EPT Barcelona Championship Event Winner CrownedMonday, August 27th, 2012 by Ryan
The European Poker Tour is currently in its ninth season, and the EPT Barcelona Championship event was decided this week when Mikalai Pobal and Ilari Sahamies went at it head to head to decide who would take down the title as well as the big time pay day. The final day of action started up with an eigh thanded final table that saw Sahamies leading the charge, but having some tough competition standing in his way. A few names that were close to him included Samuel Rodriguez, who was 1.4 million behind, and Anaras Alekberovas, Pobal, and Antonin Duda just behind Rodriguez. Probably the most well-known player remaining at the final table was John Juanda, who had a tough uphill climb with only 1.89 million chips.
Juanda was sent home in heartbreaking fashion as he got it all-in with pocket fives against the A-5 of Rodriguez, but Rodriguez was able to hit two pair on the board to beat out the fives of Juanda and send him to the rail. Duda was then sent home in seventh place when his A-K was unable to beat out the pocket Kings of Alekberovas, when the flop came down with Q-K-A. All of this happened before the first break of the table, and just before the break was set to go, Joni Jouhkimainen put a bit of a bad beat on Rodriguez to double up, as his J-7 of spades was all-in on a flop with two spades, when Rodriguez showed a set of eights. The river was another spade, giving Jouhkimainen the big time pot and moving him into second place.
Jouhkimainen then went ahead and sent home Sinel Anton in sixth place and Rodriguez in fifth place, grabbing the chip lead as well from Sahamies. This is when the action slowed down as the final four players played for nearly four hours without seeing an elimination happen. Jouhkimainen ended the stretch though when he got it all-in with pocket Kings against the pocket nines of Alekberovas to send him home in 4th place. This left Jouhkimainen with 24 million chips, and Sahamies and Pobal with only 8.3 million chips TOTAL between them.
Jouhkimainen doubled up both opponents, but was unable to get things rolling and before long found himself getting overtaken for the chip lead by Sahamies. Pobal started rolling at this point though, and even though he had to sit out a round for not betting his nut flush on the river, he ended up winning a few big pots and gaining the chip lead. Sahamies knocked out Jouhkimainen with his A-9 against his opponents pocket nines, and this set up the heads up match. Pobal had a seven million chip lead over Sahamies though to start it off.
Sahamies could not stage the comeback, and the event was finished within 15 minutes of heads up play. Sahamies raised, and then moved all-in over Pobal’s re-raise, but it was bad timing, as Pobal showed pocket Aces and was up against the 9-5 of Sahamies. This was a wrap and Pobal took home the title and the first place pay day that was worth €1,007,550. For his efforts, Sahamies second place payout was worth €629,700.