Monday September 09,2013 : BRITISH VICTORY IN E.P.T. BARCELONA MAIN EVENT
Tom Middleton bests 1,233 players to take home €942,000
In what has been billed as Spain's richest live poker tournament yet, English internet player Tom Middleton bested 1,233 other entrants to win the €5,300 buy-in European Poker Tour Barcelona, taking the lion's share of the massive €5,984,900 prize pool.
The Leeds, England player claimed a first prize of €942,000 after several gruelling days of highly competitive poker that culminated in a final table of Middleton and Kimmo Kurkoof and Pasi Sormunen of Finland; Kresten Nielsen from Denmark, Italian ace Luca Fiorini; Benoit Gury from France; Eduard Bhaggoe of Holland; and Cypriot player Andreas Christoforou, Cyprus.
Middleton, who won his main event seat in a Pokerstars online tournament earlier this year, managed to dominate the final three days of the competition, bagging up each day as the chip leader
The 26-year-old Englishman clashed with Finnish pro Kimmo Kurko in the heads-up, agreeing to a chop in which Kurko booked a pay-out of €750,000 before conceding defeat.
In addition to his huge winner's prize, Middleton received the prestigious title and trophy, along with an expensive Slyde Swiss watch.
183 players made the money in the event, including Alex Stevic, the first EPT champion who finished 86th for €12,700, along with Team PokerStars Pros Christophe De Meulder, Victor Ramdin, Leo Fernandez and Toni Judet.
Spanish football star Gerard Pique played the main event for the first time; failed to cash in that event but finished 19th in the €10,000 High Roller for €21,950. Other stars who took part at EPT Barcelona included ex-Norwegian international footballer John Carew and Spanish golfer Sergio Garcia in a €1,000 side event.
Nearly 300 players won their seats to the main event online with Pokerstars, and 30 cashed, taking home €2,256,400 between them.
Since the EPT first visited Barcelona – Event 1, Season 1 – the total prize pool for the main event has swelled from just over €200,000 to nearly €6 million – and the current first prize of €942,000 first prize totally dwarfs the €80,000 won by Stevic in September 2004.
The event was part of the 11-day Barcelona Poker Festival at Casino Barcelona, which attracted a total of 9,167 entries – nearly double the turnout of last season. More than 3,200 unique players took part with €17,001,650 overall awarded in prize money.
In related news Austrian Thomas Muhlocker took down the €10,000 buy-in EPT Barcelona High Roller event, which attracted an entry field of 138 players, 42 of whom exercised re-entry, generating a €1,764,000 prize pool….well ahead of last season's event.
It was a star-studded field that included former WSOP champ Jonathan Duhamel, high profile pro Daniel Negreanu, November Niner David Benefield, and recent EPT Barcelona Super High Roller sixth-place finisher Ole Schemion.
With the elimination in third place of Jean-Noel Thorel, the heads up was between Muhlocker and Negreanu, who had bought back into the contest after an earlier and controversial elimination.
At that stage it looked as if it was all going for Negreanu, who held a substantial chip lead, but as is so often the case the underdog continued to play with skill and determination, and was rewarded with several double ups that took him into the chip lead.
After that it took just a few hands for Muhlocker to finish Negreanu off, eliminating him in second place for €263,800 and claiming the main prize of €390,700.
Other pay days on the final table looked like this:
Jean-Noel Thorel €181,500
Joni Jouhkimainen €148,000
Jonathan Duhamel €118,000
Ole Schemion €90,700
Richard Yong €66,000
David Benefield €47,850