6 Mins Read
The 2018 European Poker Tour (EPT) Barcelona, which is the biggest and the busiest stop of the franchise, has now concluded. Online qualifier from Poland, Piotr Nurzynski (cover image) topped the record-breaking 1,931 entry field in the Main Event to claim the top prize of €1,037,109.
Nurzynski entered the Main Event after qualifying through a €250 satellite on PokerStars while he was in South America. Firmly sidestepping big names in poker like two-time EPT champion Juan Juanda and 2015 EPT Deauville champion Ognyan Dimov, Nurzynski who is a doctor by profession with only $11,812 in live earnings prior to this win, claimed the title.
From the Indian contingent, six challengers entered the event and Kunal Punjwani was the only one who made the cut for Day 3, where he orchestrated the elimination of six-time WSOP bracelet winner Daniel Negreanu but failed to advance further, finishing 176th for €10,770 (~â‚¹8.91 Lakhs).
While PokerBaazi Team Pro Abhisek Panda was eliminated on Day 1B, PokerStars India Team Pro and GPL India Delhi Diehards Manager Muskan Sethi, Young Gun Abhinav Iyer, Samay Parikh and Charu Vikram Kaushik exited the event on Day 2, before the money bubble burst.
On the final table, the last four players remaining in the field cut a deal, leaving the Platinum Pass, €180,000 in cash and the trophy up for grabs. Notably, being the last online qualifier still in the fray, Nurzynsky had already locked up his seat to the PokerStars Players NLHE Championship (PSPC), Bahamas, but by eventually winning the Main Event, he certainly did so in style!
Meanwhile, recreational player Haoxiang Wang, who came up against Nurzynski in the heads-up play, finished runner up and claimed the second Platinum Pass on offer at the event.
“I can’t believe it! It struck me. Wow. I ran really really well. I made two huge mistakes today and I was thinking I can’t win it. But it’s amazing. It’s hard to say something now,” an elated Nurzynski said, after his victory. He is the fourth player from Poland to win the EPT Main Event.
“What can I say, it is a great feeling. I have been watching EPT serious for so many hours. It was my dream to end on the final table, but wow, it’s shocking,” Nurzynski said. “Yeah of course I am excited,” he added, talking about the PSPC Bahamas.
The field had whittled down to 259 runners on Day 2 and narrowed down to 56 by the end of Day 3. Only 13 players were left in contention after Day 4 concluded.
Among the notables to pick up a payday were Victor Chong (28th for €35,500), Benjamin Pollak (33rd for €30,150), Luke Haward (45th for €24,910), Jaime Staples (60th for €19,760), Shaun Deeb (61st for €19,760) and Leo Margets (118th for €14,330).
EPT bigwig John Juanda (9th for €118,265)missed the final table by a whisker. Prior to him, Ben Heath (12th for €88,250), Danny Tang (13th for €88,250), Upeshka De Silva (14th for €78,800) and Marius Conan (16th for €69,340), also fell on the way to the final table.
Final Table Recap
The eight-handed final table began just as Day 5 was nearing conclusion. Patrick Clarke was the first casualty and he bowed out in ninth place, followed by Mark Buckley who railed in seventh place. With their elimination, play was halted to be resumed on the final day.
Among the final six, Haoxiang Wang held the biggest stack of 16,200,000. Piotr Nurzynski, who was responsible for a couple of knockouts on Day 5, ended the day with the second biggest stack of 15,425,000. Ognyan Dimov who held 10,125,000 in chips rounded up the top three stacks.
1. Haoxiang Wang- 16,200,000
2. Piotr Nurzynski – 15,425,000
3. Ognyan Dimov – 10,125,000
4. Matthias Tikerpe – 7,100,000
5. Pedro Marques -6,950,000
6. Rodrigo Carmo – 2,000,000
Final Day Recap
Following a lot of back and forth between the players, the final day action saw Matthias Tikerpe becoming the first player to depart. Tikerpe open-shoved for his last 3.9 Million and was called off by Nurzynski from the cutoff. Tikerpe tabled against Nurzynski’s . In presence of a boisterous rail, the board ran and Nurzynski’s pocket nines won him the pot, while Tikerpe headed to the rail in sixth place.
Several hands later, Rodrigo Carmo was eliminated in fifth place. Wang raised to 600,000 under the gun and big blind Carmo moved all in for 4 Million with . Wang asked for a count before calling with . The runout failed to improve Carmo’s hand and he stepped out in fifth place.
Four-handed, Wang, Nurzynski, Dimov and Marques discussed a deal and agreed on numbers, locking up different amounts. Marques was to take home €698,369, Dimov locked up €725,621, Nurzynski €857,109 and Wang €1,023,701, with the winner to take home an additional €180,000 and the $30,000 Platinum Pass.
Pedo Marques was the first one out after the deal in fourth place. He moved all in from the button for 6.5 Million in response to Wang’s raise to 625,000 from under the gun. Nurzynski and Dimov folded their blinds while Wang called. Wang had against Marques’ . Wang stayed in the lead on the flop and the turn. Marques needed an ace to survive but the river brought the and he was eliminated.
Next up, Ognyan Dimov moved all in for 3.4 Million from the button with and Wang snap called from the big blind with . The flop didn’t help Dimov and neither did the turn or the river and Wang, with a better kicker won the pot sending Dimov to the rail in third place.
The heads-up between Nurzynski and Haoxiang Wang kicked off with Wang holding a big lead but the tides changed when Nurzynski won a hand with pocket kings against Wang’s jack-nine on a ten-nine-eight flop with the turn and the river bringing no help for Wang. Soon, Nurzynski gained control and then won another big pot with his pocket jacks against Wang’s pocket nines.
Wang couldn’t recover from this setback and very soon the final hand was played out where Nurzynski called from the button with and Wang checked his option from the big blind with . Both players hit a pair on the flop but Nurzynsky’s pair of aces kept him ahead. Wang then bet 500,000 and was called by Nurzynski. Wang checked on the turn and then called a 2 Million bet. The appeared on the river and Wang checked once more. Here, Nurzynski moved all in, cornering Wang who called, only to realize he was defeated. Wang departed in runner-up place, albeit with €1,023,701 in prize money and a Platinum Pass worth $30,000.
Final Table Results (Euro)
1. Piotr Nurzynski – €1,037,109*
2. Haoxiang Wang – €1,023,701*
3. Ognyan Dimov – €725,621*
4. Pedro Marques – €698,369*
5. Rodrigo Carmo – €354,200
6. Matthias Tikerpe – €287,050
7. Mark Buckley – €220,000
8. Patrick Clarke – €155,000
*denotes a four-way deal