The final table for the 2019 PokerStars European Poker Tour Barcelona Main Event is set! The penultimate day saw a field of 16 out of a record-breaking field of 1,988 being reduced to its final six. It took the span of two full levels before the first player of the day was eliminated, and ultimately just shy of five full levels to bag up for the day.
For each of the six remaining finalists, their dream run has already resulted in a gigantic slice of at least €295,520 out of the €9,641,800 prize pool. However, the ultimate prize awaits on Sunday, September 1, when cards go back into the air at noon and a life-changing amount of €1,659,000 awaits the eventual champion.
Coming in with the most chips is Sweden's Simon Brandstrom, who will start off with a stack of 18,500,000 — or 74 big blinds. The 37-year old Brandstrom, who played as Simon Persson until 2016 before taking on his wife's last name, will smash his previous best score of €187,880 and surpass his $1M in lifetime winnings according to The Hendon Mob.
Following Brandstrom in the counts is Marton Czuczor from Hungary, who will bring 14,445,000 into the final day. The final table is rounded out by Day 4 chip leader and PokerStars online qualifier Rui Sousa (9,100,000) from Portugal, Brazil's Diego Falcone (8,600,000) and the two short stacks, China's Yunye Lu (4,500,000) and Giovani Torre (4,450,000), making it two Portuguese players left with a chance at the title.
Poker veteran Johan Storakers, who's been cashing poker tournaments since 1998, narrowly missed out on the final day, finishing in seventh for €226,490. Others to final table but miss out on top six were Pasquale Braco (8th - €159,580) and Kully Sidhu (9th - €121,760). Alexander Ivarsson, roommates with Brandstrom here at the EPT, won the €2,200 EPT National High Roller earlier this week for nearly €500k and added €101,820 for his tenth-place finish. Well-known American poker pro Shannon Shorr made his exit in 15th place (€81,130).
2019 EPT Barcelona Main Event Final Table Seating and Chip Counts
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*Big Blinds based on 125,000/250,000 with a big blind ante of 250,000
Brandstrom Catapults from Short Stack to Top
Brandstrom started the day off in the bottom part of the standings and remained there during the first few levels of the day, even dropping to dead last after the second level. The Swede then started his journey from rags to riches by winning aces versus Shannon Shorr's queens before taking down his right-hand neighbor Balakrishna Patur to become a force.
Patur, certainly one not to shy away from a bold bluff, held the chip lead early in the day but lost it after losing two big pots in a row against Brandstrom. After the third break, Brandstrom finished what he started and laid a trap for Patur with pocket aces, one that proved fatal for the American playing in his first EPT.
With his newfound chips, Brandstrom began the final table as the chipleader after his roommate and fellow Swede Ivarsson bubbled the final table. After using his lead to chip up a bit, he then felted fellow countryman Storakers with ace-ten versus queens in what would be the final hand of the night. An ace flopped to end it for Storakers and give Brandstrom a sizable lead into the biggest final table of his career.
Czuczor Gets Second Shot at EPT Glory
While Brandstorm had to work the short stack for quite a while, Czuczor amassed the lead at the other table during the second level of the day after Jiayuan Liu ran a daring bluff that came up short. Liu subsequently busted out in 14th place shortly after.
With the massive double-up, the 29-year old professional from Budapest, Hungary, started wielding his big stack as a sledgehammer, ultimately pounding his way to second place on the leaderboard. Czuczor will get a rare second shot at an EPT Main Event title after finishing second to Jasper Meijer van Putten in the EPT13 Prague Main Event.
Czuczor has both the stack and the experience to go all the way this time. Just three months ago, Czuczor finished third in a €25K High Roller at the EPT Monte Carlo, and with a decade of experience to look back to the Hungarian will be among the favorites to capture his long-awaited first EPT-title.
Portugal Brings Two, Lu and Falcone Round it Out
Portugal will have two irons in the fire when action resumes as both Rui Sousa and Giovani Torre are representing the Bandeira das Quinas. Sousa started the penultimate day as the chip leader and scored a double knockout at the final table to launch himself back up the leaderboard, while Torre will begin as one of the two shortest stacks. Portugal has had two previous EPT Champions but it's been 10 years since the last one — Antonio Matias — was crowned.
The final table is rounded out by Yunye Lu, a 41-year old investment analyst and former professional poker player from China (now residing in Hong Kong), and Diego Falcone. Just 21 years of age, the Brazilian has a Spanish grandfather and resides in Malaga, Spain. Falcone is passionate about the game, splitting his time between grinding online in Brazil and playing live in Spain, and can claim the glory if he's to top the biggest EPT Main Event of all time.
All six finalists will be back at noon in Casino Barcelona to play the remaining 45 seconds of Level 32. The blinds will then move up to 100,000/250,000 with a 250,000 big blind ante. Make sure to come back to PokerNews and not miss any of the action as the 2019 EPT Barcelona Main Event champion will be crowned!