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Spain's Rodrigo Espinosa Wins PokerStars Marbella Festival Main Event

UKIPT Marbella

After five intense days of poker, and a great field that did not seem to suffer too much from the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas, Spain's Rodrigo Espinosa left the final table of the PokerStars Marbella Festival as champion of the United Kingdom and Ireland Poker Tour (UKIPT) / Estrellas Poker Tour (ESPT) €1,100 Main Event.

For Espinosa, who won his seat to the Main Event playing online on, the pleasure to see his name written in the history of the circuit and the €136,000 first prize came at the end of a five-hour long final table, one the shortest in the history of both the UKIPT and ESPT.

The tournament, which attracted big names like Ken Lennard, Ireland's Fintan Gavin, The Netherlands' Paul Berende and Team PokerStars Online Pros Dale Philip and Jake Cody, attracted a total of 750 players for an overall prize pool of €720,000.

The final table started on Sunday afternoon, with the last eight survivors led by the chip leader Katja Svendsen, closely followed by Rodrigo Espinosa.

Here is a look at the starting stacks at the beginning of the final table:

1Katja SvendsenNorway3,910,000
2Gareth HamiltonIreland590,000
3Marcin BarwinskiPoland1,055,000
4Rodrigo EspinosaSpain3,705,000
5Jake CodyUK1,600,000
6Daniel RodriguezSpain720,000
7Christian BauerGermany2,425,000
8Javier ElorzaSpain880,000

Considered by many to be one of the favorites to win the event, UKIPT regular and 2011 WSOP bracelet winner Jake Cody was instead the first one to leave the table after only one hour of play.

Cody busted to Espinosa as he found his {9-}{9-} beaten by {a-}{a-}. After his elimination, Cody decided not to prolong his stay in sunny Spain, and jumped on a plane to get back at the WSOP action in Las Vegas.

Shortly after, Poland's Marcin Barwinski hit the rail. Barwinski was sent home after an all-in preflop that saw his {qcjd} dominated by Gareth Hamilton's {a-Spades}{j-Hearts}. The board ran out {8-Clubs}{k-Clubs}{2-Clubs}{k-Diamonds}{4-Spades} and Barwinski exited.

Less than 30 minutes later, Spain's Daniel Rodriguez abandoned his dreams of success in a hand played against Germany's Christian Bauer. Bauer raised to 120,000 from under the gun, Rodriguez answered with a three-bet all-in for 940,000 with {8-Spades}{8-Diamonds}, and the German instantly called to reveal{q-Clubs}{q-Diamonds}.

Unfortunately for Rodrigues, the {4-Spades}{j-Diamonds}{5-Spades}{k-Diamonds}{2-Diamonds} board kept Bauer's queens ahead.

The next who made his way to the cashier to collect his €35,150 prize was Ireland's Gareth Hamilton, who fell victim of a terrible board.

All-in pre-flop with {k-Diamonds}{k-Clubs}, Hamilton found a call from Espinosa with {a-Diamonds}{8-Diamonds}, and although the {4-Spades}{9-Hearts}{10-Diamonds} flop seemed to go exactly in the direction he wanted, the combination of a {j-Diamonds} on the turn and a {6-Diamonds} on the river gave Espinosa an unexpected flush that ended up costing Hamilton his tournament.

As the final table continued, Spain's Javier Elorza left the table after an all-in pre-flop that saw his {k-Clubs}{7-Hearts} beaten by Christian Bauer's {a-Diamonds}{k-Diamonds}.

Once the action was down to three players, Norway's Katja Svendsen was forced to abandon the dream of becoming the first woman to ever win a UKIPT.

Svendsen got into a raising war against Espinosa on a {9-Diamonds}{10-Spades}{3-Diamonds} flop that ended up with the Norwegian player going all-in with {8-Diamonds}{6-Diamonds} and Espinosa calling with a {k-Diamonds}{k-Hearts}. The kings managed to survive through the turn and the river and Svendsen was eliminated in third place.

The heads-up match started with Espinosa holding a massive 11.525 million to 3.360 million chip lead, and lasted for only five hands.

The decisive hand started with a 225,000 raise by Espinosa which was called by Bauer. After the flop came {9-Spades}{k-Spades}{6-Hearts}, Bauer checked to his opponent. Espinosa bet 255,000 and Bauer check-raised to 825,000. Espinosa then decided to put his opponent all-in, and Bauer called.

Bauer: {k-Clubs}{3-Clubs}
Espinosa: {9-Hearts}{7-Spades}

Espinosa was still behind Bauer when the turn came {2-Diamonds} but, as it previously happened in the hand the Spaniard played against Hamilton, a {7-Clubs} on the river changed everything and crowned Espinosa with the title of Marbella's UKIPT / ESPT Main Event champion.

Here are the final results from the UKIPT / ESPT Marbella Main Event:

1Rodrigo EspinosaSpain€136,000
2Christian BauerGermany€82,900
3Katja SvendsenNorway€58,700
4Javier ElorzaSpain€44,450
5Gareth HamiltonIreland€35,150
6Daniel RodriguezSpain€26,550
7Marcin BarwinskiPoland€19,050
8Jake CodyUK€13,030

Photo courtesy of the PokerStars Blog

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