Laurent Polito Wins 2012 EPT Barcelona €10,000 High Roller

Laurent Polito

After three days of play in the 2012 European Poker Tour Barcelona €10,000 High Roller, France's Laurent Polito has emerged victorious. Polito defeated a field of 111 entries to take home the title, the Shamballa Jewels bracelet and €270,229 in prize money.

Season 9 EPT Barcelona €10,000 High Roller Final Table Results

1Laurent Polito€270,229*
2Alex Bilokur€295,451*
3Tobias Reinkemeier€119,660
4Stanislav Labutkin€95,180
5Carlos Mora€73,430
6Jean-Noel Thorel€54,390
7Bertrand Grospellier€43,150
8Joao Vieira€32,630

*Denotes two-player deal

On Thursday at noon, the €10,000 High Roller kicked off and a star-studded field of 101 players came out for action. After 10 players opted to use their one-time reload options, the generated prize pool turned out to be €1,087,800. Players such as Team PokerStars Pros Jason Mercier, Jonathan Duhamel, Pius Heinz, Angel Guillen and Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier were in the mix along with Scott Seiver, Philipp Gruissem and Dan Smith.

After a shortened schedule so that players could jet off to the Barcelona versus Real Madrid soccer match, 76 players remained. Taking the early chip lead was Taylor Paur as he built his starting stack of 50,000 up to 220,400 in chips, proving to be the only player able to finish over the 200,000-chip barrier.

On Friday's Day 2, the field needed to be cut down to the money, meaning it would be a long day. Of those to fall throughout the action were Mike Watson, Bryn Kenney, Andrey Pateychuk and Peter Jetten. Aforementioned Team Pros Mercier and Guillen were also eliminated on Day 2 with Guillen going first and Mercier hitting the rail just a few spots short of the money.

Mercier was eliminated by Andrew Lichtenberger with the blinds at 3,000/6,000/1,000. After Lichtenberger opened to 15,000 from the cutoff seat, Mercier reraised to 37,000 on the button. Lichtenberger four-bet to 62,000 and Mercier moved all-in. Lichtenberger called holding the {a-Spades}{q-Spades}. Mercier was at risk with {9-Hearts}{9-Spades}. The board ran out {a-Clubs}{k-Spades}{5-Spades}{5-Diamonds}{2-Hearts} and Mercier was out the door.

JC Alvarado was eliminated in 14th place and that put the tournament on the bubble. After a couple of bubble hands, Grzegorz Derkowski found himself all in with the {a-Spades}{10-Diamonds} versus the {a-Diamonds}{q-Clubs} for Polito. A board of {j-Diamonds}{5-Diamonds}{3-Spades}{8-Diamonds}{a-Hearts} spelled the end for Derkowski and the 12 remaining players hit the money and the end of the day.

Finishing on top of the final 12 players was Tobias Reinkemeier with 714,000 in chips. He was joined on Day 3 by Team Pros Grospellier and Duhamel, along with Kristijonas Andrulis, Lichtenberger and PCA $25,000 High Roller champion Alex Bilokur.

Entering Day 3, Polito began third in chips behind Reinkemeier and Bilokur. Together, the three of them made it down to three-handed play before Reinkemeier fell in third place, setting the stage for a heads-up clinic put on by Polito.

When the heads-up match began, Polito was down nearly one million in chips, but that didn't deter him from taking over the match. First, a deal was struck between the two whereby Bilokur would take home €295,451 and Polito €270,229, based on the chip counts. Left to play for was the title, the trophy and the Shamballa bracelet.

Nearly the entire match went Polito's way as he constantly had the upper or a better hand against Bilokur, especially at the showdown. Bilokur just couldn't get anything going and Polito stole the show by winning pot after pot. After taking the chip lead, Polito continued to take chunks from Bilokur before the final hand came up.

The final hand summed up the entire heads-up match altogether, as it was Polito who held the better of it when Bilokur put the money in. Bilokur moved all in with pocket nines, but Polito held two queens. No help came for Bilokur on the flop, turn or river as the board ran out {10-Clubs}{5-Diamonds}{4-Clubs}{7-Spades}{8-Diamonds} and he was eliminated in second place.

Before winning this event, the largest score of Polito's career was a third-place finish in a €550 Winamax Poker Tour event for €64,000. With over $450,000 in live tournament earnings on his record, Polito now has that distinguishable major tournament victory to help solidify his status.

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