“I Miss Live Poker”: 2019 WSOP Champ Hossein Ensan Reflects on EPT History
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Prior to winning the 2019 World Series of Poker Main Event for $10 million, Germany’s Hossein Ensan may not have been known to American fans, but he was a familiar name in Europe due to his success on the European Poker Tour.
With the EPT Online happening now, we thought it was a good time to catch up with Ensan, who in 2015 topped a 1,044-entry field to win the EPT Prague Main Event for $825,151. A year earlier, he had placed third in the EPT Barcelona Main Event for $860,091, and in 2017 finished third in the EPT Prague High Roller for $285,021. Toss in a sixth-place finish in the 2015 EPT Malta Main Event for $166,262, and it proved a nice three-year heater for the man originally from Iran.
“It’s been a crazy year. All in all, it was really nice for me after a year of being world champion. I’m doing very well,” Ensan told PokerNews. “From the beginning of 2020, I was at King’s Casino and partypoker Nottingham. In Europe, the pandemic began at the end of February. Since that time, I didn’t play live, and online, I tried to play online a bit, but only a couple of sessions, not too much.”
Playing Against the Best on the EPT
While Ensan isn’t much of an online player, and as such doesn’t plan to play too much of the EPT Online series, he’s still excited to see the EPT return as it’s a tour near and dear to his heart.
“I was often at EPTs throughout Europe. I started with EPT in 2010 I think, and my first success was in Barcelona,” he said. “I had a very good run in 2014 and 2015. All my experience was through EPT for sure.”
As a European citizen, one of the biggest appeals of the EPT was so many quality stops in close proximity.
“From my home to the next stop by airplane is only two hours, and by car just 700 kilometers. I learned my poker through the EPT, on TV I learned a lot. I go to the EPT because I met a lot of poker friends, from Germany. I’m originally from Iran and there’s a lot of Iranian players too. The EPT has a lot of good players. That’s why I play, I like to play against good players.”
As for his favorite EPT stop, fans might not be surprised to learn it’s the one where he captured his coveted trophy.
“All EPTs are very nice. EPT Barcelona is a beautiful city. My favorite stop though is for sure Prague. I won that won already, and Prague is a beautiful city. I’ve met a lot of good poker friends there. For me, my favorite stop is Prague and then Barcelona also.”
As for what’s next for the 2019 WSOP Main Event champ, Ensan is looking forward to the return of live poker.
“I miss live poker. I want to go to Vegas to defend my title for sure, but due to the Coronavirus pandemic this was not possible,” he said. “Online poker isn’t my game, which is why I didn’t play the GGPoker WSOP. I like live poker, face to face, and in 2021 I’ll try to go to Vegas and defend my title for sure.”
Executive Editor US, PokerNews Podcast co-host & 2013 WSOP Bracelet Winner.