After a rollercoaster final day, Sebastian Malec has become the latest EPT Main Event champion in fine style in Barcelona, winning €1,122,800 after overcoming Uri Reichenstein heads-up in dramatic fashion.
The final day featured seven players instead of six, thanks to Harcharan Dogra Dogra's late, late fold last night, but the only remaining Spanish player in the final field was first to bust. After finding no spots to make a move, Dogra Dogra was in the big blind when Thomas de Rooij raised to 450,000 from the cutoff. Down to six big blinds, he defended from the big blind. After seeing the flop, Dogra Dogra immediately went all in for 750,000, and De Rooij snap-called.
Thomas de Rooij:
Harcharan Dogra Dogra:
After a on the turn, the on the river gave De Rooij a higher pair. The friendly restauranteur and local hero Dogra Dogra was 'out out' for a massive €230,950 payday.
Very soon after Dogra Dogra's exit, Andreas Chalkiadakis was the next one to bust, earning €330,290. Chalkiadakis shoved all-in for 4,075,000 (20BB) with . Adam Owen held and reshoved all in. With no surprises on the board, Owen eliminated the Greek player in 6th place.
It wasn't long before Zorlu Er joined Chalkiadakis on the rail. The Turkish player defended his big blind with after Uri Reichenstein raised to 400,000 on the button with . The flop of saw Reichenstein flop the flush, and after check-calling the flop, Er did the same on the turn, then called all in for his tournament life on the river. Er banked a massive €431,550 for his fifth place finish.
The remaining players took a quick break to discuss a potential deal, but could not come to a satisfactory conclusion. After the busted dealbreaking, Thomas de Rooij was eliminated in fourth place. After a damaging hand against Adam Owen, De Rooij was down to just three big blinds when he shoved under the gun with . Uri Reichenstein looked him up with and flopped a pair of threes to knock out De Rooij. The Dutchman got a massive check of €535,100 for his fourth place, easily the biggest finish of his career.
It was only a couple of minutes later before Adam Owen joined his rival on the rail. Sebastian Malec called with from the button, Uri Reichenstein called in the small blind with , and Adam Owen moved all in from the big blind with for 5.6m chips. Sebastian Malec moved all-in over the top to fold out Reichenstein, and Malec's ace-high held up to send Owen out of the door with €646,250.
Sebastian Malec went into the heads-up with 21.35 million against Uri Reichenstein's 32 million, but the lead swung back and forth multiple times during an intense five-hour battle. At times, Reichenstein looked to be in control, then Malec would move himself back in contention with a series of plays which stepped outside the lines of convention.
Twice, the Polish player hero-called on the river when ahead in chips, in a desperate attempt to end the duel with his name on the trophy. Each time, however, Reichenstein had the goods and got back into it. The stoic Reichenstein made a sharp contrast to the young and excited Malec, who stood up multiple times, calculating odds out loud and talking himself through every decision.
After the hour-long grueling battle and the stacks dead even, it suddenly ended in one dramatic hand that will find its place in EPT history. Reichenstein turned a straight as Malec turned the flush and the EPT 'Selfie Moment' was born, Malec sitting on the rail to watch his opponent hand him the victory by making that fateful call.
Sarah was table side after his win.
Congratulations to Sebastian Malec from Poland, who outlasted the field of 1,785 players to become the biggest ever EPT Main Event's champion here in the beautiful Catalan city of Barcelona, Spain. We hope you enjoyed the coverage of EPT Barcelona by the PokerNews live reporting team and can't wait to bring you the next thrilling moment in live poker. Until next time!