EPT Barcelona: Piotr Nurzynski wins record-breaking Main Event field; Pete Chen among numerous Asians running well

Another highly attended PokerStars LIVE event stormed past with the 2018 European Poker Tour Barcelona attracting huge numbers from start to finish. Last night, the largest Main Event field in the stop’s history concluded with two players coming out as millionaires. Poland’s Piotr Nurzynski earned the title after defeating China’s Haoxiang Wang at heads up. Nurzynski pocketed the largest of €1,037,109 (~US$1,208,000) plus a PokerStars Players NL Hold’em Championship Platinum Pass worth US$30,000.

champion piotr nurzynski 2018 ept barcelona main event final table giron 8jg1470
Piotr Nurzynski & Haoxiang Wang – Photo PokerStars

The €5,300 (~US$6,155) buy-in Main Event pulled in a record-breaking 1,931 total entries (1,474 players, 457 rebuys) for an enormous €9,365,350 (~US$10,907,500) prize pool. Prior to the final day, the weeklong event saw pieces of that large pot dished out with 296 players ensured a cut.

Results of the final day began with Matthias Tikerpe earning €287,050 for his 6th place finish; he was followed by Rodrigo Carmo in 5th place for €354,200. At four-handed, a deal was eventually discussed and reached in just 10 minutes. With Wang backed by a very big stack, he secured the only guaranteed seven-digit payout. The agreed deal came to:

Haoxiang Wang – €1,023,701 (~US$1,118,100)
Piotr Nurzynski – €857,109
Ognyan Dimov – €725,621
Pedro Marques – €698,369

In addition, €180,000 was set aside for the eventual winner along with the PSPC Platinum Pass. Action resumed with Pedro Marques falling in 4th place and the 2015 EPT Main Event (Deauville) champion, Ognyan Dimov, taking 3rd place. This left Nurzynski and Wang at heads up.

Nurzynski went on to overcome a chip deficit to claim the title and pad up his pay to reach seven-digits. Interestingly, both players won Platinum Passes. At heads up, two passes were on the table. Apart from the winner, the event guaranteed a pass to the last remaining satellite player. Nurzynski happened to claim that having won his Main Event seat via a €250 online satellite. Since he couldn’t win two passes, Wang took the other.

This was indeed a life-changing moment for both players whose stats on Hendon Mob showed barely any earnings. Nurzynski only had three small cashes prior to this victory, and for Wang, only one small cash.

Final Day payouts
Prizepool: €9,365,350 – Buyin: €5,300 – Entries: 1931 – ITM: 296 places

1st Piotr Nurzynski – Poland – €1,037,109 (~US$1,208,000) – deal
2nd Haoxiang Wang – China – €1,023,701 (~US$1,118,100) – deal
3rd Ognyan Dimov – Bulgaria – €725,621 – deal
4th Pedro Marques – Portugal – €698,369 – deal
5th Rodrigo Carmo – Portugal – €354,200
6th Matthias Tikerpe – Estonia – €287,050

Among the notable Asian players in the money were John Juanda (9th), Georges Hanna (10th), Daniel Tang (13th), Victor Chong (28th), Jack En Ching Wu (47th), Winfred Yu (110th), Chen An Lin (131st), Chin Wei Lim (166th), 2018 WSOP bracelet winner Wei Guo Liang (224th), and Pete Chen (257th).

Pete Chen wins two events; Kazuhiko Yotsushika lands one

Pete Chen
Pete Chen – Photo PokerStars

Last year, Taiwanese pro Pete Yen Han Chen cashed three times at the same festival. This year, he brought that up with five cashes, impressively taking down two of those events. Although these weren’t major titles, they were still his first wins outside of Asia.

Chen won the €2,150 Hyper Turbo event. He bested a field of 136 entries for €63,320 (~US$73,700). To close out the series, he defeated Spain’s top-ranked player, Adrian Mateos (2017 GPI Player of the Year) at the €5,200 No Limit Hold’em Turbo, and added another €84,390 (~US$97,900) to his winnings. This brought his total live earnings well over $2 Million.

