Side event champions crowned at EPT Barcelona as Chen, Tang and Soyza go deep

Through the work of PokerStars, EPT has been busy continuing its annual orbit of Europe in the past week, with Barcelona providing the latest stop on the tour.

The all-important Main Event is underway, but we will have to wait a few more days before the winner for 2019 is revealed. In the meantime, let us talk you through the latest action in the side events.

€1,100 EPT National – Winner: Markku Koplimaa

Markku Koplimaa
Markku Koplimaa – Photo credit: PokerStars/PokerNews

The opening event of EPT Barcelona saw 4,682 players pay a €1,100 (US$1,222) EPT entry fee to get involved in this tournament and stake their claim to a portion of the €4,541,540 (US$5,044,561). It took four starting day flights and a further three days of play to find a winner, with Markku Koplimaa claiming the trophy after a heads-up battle with Adam Hendrix. The event marks Koplimaa’s arrival on the live scene, with the Estonian having already accumulated $7 million in winnings online.

Asian stars Pete Chen and Michael Soyza looked threatening for large parts of the event, eventually falling in 35th and 32nd place respectively. Indian player Jai Saha was the last Asian player standing in the event, eventually finishing in 7th place.

The final payouts are as follows:

1st – Markku Koplimaa (Estonia) – €585,500 (US$652,928)
2nd – Adam Hendrix     (United States) – €346,500
3rd – Eldaras Rafijevas (Lithuania) – €263,200
4th – Matias Arosuo (Finland) – €212,100
5th – Barry McGovern (Ireland) – €168,100
6th – Jose Quintas (Portugal) – €129,100
7th – Jai Saha (United Kingdom) – €95,100
8th – Lawrence Whyte (United States) – €67,500
9th – Jose Prieto Pulido (Spain) – €54,670

€100,000 Super High Roller – Winner: Sergi Reixach

Sergi Reichax
Sergi Reichax wins the €100,000 EPT Super High Roller – Photo credit: PokerStars/PokerNews

In what is perhaps the most keenly anticipated event outside of the Main, the €100,000 (US$110,955) Super High Roller began on August 24th, bringing together a field of 64 players to compete for a slice of the €6,209,280 (US$6,889,507) prize pool. By the time the field had been whittled down to the final 9, Steve O’Dwyer, Luc Greenwood, Kahle Burns, Sam Grafton and Danny Tang were all in contention.

O’Dwyer and Greenwood fell away in 7th and 6th before Japan’s Tsugunari Toma hit the rail in 5th. Australian Kahle Burns could not go any further than 4th, leaving Hong Kong’s Danny Tang, UK’s Sam Grafton and Spanish national Sergi Reixach. Tang would be the next to fall after shoving his short stack in with A8 and walking into AQ. After that, a titanic heads-up struggle ensued. Grafton surged into the lead, rising to a near 7 to 1 chiplead before home favourite Reixach found some momentum to swing things back the other way. After more than 3 hours of play, Reixach finally won it by picking off a bluff by Grafton.

Here are the final payouts:

1st – Sergi Reixach (Spain) – €1,816,210 (US$2,017,137)
2nd – Sam Grafton (United Kingdom) – €1,303,950
3rd – Danny Tang (Hong Kong) – €847,570
4th – Kahle Burns (Australia) – €639,560
5th – Tsugunari Toma (Japan) – €496,740
6th – Luc Greenwood (Canada) – €384,980
7th – Steve O’Dwyer     (Ireland)         – €304,250
8th – Rui Ferreira (Portugal) – €235,950
9th – Mikalai Vaskaboinikau (Belarus) – €180,070

€25,000 Single-Day High Roller – Winner: Juan Pardo

Juan Pardo
Juan Pardo wins the 25K Single-Day High Roller – Photo credit: PokerStars/PokerNews

The €25,000 (US$27,739) Single-Day High Roller was always going to be an event to watch, and always promised a final table with a few familiar faces. You would expect those faces to be accomplished pros, and while those were in attendance, it was two celebrity footballers who caught the attention, with FC Barcelona’s Arturo Vidal and Gerard Pique both making the final table. There were 70 entries for the event, with a prize pool which grew to €491,600 (US$545,455).

