In what turned out to be a near 12-hour day of poker, Chris Hunichen came out on top of the €10,300 EPT High Roller after working out a deal with second-place finisher Uri Reichenstein. Hunichen will take home €841,345 and the trophy while Reichenstein will walk away with €794,415.
It was a fitting end to the 2019 PokerStars EPT Barcelona as the room was cleared and the only two players remaining were Hunichen and Reichenstein. Hunichen announced via social media that he was playing with a heavy heart this week at Casino Barcelona after getting some bad news when arriving overseas.
While things didn't quite go his way to begin the week, it was a finish that Hunichen might never forget. The American poker pro known as 'BigHuni' online, played in nearly almost all of the high roller events but failed to cash in any of them - that was until this tournament rolled around. Hunichen even stated with just five players remaining that he might be "even" on the trip. However, after locking up his largest career live tournament win, Hunichen can head home a much happier person.
As for Reichenstein, it will go down as his second-largest score after finishing second in the 2016 EPT Barcelona Main Event. This was Reichenstein's 11th cash at Casino Barcelona in the last three years as he seems to find a ton of success at this stop on the world tour. Both players were happy to come to an agreement after a long day of work and both will walk away winners tonight.
Final Table Results
|Place||Player||Country||Prize (EUR)||Prize (USD)|
|1st||Chris Hunichen||United States||€841,345*||$925,480*|
|9th||Jack Salter||United Kingdom||€88,520||$97,372|
*denotes heads-up deal
The final day began with 26 players returning to their seats and it wasn't long before the final three table re-draw occurred. It was well-known that the remaining players could be in for the long haul if they were to make a deep run. The tanking began early on as players looked to ladder their way up the payouts with Jack Salter and Anton Siden being the main culprits and given warnings.
However, as players were eliminated and the numbers ticked down on the tournament clock, the final table soon became within sight. Alex Keating, Tony Miles, Davidi Kitai, and Jean Ferreira all fell short and it was Manuel Bardon who was eliminated on the final table bubble when his pocket kings were cracked much to the delight of Antonios Paschalidis.
Heading into the final table, Pauli Ayras and Reichenstein were sitting at the top of the counts which would prove pivotal in how the final table would shape out. Salter became the first casualty when his pocket fours got counterfeit against the ace-king of Hunichen. A double-paired board left Salter walking away in ninth place. It was moments later that Paschalidis saw his short stack diminish with king-jack against the pocket aces of Lander Lijo, leaving just seven players to head on a dinner break.
When the players returned from dinner, one of the largest pots of the tournament occurred right out of the gates between two of the chip leaders. Ayras and Reichenstein collided head-on in a massive pot that saw Ayras call off his stack with pocket aces on the river. Unfortunately for him, Reichenstein got frisky and floated on the flop only to make a runner-runner flush to eliminate Ayras in seventh place.
The next two eliminations occurred in back-to-back hands with Lijo losing a flip to Hunichen to wind up in fifth place. Following him to the payout desk was Tibor Nagygyorgy who remained fairly quiet at the final table but managed to ladder his way up to a fifth-place finish. Nagygyorgy was in a tough spot heading to the flop with ace-six against Andreas Berggren's pocket tens. A flopped full house was enough to put Berggren in the driver's seat, leaving just four players remaining.
At one point in the four-handed action, all four players were hovering around similar chip stacks until things took a turn for the worse for Pablo Melogno. After paying off Hunichen in one spot, Melogno was down to around 10 big blinds. He called a shove from Reichenstein and the rollercoaster of a hand began. Reichenstein flopped a pair with his two live cards but Melogno turned a larger pair. However, the river gave Reichenstein two pair and Melogno bowed out in fourth place.
Three-handed play continued for over 90 minutes with Hunichen running the show for most of the time. His continued aggression on the big stack took its toll on Berggren who dwindled down to under 15 big blinds. The Swede eventually shipped all in with queen-jack on the button but ran into the ace-queen of Reichenstein. Berggren was unable to come from behind and was eliminated in third place.
With such a large pay jump between first and second place, Hunichen and Reichenstein decided to run some numbers and work out a chop. After some discussion, the two players worked out a chip-chop and Hunichen was awarded the trophy as the current chip leader.
That wraps up the coverage from the PokerNews live reporting team at the 2019 PokerStars EPT Barcelona where champions were crowned and millions were earned. There are many other events still ongoing elsewhere so keep it locked here for all of your poker coverage.