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The first major event of the 2019 PokerStars.es EPT Barcelona festival has come to a conclusion at Casino Barcelona and it was Markku Koplimaa that claimed the title, trophy and top prize of €585,500 in the record-breaking €1,100 EPT National.
Throughout four starting days, a total of 4,682 entries emerged to create a stunning prize pool of €4,541,540 and the final table line-up included eight different nationalities.
Koplimaa defeated mixed game specialist Adam Hendrix in heads-up, who took part in his first-ever first-ever EPT and was railed on the final table by shooting star Ali Imsirovic as well as the WSOP bracelet winners Stephen Song and Yaser Al-Keliddar. While Hendrix may have missed out on the trophy, a maiden trip to Barcelona was sweetened with a payday of €346,500.
For 33-year-old poker pro Koplimaa, who has already racked up more than $7 million in cashes online, several milestones were set with the victory. He earned the biggest prize for a poker player from Estonia on the live poker circuit, became the number one on his country's all-time money list and crossed more than $1 million in live cashes. On his road to victory, Koplimaa was railed by fellow countrymen Ranno Sootla and Henri Kasper.
“It feels awesome, amazing, I don't have any words for it. It is a once-in-a-lifetime experience” an overwhelmed Koplimaa said in his interview after the victory before adding “You have grinded four long days and give it your everything, it is really hard to describe.“
When asked about the final table in general, he had the following to say.
“The final table was pretty tough but I had a chip advantage and could play more aggressive because there was a short stack. There were some really good players, and it is really good to have a lot of chips.”
Koplimaa's plans for the rest of the evening and the remainder of the festival are rather simple.
“Maybe drink one beer and relax, go out and celebrate a bit. I will play more poker here for sure, the Main Event and some other events. I came here to grind."
The final day also featured players from another four different countries in Eldaras Rafijevas, Matias Arosuo, Barry McGovern and Jose Quintas.
Final Result 2019 EPT Barcelona €1,100 National
|Place||Winner||Country||Prize (in EUR)||Prize (in USD)|
|2||Adam Hendrix||United States||€346,500||$386,734|
|7||Jai Saha||United Kingdom||€95,100||$106,143|
|8||Lawrence Whyte||United States||€67,500||$75,338|
|9||Jose Prieto Pulido||Spain||€54,670||$61,018|
The final day started with six players remaining out of the enormous field and six different nationalities were represented. Markku Koplimaa started in the top spot, just half a big blind ahead of Eldaras Rafijevas, and the early action was fast-paced and with several all-in showdowns in quick succession.
Very similar to the previous day, Barry McGovern dominated the early action and was also responsible for the first casualty. First, he nearly doubled his stack after jamming against Rafijevas on a queen-high board and then had the best of it with eights against the pocket fives of Jose Quintas.
But the Irishman, who was railed by his two brothers, took a big hit soon after when his ace-king failed to hold up against the ace-ten of Adam Hendrix as a ten appeared on the flop and river. Soon after, McGovern got it in with ace-nine for top pair and Koplimaa had the best of it with seven-six for two pair and a flush draw.
It was also Koplimaa that dominated the next part on the final table as he slowly but surely pulled into a commanding lead. Matias Arosuo was left short, doubled once only to bow down to the aggression of Koplimaa. It was no surprise that the Estonian dealt the final blow to Arosuo when he jammed with jack-nine into pocket treys and turned an unbeatable straight in a battle of the blinds.
The domination of Koplimaa continued as he maintained two-third of the chips in play with Rafijevas and Hendrix on the ropes. Both short stacks secured a double and Hendrix then doubled once more, through Rafijevas, to leave the Lithuanian short. A few minutes later it was all over for Rafijevas when his kings were cracked by the ace-five of Koplimaa.
Heads-up was a very brief affair and lasted all but 10 minutes. Half a dozen hands were played when Hendrix three-bet jammed for around 20 big blinds with king-five and Koplimaa snap-called with pocket eights. An eight came right away on the flop and the Estonian rail celebrated a few seconds later.
While the €1,100 EPT National has concluded, the action in Europe's biggest poker festival of the year is about to heat up further with the ongoing €100,000 Super High Roller, the €2,200 EPT National High Roller and the upcoming €5,300 Main Event. One year ago, a new record was set with 1,931 entries for the flagship event of the festival and with numbers up all across the board in the early events, that number may well be surpassed once more.
Stay tuned for all the action from the poker tables in Barcelona right here on PokerNews!
Pictures courtesy of Rene Velli / PokerStars.
The heads-up duel lasted fewer than 10 minutes and Markku Koplimaa has emerged as the winner.
In the final hand, Koplimaa raised the button to 2.7 million and Adam Hendrix jammed for around 25 million, which Koplimaa snap-called.
The flop gave Koplimaa top set and Hendrix needed a runner-runner miracle to keep his hopes alive. One of them came on the turn as another heart would ensure a split pot. However, the river gave Koplimaa a full house and Hendrix had to settle for 2nd place and a payday of €346,500.
Adam Hendrix limped from the small blind and Markku Koplimaa checked from the big blind.
The dealer fanned a flop of that was checked through to the turn. Koplimaa checked again and Hendrix bet 1,800,000. Koplimaa folded.
The cards are back in the air with some 24 minutes left in the current level. Markku Koplimaa holds a commanding lead, but Adam Hendrix has 26 big blinds at his disposal.
Eldaras Rafijevas moved all in from the button for 10,275,000 and Markku Koplimaa in the big blind asked for a count, then made the call.
The flop was no threat for Rafijevas yet but he fell behind on the turn to see his hopes reduced to two outs.
A blank followed on the river and Rafijevas was eliminated in 3rd place for €263,200. Adam Hendrix and Koplimaa will take a short break before starting the heads-up duel for the title.
Eldaras Rafijevas moved all in from the small blind for about 27,000,000 and Adam Hendrix called from the big blind, putting at risk his last 15,475,000.
The board came and Hendrix stayed ahead to double up.
Markku Koplimaa limped the small blind and Eldaras Rafijevas checked in the big blind. A bet of Koplimaa on the won the pot right there.
Rafijevas then raised to 2.6 million out of the small blind to force a fold from Adam Hendrix in the big blind.
Koplimaa raised the small blind to 3.7 million and Rafijevas jammed to win the pot.
Eldaras Rafijevas moved all in from the button for 8,925,000 and Adam Hendrix reshoved from the small blind for about 28,000,000. Markku Koplimaa folded from the big blind.
The runout was and Rafijevas doubled up.