Poland’s Piotr Nurzynski Wins Record-Breaking EPT Barcelona Main Event

This year’s EPT Barcelona Main Event was one to remember. The tournament turned out to be the largest one Main Event ever played within the EPT series and was packed with action and poker thrill.

It was Poland’s Piotr Nurzynski who outmaneuvered the event’s 1,931-strong field. The player, who is a doctor by trade but has been roaming the world over the past two years, was the last man standing after a seven-hour finale that was played Sunday at Casino Barcelona. He collected €1,037,109 for his efforts and a Platinum Pass for the PokerStars Players No-Limit Hold’em Championship next year.

Six players returned to play the Main Event finale yesterday. There were seasoned poker players among them, including former EPT champ Ognyan Dimov, and there were newbies who were making their EPT debut. The Bulgarian won his first title three years ago in Deauville and was looking to join Victoria Coren Mitchell in the elite club of two-time EPT champions. It was not meant for Dimov this time as the player finished in third place last night, but not without putting up quite some fight over the course of action.

First things first, the final day of play kicked off with the absolute rookie – China’s Haoxiang Wang leading the final table. The player, who had one tournament cash prior to last night, lost some of his stack during the first hands of action to slide a bit, but then regained momentum. The first level of the day thus saw little change in the chip counts leaderboard and no eliminations.

Action sped up a bit during the next stage of play as the two short stacks at the time – Matthias Tikerpe from Estonia and Rodrigo Carmo from Portugal were eliminated in a somewhat quick succession. The first bagged €287,050 from the tournament, while the second collected €354,200.

Four-Way Deal

Play then slowed a bit again as none of the four players were willing to give up on the title and the hefty first-place prize that went along with it. Chips swung back and forth for a while, until Dimov offered a four-way deal. The other three players left agreed and a four-handed ICM chop was done.

Wang was the chip leader at the time, with Nurzynski coming in second place on the leaderboard. Under the deal, the young Chinese was to collect €1,023,701 and €857,109 would go to Nurzynsky. Dimov would collect €721,631 and Pedro Marques from Portugal would grab €698,369 from the tournament’s prize pool. The amount of €180,000 and the Platinum Pass was left aside for the champion.

The deal boosted action at the table and took off some of the pressure that had piled on the four finalists’ shoulders. Nurzynsky himself admitted that he felt calmer after the deal was struck.

Marques was eliminated shortly after and Dimov followed him a few hands later. This left it to Nurzynsky and Wang to determine the champion. And two-handed action proved to be a great show to watch. Nurzynsky was all serious and composed with his aviator sunglasses, while Wang was all smiles and bubbly throughout that final stage of the tournament.

The duel began with Wang holding nearly four times more chips than his final opponent. However, Nurzynsky managed to double not long after the start of heads-up. The Pole began building his stack into the chip lead and it did not take long before he emerged as the chip leader. The two players then held almost even stacks with Nurzynsky holding a slight advantage for a while.

Wang then retook the chip lead once again to lose it on the very next hand to retake it back again a couple of hands later. Chips went back and forth until the biggest pot of the day occurred and it went Nurzynsky’s way. The Polish player thus soared all the way up to 47 million, while Wang dropped to 10 million.

The much-anticipated final hand was dealt soon after. It saw Nurzynsky limp from the button with [Ac][9c] and Wang check with [Ks][2d]. The [6d][Kc][Ad] ran out on the flop. Wang bet 500,000 and Nurzynsky called. The [7c] landed on the turn to see Wang check. Nurzynsky kicked off the betting round with 2 million and Wang called immediately. The river came [4d] and Wang checked once again. Nurzynsky shoved after several seconds of thought, putting both himself and Wang in danger. Wang called after giving his move quite some thought.

The decision proved the wrong one for the young Chinese as he hit the rail in second place. However, he left the tournament as a millionaire. The two heads-up opponents parted with a hug and it was time for Nurzynsky to celebrate, wrapping up an extremely successful EPT Barcelona Main Event.

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