Although we had to wait a little longer than expected to find the new champion of Barcelona's World Poker Tour National, poker pro and international business student Edu Garcia Freixa finally managed to leave Casino Barcelona with the Main Event's title and a €50,000 first prize in his pocket.
Garcia Freixa's victory came one day later than planned, as record-breaking numbers and a marathon-like conclusive day convinced the organizers to give the players one more day of play and push the decisive hands to Monday, Oct. 20.
To put his hands on the prestigious trophy, Garcia Freixa had to survive a field of 515 players and a tough two-day-long heads-up match played against his friend and chip leader at the start of the final day, Josep María Galindo, who went home with a €33,000 prize for second place.
Final Table Payouts
|1||Edu García Freixa||€50,000|
|2||Josep María Galindo||€33,000|
|7||Mohammed El Mekssani||€6,400|
The action of what should have been the tournament's final day began on Sunday with 18 out of the 515 participants remaining. The group, led by Maria Galindo, started off at a pretty fast pace and managed to get down to the final table after only a handful of levels.
Once the last eight players in play took their new seats at the last table of the Main Event, it didn't take long for the Catalonian chip leader Galindo to use his stack to his advantage and pushed both Serges Saletic and Mohammed El Mekssani out of the event with €3,460 and €6,400, respectively.
Soon after, the two players were followed by Kfir Katz, who went out in sixth position for €9,700, Adán Soler in fifth place for €12,000, and France's Vicent Soubrie, who ended in fourth place for a €16,000 payday.
Soler's elimination led to an all-Spanish three-handed battle that involved Galindo, García Freixa, and Cristián Castro. Unfortunately, Castro's short stack did not survive to Galindo's thirst for chips and he was out third.
The heads-up match began in the early hours of Monday with Galindo holding the lead with 8,070,000 chips and García Freixa right behind him with a stack of 7,230,000.
As the action went on, it became clear that players were dug in, as 14 hours were spent at the table and it became apparent that the tournament may not come to an end anytime soon. The organizers and players agreed to head to their rooms for a good sleep and get back to it on Monday.
However, once the tournament restarted, it only took four hands until both players pushed all their chips in the middle to see García Freixa's prevail against Galindo's .
Right after the final hand, García Freixa commented on his victory, saying that the final table was " a crazy and very difficult [one]. Galindo and I are friends for over six years and we have shared a lot together. This made the heads-up extremely interesting."
Image courtesy of the World Poker Tour.