself out of the hole. A strong laydown from the Italian, where he tanked for seven minutes on the river, proved to be a pivotal pot in hindsight as Higgs would later reveal he played a nine for rivered trips in the hand. Had Schiano called, he would've been left with mere dust.

Instead, Schiano doubled shortly after with kings versus ace-six, then picked off a king-five reshove with ace-ten to win it all. He celebrated with his partner and Italian rail and became the successor of Guillaume Diaz by winning the €1,100 French National Championship in Monte Carlo.

That concludes PokerNews coverage for this event, but make sure to check back regularly as there's plenty more on the horizon as the 2019 EPT Monte Carlo at the Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort rolls on. Check out all the EPT Monte Carlo live updates right here.

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  • Frenchman Stefano Schiano beat Australian Sam Higgs heads-up to take home the trophy.

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A former professional poker player with a background in sports marketing and journalism. Yori has been a part of PokerNews since 2016 and manages the content team.

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