Jan Bendik

Slovakia native Jan Bendik does not fall into the stereotypical profile for players of his age.

Slovakia native Jan Bendik does not fall into the stereotypical profile for players of his age. Those from the older generation like him are often categorised as being tight and lacking heart – Bendik is anything but. With more than $3 million in live tournament winnings, an EPT Main Event title and an EPT Player of the Year accolade to boast about, the Slovakian has proved consistently that he is able to compete with and conquer the very best of them.

His most prolific win came in the penultimate season of the EPT in Monte Carlo when he took down the 2016 €5,000 Main Event. In-the-money finishers included Erik Seidel, Vanessa Selbst and Dario Sammartino – none of which could stop Jan from claiming the seven-figure payday. He actually went into heads-up play versus French pro Adrien Allain at a massive chip deficit, but this did not deter him or the commentary team from believing in Bendik. As he explained going into the final showdown:

‘Against a standard player [not a heads-up specialist] I think in heads-up I am much better’.

As Joe Stapleton appropriately quipped as the battle commenced, ‘Bendik’s got a 3-to-1 chip disadvantage but he’s got at least a 3-to-2 heart advantage’. It was Jan’s tenacity (with a dash of luck) that secured him $1,096,568 and a major tournament win.

Jan isn’t simply a one-hit wonder that is known for his 2016 success in Monte Carlo. Three years earlier, he was actually crowned as the EPT Season 9 Player of the Year. This wasn’t due to any major main event scores, but instead as a result of multiple victories in side events. He won four of these at a diverse selection of EPT stops including London, Deauville, Berlin and Monte Carlo. A further three final tables at tournaments during this season with a handful of other deep runs secured his place at the top of the leaderboard. To win it in this fashion – by continuously performing at back-to-back EPT stops – rather than by catching one big score is a testament to his strength as a player.

A three-time EPT Main Event final-tablist with the majority of his winnings coming from EPT events, Bendik will go down as one of the more accomplished live players on the live European scene today.

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