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2019 EPT Barcelona Hits All-Time Highs for PokerStars


The European Poker Tour continues to chug along in 2019 with a recent stop in Barcelona pulling in record numbers for the long-running poker tour.

The nearly two-week poker festival began with the €1,100 National Championship drawing a record 4,682 entries to create a prize pool of €4.5 million.

Meanwhile, on the other end of the schedule, Swedish poker player Simon Brandstrom outlasted 1,988 entries in the €5,300 Main Event to take down a first-place prize of €1,290,166. The Main Event was the biggest in the history of the EPT Barcelona, which is impressive considering it’s been held for the past 16 years.

Barcelona FC stars Gerard Piqué and Arturo Vidal also both managed to cash in the €25,000 Single-Day High Roller while playing on home turf.

This was all in addition to the surprise announcement of the PokerStars NL Hold’em Players Championship (PSPC), which will take place as part of EPT Barcelona in 2020.

Brandstrom Wins Main Event for €1.29 Million

Swedish poker pro Simon Brandstrom is now the biggest Main Event winner in the history of EPT Barcelona.

Brandstrom outlasted nearly 2,000 entries to take down an impressive €1.29 million. It would have been even more had he not made a heads-up deal with Hungarian poker pro Marton Czuczor, who salvaged €1.25 million for his efforts.

The final table also included famed Swedish poker pro Johan Storakers and English pro Kully Sidhu. The final table was also one of the fastest in the history of the EPT as it took only one hour to go from six players to two.

Heads-up play went on for two more hours before Brandstrom was able to finally land the knockout punch.

Here’s a look at the complete final-table payouts for EPT Barcelona (*reflects two-way deal):

PlaceWinnerCountryPrize (in EUR)Prize (in USD)
1Simon BrandstromSweden€1,290,166*$1,417,899
2Marton CzuczorHungary€1,253,234*$1,377,310
3Rui SousaPortugal€607,400$667,536
4Diego FalconeBrazil€436,760$480,001
5Giovani TorrePortugal€364,660$400,763
6Yunye LuChina€295,520$324,778
7Johan StorakersSweden€226,490$248,914
8Pasquale BracoItaly€159,580$175,379
9Kully SidhuUnited Kingdom€121,760$133,815

Gerard Piqué Scores €352k in €25k High Roller

There is a long history of professional athletes playing poker on the side but the success stories are few and far between.

Gerard Piqué would be one of the exceptions.

The world-renowned Spanish footballer finished second in the elite €25,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em High Roller tournament at EPT Barcelona last week.

The €25k tournament drew some of the best poker players in the world but Piqué found a way around every single one of them except for eventual winner Juan Dominguez.

It was the single biggest cash in Piqué’s poker career but he seems to be improving. In 2017 he finished fifth in the exact same tournament. In total, he has $668,155 in live tournament earnings.

What’s most impressive about Piqué’s success at the poker table is that he’s doing it while still playing football at a world-class level. Most athletes don’t get into poker until their sporting careers are finished. Not so for Piqué, who’s managed to fit EPT Barcelona into his busy schedule since 2011.

Interestingly, Piqué wasn’t even the only Barcelona FC player to cash in the €25k High Roller as teammate Arturo Vidal finished fifth to take home €134,460.

Here’s a complete look at the final-table payouts for EPT Barcelona’s €25k High Roller:

1stSpainJuan Domínguez€491,600
2ndSpainGerard Piqué€352,950
3rdAustraliaMichael Addamo€229,420
4thJapanHirokazu Kobayashi€173,110
5thChileArturo Vidal€134,460
6thJapanKazuhiko Yotsushika€104,200

2020 EPT Barcelona Set to Shatter Records

After a record-setting EPT Barcelona, organizers are already thinking about the massive potential 2020 edition of the festival.

PokerStars announced that the second-ever €25k buy-in PSPC will take place sandwiched in the middle of the 2020 edition of EPT Barcelona at Casino Barcelona.

PokerStars qualifies numerous amateur poker players for the PSPC, which makes it one of the single most value-packed tournaments in poker. Amateur poker player Ramon Colillas took advantage of the inaugural PSPC this winter and won $5.1 million.

During this year’s EPT Barcelona, PokerStars announced it had already qualified five players for the 2020 PSPC as part of the company’s Chase Your Dream promotion.

EPT Barcelona is already one of the most densely populated tournaments on the EPT schedule so that means the 2020 edition of the stop could potentially reach historic levels with numerous records once again set to be broken at the long-running poker festival.