The latter stages of the tournament offered a clear statement about celebrity footballers being more than just clueless seat fillers, but Australia’s Michael Addamo was also flying the flag for the pros at this final table. After Chilean midfielder Arturo Vidal busted in 5th and Japan’s Hirokazu Kobayashi had hit the rail in 4th, it was only Addamo who stood in the way of an all-Spanish heads-up. Unfortunately for the Australian, he could not spin his short stack up and he exited the table, leaving Gerard Pique and Juan Pardo to dispute the title. The match was ended quickly with a coin flip, as Pardo got the best of Pique to take the trophy.

The payouts are as follows:

1st – Juan Pardo (Spain) – €491,600 (US$545,672)
2nd – Gerard Pique (Spain) – €352,950
3rd – Michael Addamo (Australia) – €229,420
4th – Hirokazu Kobayashi (Japan) – €173,110
5th – Arturo Vidal (Chile) – €134,460
6th – Kazuhiko Yotsushika (Japan) – €104,200
7th – Ramin Hajiyev (Azerbaijan) – €82,350
th – Joao Vieira (Portugal) – €63,870
9th – Mike Watson (Canada) – €48,740

€2,200 National High Roller – Winner: Alexander Ivarsson

Alexander Ivarsson
Alexander Ivarsson  – Photo credit: PokerStars/PokerNews

The €2,200 (US$2,441) National High Roller attracted a high-quality field of 1,491 entries, with numerous strong players looking to take down the second National title of EPT Barcelona. The prize pool grew to €2,892,540 (US$3,209,418), with almost half a million euros set aside for 1st place.

The final table offered a few familiar names despite the size of the field, with Anthony Zinno perhaps the best-known finalist. Canada’s Ari Engel was also in the final 9. Sadly, for the two bigger names, it was not to be their day, as Zinno parted ways with his chair in 7th, swiftly followed by Engel in 6th. When the action had boiled down to a heads-up tussle for the trophy, just Raed Alawadhi and Alexander Ivarsson remained. It took just a few hands for Swede Ivarsson to finish the task and claim the title.

Here are the final payouts:

12st – Alexander Ivarsson (Sweden) – €498,520 (US$553,493)
2nd – Raed Alawadhi (Kuwait) – €287,550
3rd – Joonas Helin (Finland) – €201,210
4th – Max Deveson (United Kingdom) – €149,030
5th – Sorin Flutur (Romania) – €117,350
6th – Ari Engel (Canada) – €88,470
7th – Anthony Zinno (United States) – €64,720
8th – Alin Mitrache (Romania) – €44,210
9th – Tomasz Pajak (Poland) – €36,150

€25,000 6+ Holdem

Mikhail Rudoy 
Mikhail Rudoy  – Photo credit: PokerStars/PokerNews

This event was surprisingly small, even though the format is still somewhat niche in nature. There was a total of 24 entries for the tournament, with their €25,000 (US$27,739) buy ins creating a prize pool of €576,240 (US$639,367). Numerous notable names were in attendance, with Ike Haxton, Mike Watson and Chin Wei Lim all making the final table. Only five players made the money, with Watson and Haxton being the first to fall after the bubble had burst. China’s Yake Wu took a creditable 3rd, before Russia’s Mikhail Rudoy managed to get the best of Malaysia’s Wei Lim heads up. The final payouts are as follows:

1st – Mikhail Rudoy (Russia) – €213,210 (US$237,064)
2nd – Chin Wei Lim (Malaysia) – €146,940
3rd – Yake Wu (China) – €93,640
4th – Isaac Haxton – (United States) – €67,710
5th – Mike Watson – (Canada) – €54,740

Article by Craig Bradshaw