EPT Barcelona 2019: Simon Brandstrom wins the Main Event; Juan Pardo crushes the High Rollers

EPT Barcelona 2019 has been a fascinating series, with a near triple High Roller champion, an exciting roller coaster of a Main Event and a very deserving winner to cap off the festival. The big names have all been attendance and entry numbers have been high throughout, with a record-breaking Main Event field size adding to the excitement. With the final event now having concluded, allow us to bring you our second update from EPT Barcelona 2019.

€5,300 EPT Barcelona Main Event – Winner: Simon Brandstrom

Simon Brandstrom
Simon Brandstrom wins EPT Barcelona Main Event – Photo credit: PokerStars

This year’s EPT Barcelona Main Event saw a record-breaking 1,988 entries take their seats, which represents a slight increase on the 1,931 who participated last year. The increase in entries was not quite enough to push the prize pool past the €10 million mark, with the final prize pool reaching €9,641,800.

The tournament began with two day 1 starting flights, the first of which attracted 726 competitors. Simon “C.Darwin2” Mattsson managed to bag up the second largest stack of the day, with Benjamin Chalot taking the overnight lead. 259 players survived the day. The second starting day flight brought in 1,234 entries helping the total field size to surpass last year’s record-breaking field. Timur Margolin went on to top the field by the close of play, with 508 survivors joining those from yesterday to create a day 2 field of 767.

Mattsson’s good form continued into day 2, with the online star bagging the chiplead at the close of play, as the field was cut down to just 191 runners. Day 3 saw a change in momentum however, as Mattsson slid backwards through the day and was engulfed by the chasing pack. Pasquale Braco bagged the lead at the close of play, with Shannon Shorr close behind. Day 4 brought the tournament down to 16 with Rui Sousa taking control of the chip counts, but by the time day 5 had ended and the final table was set, Simon Brandstrom led the way.

The final table was rapid, with Marton Czuczor eliminating three players in the first half hour to take the chiplead. Just 20 minutes later, Brandstrom had knocked out Rui Sousa and the players were heads up. Negotiations then ensued, with the final two players agreeing a chop before playing it out for the trophy and some loose change. After a three-hour struggle, Brandstrom emerged as the champion.

The final payouts are as follows:

1st – Simon Brandstrom (Sweden) – €1,290,166 (US$1,417,899)
2nd – Marton Czuczor (Hungary) – €1,253,234 (US$1,377,310)
3rd – Rui Sousa (Portugal) – €607,400
4th – Diego Falcone (Brazil) – €436,760
5th – Giovani Torre (Portugal) – €364,660
6th – Yunye Lu (China) – €295,520
7th – Johan Storakers (Sweden) – €226,490
8th – Pasquale Braco (Italy) – €159,580
9th – Kully Sidhu (United Kingdom) – €121,760

€50,000 Single-Day High Roller – Winner: Juan Pardo

Juan Pardo
Juan Pardo wins his second High Roller in 24 hours – Photo credit: PokerStars

Having won the €25,000 Single-Day High Roller the day before, Juan Pardo’s confidence will have been high coming into this €50,000 event. Even so, the Spaniard surely could not have dreamed of back to back High Roller victories in front of a home crowd. Pardo was one of 76 entries for the event, with the total prize fund reaching €3,686,760.

The final table brought some interesting faces, along with the key story of Juan Pardo’s bid to go back to back. He would not have compliant company in the latter stages, with Steve O’Dwyer, Luc Greenwood, Timothy Adams and Chin Wei Lim all making it to the final table. O’Dwyer and Adams exited early, while Greenwood and Wei Lim fared a little better. Ultimately though, neither could challenge Pardo as they fell in 4th and 3rd respectively. This left Seth Davies to contest the title with Pardo, and the Spaniard did not disappoint his supporters, bagging his second High Roller title in the space of 24 hours.

