The biggest European Poker Tour event of all time has been won by one of poker's greatest talents. After a hard-fought battle at a very tough final table, one other than John Juanda defeated a field of 1,694 players to take home the first-place prize of €1,022,593 and his first EPT title.
Juanda already had a runner-up finish on the EPT, losing heads up to David Vamplew in Season 7 for £545,000. This epic victory puts Juanda ninth on the all-time money list with over $17 million in career earnings. Here is how it all played out.
The final table started with Denys Shafikov as the overwhelming chip leader, and his dominance continued until four-handed play. Shafikov would last for quite a while, but the same couldn't be said for Victor Bogdanov. Bogdanov busted on the very first hand with versus Frederik Jensen's , and the Russian player took home €104,000.
A few hands later, Juanda won a massive coin flip with against Andreas Samuelsson's queens to put himself in second place.
Mario Sanchez was the next player out when he called Jensen's shove on the river with a straight, but the Danish pro had made the nut flush to send him packing.
On the very next hand, it was Amir Touma who got knocked out, as the Lebanese player could not mount a comeback from his last few big blinds. Touma lost with to Juanda's pocket threes and collected €194,100.
Not too long after this hand it was time for the Swede, Samuelsson, to take a chance. Unfortunately for him, he chose wrong. Samuelsson ran with off suit into Steve Warburton's aces, and his tournament run ended in sixth place for €253,900.
Almost 40 hands later, it was Rainer Kempe who hit the rail in fifth place. Kempe showed some real poise, but in the end the cards did not fall his way. Kempe got it all in with against the of Shafikov, who flopped trip queens. Kempe took home €320,400 and then there were just four contenders left.
At this point of the final table, Shafikov regained the lead, and it took a very unlucky situation for him to lose that spot at the top. Jensen ended up all in for his tournament life with tens against Shafikov's aces, and the river brought a narrow escape for the former EPT winner, as the hit.
That river card changed everything, as Shafikov was now all of a sudden the short stack. A few hands later, the once dominant Ukrainian hit the rail when he couldn't win with versus the of Juanda.
Right after Shafikov got knocked out, a deal was made, with the following numbers as a result:
|Player||Amount Guaranteed After Deal||Original Payout|
During the three-handed battle, it was Juanda who chipped up nicely, while Warburton was struggling the most. The third player involved, Jensen, was the one who hit the rail, after an epic hand against Juanda. Juanda check-raised the turn, and shoved the river when he hit a full house. Jensen analyzed the hand for over six minutes, and ultimately he decided that his second pair could be good.
Jensen called, mucked, and hit the exit, leaving the match between the youngster, Warburton, and the seasoned veteran, Juanda.
Warburton was at a big disadvantage, but one double up with against put him right back in it. The young Brit wasn't able to enjoy his comfortable stack for long, though, as he ran pocket eights into Juanda's pair of queens. Juanda celebrated excitedly with Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier and his girlfriend, as he raised his arms aloft.
With that, the 2015 EPT Barcelona festival came to a close. It was an amazing event with records broken at every turn. The next stop will be in Malta in October, and we'll see you there. Until then, goodnight and good luck from the PokerNews team.