The poker community has descended upon Barcelona this month, each player keen to pull up a chair in the PokerStars Championship in Barcelona. The tour, which replaced the European Poker Tour has stopped off at many venues around Europe this year, with Barcelona being the second to last stop of 2017. Asian players Tsugunari Toma and Quan Zhou attended this event, and both managed to book some solid results.
Rags to riches story for Main Event winner Sebastian Sorensson
Huge live events can be very expensive to buy into, and so it often takes a slightly longer path for smaller bankrolled players to claim their seat. Sorensson is one of those players, having won his seat through a satellite, but his story is a little more interesting than that. As a mixed martial arts fan, he put a bet on sizeable underdog Nate Diaz to win a fight against Michael Johnson in 2015. Diaz won the fight, netting Sorensson $1,000. He put subsequent bets on Donald Trump to become republican candidate and then to win the election, which also came to pass, bumping Sorensson’s bankroll up to $12,000. He then managed to win a €5,200 (US$6,227) seat into the Pokerstars Championship Main Event from playing a few US$200 satellites online.
Despite being something of an amateur, with little experience of big live tournaments, Sorensson somehow came through the 1,682-player field to make the final table, where he played tight, won a few key pots, and somehow managed to take down the title. After a three-way chop had been negotiated, he defeated Lachezar Petkov from Bulgaria to claim the €987,043 (US$1,182,033) 1st prize.
Main Event: Top 8 Payouts
1 – Sebastian Sorensson: $1,176,901
2 – Lachezar Petkov: $1,093,799
3 – Raffaele Sorrentino: $1,013,629
4 – Brian Kaufman Esposito: $479,325
5 – Andre Akkari: $379,120
6 – Usman Siddique: $300,472
7 – Aeragan Arunan: $230,124
8 – Albert Daher: $162,160
Quan Zhou bags large scores on the High Roller circuit
With almost US$1.8 million in live cashes to his name, Quan Zhou is quickly becoming a well-known Chinese prospect, but he hadn’t seen great success in High Roller events, up until the PokerStars Championship. Zhou managed deep runs in the €25,500 8-handed event, where he finished 5th for €202,500 Euros (US$242,504) and the €10,300 High Roller event, where he took 9th for another €91,300 (US$109,336). These results come just 4 months after his biggest career score of US$469,009 which he won at PokerStars Championship Macau.
Tsugunari Toma makes a name for himself with a strong showing in the Main Event
Japan’s Tsugunari Toma is certainly not the biggest star in his homeland when it comes to poker, but he is beginning to put together the sort of good results that hit at a good career in the making. Having spent 6 years grinding the live circuit, he has now picked up four scores in the five-figure range in his last 6 cashes, including a 12th place in the Main Event of Pokerstars Championship Barcelona. He adds another €77,800 (US$91,455) to his bankroll with this result, bringing his total live cashes up to US$452,276.
UK Pro Stephen Chidwick keeping busy in Barcelona
Already a familiar face on the global live circuit, Stephen Chidwick has been quietly putting together great results for a long time, and has now amassed over US$9 million in live cashes over a period of 9 years. At this year’s PokerStars Championship Barcelona he once again showcased his talents, taking 1st place in the €25,500 8-handed event for €690,400 (US$813,144) before adding a 3rd place in another €25,500 event two days later for €220,700 (US$260,143).
€25,500 8-handed event: Top 8 Payouts
1 – Stephen Chidwick: €690,400
2 – Bryn Kenney: €466,500
3 – Igor Yaroshevskyy: €303,200
4 – Isaac Haxton: €251,100
5 – Quan Zhou China: €202,500
6 – Jan Eric Schwippert: €159,700
7 – Adrian Mateos: €122,100
8 – Vladimir Troyanovskiy: €91,940
Article by Craig Bradshaw