The final payouts are as follows:

1st – Juan Pardo (Spain) – € 1,013,860 (US$1,124,584)
2nd – Seth Davies (United States) – € 720,760
3rd – Chin Wei Lim (Malaysia) – € 471,910
4th – Luc Greenwood (Canada) – € 363,150
5th – Ali Imsirovic (United States) – € 287,570
6th – Timothy Adams (Canada) – € 224,890
7th – Steve O’Dwyer (Ireland) – € 176,960
8th – Laurynas Levinskas (Lithuania) – € 138,250
9th – Rui Ferreira (Portugal) – € 105,070

€10,300 High Roller – Winner: Chris Hunichen

Chris Hunichen
Chris Hunichen claims €10,300 EPT High Roller title – Photo credit: PokerStars

The final event of the EPT Barcelona festival brought together a strong turnout of 540 entries, each paying €10,300 to bring the prize pool up to €5,238,000. There were plenty of star names in attendance, each hoping to get their hands on the final trophy of the series, but few players needed a good day to cheer them up more than Chris Hunichen. Having arrived in EPT Barcelona just over a week ago, the US pro tweeted that he had received news that a friend had passed away, his father had been diagnosed with diabetes and his dog was also unwell – all on the same day he arrived.

Along with Jack Salter, Hunichen and Uri Reichenstein were perhaps the best-known names to find their way to the final table of this event, with Salter soon making his way to the rail in 9th place. Over the next few hours players steadily dropped away until play was four-handed. At this point, Hunichen began pulling away from the other competitors, and while Reichenstein eliminated a wounded Pablo Melogno in 4th to regain some ground, Hunichen was the player in control. He continued to extend his lead before Reichenstein was able to eliminate Andreas Berggren in 3rd before the two remaining players struck a deal for the money and the trophy. As the bigger stack at the time, Hunichen goes down as the official winner, in his first cash of this festival.

The final payouts are as follows:

1st – Chris Hunichen (United States) – €841,345 (US$925,480)
2nd – Uri Reichenstein (Israel) – €794,415 (US$873,857)
3rd – Andreas Berggren (Sweden) – €451,520
4th – Pablo Melogno (Uruguay) – €351,990
5th – Tibor Nagygyorgy (Hungary) – €276,040
6th – Lander Lijo (Spain) – €216,850
7th – Pauli Ayras (Finland) – €161,850
8th – Antonios Paschalidis (Greece) – €112,090
9th – Jack Salter (United Kingdom) – €88,520

€25,000 Single-Day High Roller II – Winner: Laszlo Bujtas

Laszlo Bujtas 1
Laszlo Bujtas takes the 25K Single Day High Roller II title – Photo credit: PokerStars

The second €25,000 Single-Day High Roller of the festival saw 118 hopefuls buy in, helping to generate a prize pool of €2,833,180. The usual High Roller experts were in attendance, along with Juan Pardo, who was seeking a seemingly impossible hat-trick of High Roller wins.

As the action got down to the final table, Pardo was still in invincible form, collecting pots and climbing the counts to bring a comfortable stack to the final table. He was up against Sergio Aido, James Chen and Charlie Carrel in his bid for a third title in a row, a fact which remained the case as the action got down to 7. Taiwan’s James Chen would be the next to bust, followed by Sergio Aido in 6th and Steven van Zadelhoff in 5th. Then, for the first time in three tournaments, Juan Pardo finally busted out when his weak ace shove got looked up by Carrel’s pocket sixes. Before long, Pedro Marques had also made way in 3rd place to get things heads up. Laszlo Bujtas started with a big chiplead and never put a foot wrong, quickly eliminating Carrel to take his first major title.

The final payouts are as follows:

1st – Laszlo Bujtas (Hungary) – €712,810 (US$787,947)
2nd – Charlie Carrel (United Kingdom) – €481,640
3rd – Pedro Marques (Portugal) – €313,070
4th – Juan Pardo (Spain) – €259,240
5th – Steven van Zadelhoff (Netherlands) – €209,090
6th – Sergio Aido (Spain) – €164,690
7th – James Chen (Taiwan) – €126,080
8th – Jorryt van Hoof (Netherlands) – €94,910
9th – Alex Komaromi (Uruguay) – €70,830

Article by Craig Bradshaw