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EPT Barcelona 2018: Abhisek Panda Makes Top 100 Finish in National Event, Abhinav Iyer & Mayank Saxena Also Score

Abhishek Panda and Abhinav Iyer
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  • PG News August 25, 2018
  • 6 Mins Read

The 2018 PokerStars European Poker Tour (EPT) Barcelona started amongst huge aplomb and fanfare on August 21. Offering 10 Platinum Pass packages to the three headline event winners and special crazy pineapple hand challenges, worth $30,000 each, to the PokerStars Players NL Hold’em Championship to be held in Bahamas in January 2019, the series was a much-awaited one for poker fans and enthusiasts alike.

Three events in the series will be giving away the PSPC passes. The first one being the €1,100 EPT National event. Consisting of four starting flights, a humongous player pool of 4348 entries, generated a prize pool of €4,127,560. While re-entries on the same flight were not allowed, players who busted out in a preceding flight, could re-join the event in a succeeding flight.

Among the Indian contingent three players stood out, namely Abhinav Nataraj Iyer, Mayank Saxena and Abhisek Panda. Iyer and Saxena finished in the money and placed 506th for ₹1.46 Lakhs and 545th for ₹1.33 Lakhs respectively. However, Panda made the best finish from the team, cracking the 100 by placing 99th for ₹3.70 Lakhs.

Meanwhile Valentin Cristea (6,830,000), Luis Rodriguez Cruz (6,765,000) and Ludovic Geilich (5,365,000) hold the top three stacks as 49 players reaming for Day 3 of the event.

Starting Flights (Day 1A, 1B, 1C & 1D) Recap

Day 1A

1,264 players battled for a gruelling 14 hours and only 15% of the original playing field survived the day’s play.

Maksim Bura (736,000) bagged the chip lead, with Chengbei Li (731,000), Camilo Hernandez Henao (700,000), Qi Hu (568,000) and Miguel Silva (565,000) rounding out the top five stacks.

Day 1B

Day 1B was a 20-minute turbo blind flight which saw 376 players enter the filed but only 56 survived from the lot. Several players who busted out of Day 1A were seen in action including Jason Wheeler, Ben Heath, and Aylar Lie. Many notables such as Benny Glaser and Team PokerStars Pro member Jeff Gross were railed during the course of play.

Nonetheless, out of the 56 hopefuls who remained, Rui Nogueira Da Silva E Sousa (732,000) was the chip leader, while Jonathan Concepcion (531,000), Russell Thomas (483,000), Luis Larrosa (464,000) and Deniz Kisa (431,000) were among the top stacks.

Day 1C

Day 1C was played for 15 hours and the playing field of 1,864, eventually dwindled down to 280 runners.

Following 17 levels of play of 40 minutes each, a classic hand that played out between Eldaras Rafijevas and Foeke Deinum. Rafijevas’ pocket kings ran into Deinum’s queens. When a queen appeared on the turn, Deinum looked good to win the pot but a king on the river and Rafijevas’ doubled up.

David Hearn would proceed to bubble in the following hand, which paved the way for the other 280 towards the cash.

Comprising the Indian representation at the event were Young Gun Abhinav Iyer (438,000), Mayank Saxena (189,000) and Abhisek Panda (85,000), who made it to Day 2 with respectable chip counts.

In the meantime, Jeffrey van Leeuwen (804,000) was the field topper, along with Youcef Benzerfa (708,000), Gabriel Chiva (705,000), Bruno Ayleke Galiano Pereira (676,000) and Cesar Plaza (645,000) who accumulated the biggest stacks.

Day 1D

The fourth and final flight of the event attracted 844 participants, taking the final player pool to 4,348 entries. The field size grew to 844 over the course of the night, largely due to nearly 700 alternates jumping in to take another shot at the title.

125 players made the cut for Day 2 and were lead by Farukh Tach (808,000), while JanTeunis (730,000), Sonny Franco (627,000), Matan Krakow (621,000) and Eric Meissonnier (612,000) were placed on the top five ranks of the leaderboard.

Day 2 Recap

A total of 650 runners returned to the felts on Day 2, all of whom would receive a min-cash of €1,650. While Tach (808,000) began the day as the overall chip leader, 519 players were eliminated by the end of the day.

The noteworthy eliminations included Ariel Celestino (131st for €4,070), Day 1A chip leader Maksim Bura (142nd for €4,070), Fred Weiss (186th for €3,100), Day 1C chip leader Youcef Benzerfa (192nd for €3,100), Day 1D chip leader Farukh Tach (214th for €3,100), Joey Weissman (238th for €2,800), Jack Salter (314th for €2,550), Ranno Sootla (423rd for €2,050), Aylar Lie (513th for €1,810) and Francois Mittertreiner (637th for €1,650).

Team India`s run in the event came to an end on Day 2. While Abhinav Nataraj Iyer (506th for €1,810 – ~₹1,46,910) and Mayank Saxena (545th for €1,650 – ~₹1,33,923) finished in the money, Abhisek Panda made the deepest run and busted in 99th place for €4,570 (₹3,70,927). He jammed for 16 big blinds holding suited king-jack from the button after a player in the cut off seat opened with ace-jack and got the call. Panda failed to improve and hit the rail.

Abhishek Panda
Abhishek Panda

Only 49 players remain in the field to carry on the fight to Day 3 with Valentin Cristea (6,830,000) in the lead.

Many other pros also managed to bag commendable stacks including Giovanni Gallo (3,740,000), Stefano Puccilli (3,265,000), defending champion Pedro Cairat (3,240,000) and Gabriel Chiva (2,550,000).

Valentin Cristea
Valentin Cristea

Top 10 Chip Counts At The End of Day 2

1. Valentin Cristea – 6,830,000

2. Luis Rodriguez Cruz – 6,765,000

3. Ludovic Geilich – 5,365,000

4. Luis Faria – 5,320,000

5. Yunsheng Sun – 5,180,000

6. Johann Zeitoun – 5,130,000

7. Alberto Ah Line – 4,475,000

8. Marco Silva Valente – 4,400,000

9. Upeshka De Silva – 4,270,000

10. Johan Verhagen – 4,180,000

Keep following all the latest updates from EPT Barcelona right here on PokerGuru!

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