Another Asian player lifting up a trophy was Japan’s Kazuhiko Yotsushika at the €25,000 No Limit Hold’em event with 34 players in attendance. Out of the €1,089,270 prize pool, Yotsushika shipped in the largest share of €370,300 (~US$431,000). This was his first-ever six-figure earning besting top pros David Peters (3rd), Alex Foxen (4th), and double Triton SHR winner Malaysia’s Ivan Seng Yee Leow (5th).

Asians taking it deep

Michael Soyza

Michael Soyza
Michael Soyza – Photo PokerStars

Earlier in the series we reported on Malaysia’s Michael Soyza winning his first-ever EPT title. He went on to cash in a total of 6 events with his last two earnings quite sizable. He placed 23rd out of 327 entries at the €10,300 No Limit Hold’em High Roller for a collection of €35,350, and finished 4th at the €5,200 NL Turbo for €84,390. This sent his total live earnings over US$2.3 Million.

YungShen Sun

We also reported on the EPT National event drawing a massive field of 4,348 entries. Following up on those results, it was the French that dominated with four of the last five players hailing from France. Jean-Pierre Fontaine claimed the victory to pocket the lion’s share €547,000 from the €4,217,560 (US$4,797,370) prize pool. Fontaine also earned a PSPC Platinum Pass.

Alike the Main Event, many Asians were part of the payout list. Going the furthest was well-known Chinese pro Yungshen Sun who finished in 11th place for €44,350. A total of 650 players were paid for this event.

More: Michael Soyza continues his victory run at EPT Barcelona High Roller; Over 4300 entries for EPT National

Ahadpur Khangah

At the €100,000 No LImit Hold’em Super High Roller event, a familiar face snatched up the title. Belarus’s top player, Nikita Bodyakovskiy once again grabbed the headlines, overcoming the 54 entries to earn his third SHR title for 2018. At heads up, Bodyakovskiy defeated Asian player, Iran’s Ahadpur Khangah. He scored €1,650,300 out of the €5,239,080 prize pool with 7 players paid. This brought him over US$18.5 Million in live earnings with US$12.4 Million of that shipped this year alone. Runner-up Khangah also claimed a hefty payout taking in €1,191,100.

Wai Leong Chan

Last month, Malaysia’s Wai Leong Chan finished runner-up at the Triton SHR Main Event won by none other than Bodyakovskiy. At EPT Barcelona, Chan missed his chance at a title again. He finished 2nd out of 95 entrants at the €25,000 No Limit Hold’em event for €420,800 (~US$481,400) with Hungary’s Andras Nemeth earning the win for €605,600.

Anson Yan Shing Tsang

Continuing on the near victories, Asian player Hong Kong pro Anson Yan Shing Tsang finished 2nd at the €10,300 Pot Limit Omaha event with 80 total entries. He picked up a pretty penny’s worth €151,700 (~US$176,600) while Denmark’s Alexander Peterson claimed the largest share of €213,400 (~US$258,500).

Tetsuya Enoki

At €1,100 No Limit Hold’em event, there were 677 runners of which 101 were paid. Belgium’s Gary Hasson won it for €124,030, denying Japan’s Tetsuya Enoki his first six-digit payout. Still, Enoki did well for his second place finish, pocketing €76,150, the largest earning of his young poker career.

Nan Hong

One other player needing mention was China’s Nan Hong. He cashed in 4 events doubling it up from last year’s performance. His deepest was 6th place out of 296 entries at the €2,200 No Limit Hold’em Deepstack. He pocketed a combined total €60,775 at the series.

Article by Tricia David

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Louis Hartwell

Graduated in Media Communication at the University of Lausanne, Louis Hartman is a co-founder of He began his career in Cambodia as freelance journalist. In same time he was making his living by playing poker every night at that time. Intense learner, he read dozens of poker strategy books to improve his skills during many years. With a strong interest about poker "behind the scene" in Asia and his communication skills, Louis launched Somuchpoker in 2014.

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