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Mario Lopez Wins Record Estrellas Barcelona Main Event at EPT, €408,000

Mario Lopez


  • Mario Lopez adds the Estrellas Barcelona Main Event title at the EPT to his earlier LAPT Main Event win in Chile.

  • A record field of 3,292 played ESPT Barcelona, with Mario Lopez taking the trophy and $408,000 first prize.

After winning a Latin American Poker Tour title in Chile a year-and-a-half ago then finishing second of 4,555 in the 2015 World Series of Poker $1,111 Little One for One Drop, the Argentinian Mario Lopez on Monday added another title and big score by taking down the €1,100 buy-in Estrellas Barcelona Main Event. Lopez bested a record-breaking field of 3,292 players to win the title, earning a €408,000 prize after making a heads-up deal at the final table.

EPT Estrellas Barcelona Main Event Final Table Results

1Mario LopezArgentina€408,000*
2Jonn ForstAustria€338,000*
3Knut NystedtNorway€168,000
4Jose Carlos GarciaPoland€139,500
5Eduard SanchezSpain€116,540
6Kondah AbdelhadiMorocco€93,600
7Simon SennhauserSwitzerland€71,400
8Daniel SellesSpain€52,100

*Denotes a two-handed deal.

An exciting finish culminated an intense week of poker in the ESPT Barcelona event that helped mark the beginning of Season 12 of the European Poker Tour and the conclusion of Season 6 of the Estrellas Poker Tour.

Jonn Forst had the chip lead to start the final table, having taken it away from Jose Carlos Garcia with two tables left. Garcia built his chips up again, however, and had a big stack when a key hand with four players left at the final table played out between him and Lopez.

That’s when the young Polish player attempted a big river bluff on a {9-Diamonds}{5-Hearts}{J-Clubs}{5-Diamonds}{3-Clubs} board versus Lopez, making a large overbet representing more than Lopez’s stack. Lopez found a call and showed {Q-Diamonds}{9-Spades} for nines and fives, while Garcia had {7-Spades}{4-Clubs} after having barreled all three postflop streets.

That key hand of the final day came after other exciting hands including an {A-Hearts}{K-Diamonds} vs. {A-Clubs}{A-Diamonds} vs. {K-Diamonds}{K-Hearts} hand at the very start resulting in the elimination of Daniel Selles in eighth.

Then Simon Sennhauser got kings cracked (again) to finish seventh, Kondah Abdelhadi went out in sixth with pocket tens versus pocket deuces after flopping a set and losing to a four-card straight, and Eduard Sanchez fell in fifth when his {A-Diamonds}{8-Hearts} couldn’t hold against {A-Hearts}{7-Diamonds}.

Garcia followed in fourth, matching his finish in the LAPT Bahamas event at the 2015 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure. Garcia also final tabled the EPT Grand Final in Monaco in May where he took fifth.

The final three players — Lopez, Forst, and Knut Nystedt — tried to negotiate a possible deal on multiple occasions, but never could come to terms.

Then Nystedt fell in a hand to Forst, yet another example of the better preflop hand coming up short as Nystedt’s {A-Diamonds}{10-Clubs} couldn’t hold against Forst’s {A-Spades}{7-Clubs}, a seven coming on the river to knock out Nystedt in third.

That hand gave Forst the smallest possible lead to begin heads-up play with 41.1 million to Lopez’s 40.9 million. They agreed to an even chop, leaving €70K for which to play, and Lopez eventually chipped up then knocked out Forst with {A-Spades}{Q-Clubs} versus the latter’s {A-Diamonds}{6-Hearts}.

The victory carries Lopez’s career tournament earnings up over $1.4 million.

For a fourth straight year, the ESPT Barcelona event outdrew the previous year’s version of the same event by around 800 players. Here are the turnouts and prize pools for each of the last four ESPT Barcelona Main Events, which has remained a €1,100 buy-in freezeout (no reentry) throughout:

Event (Year)PlayersPrize Pool
EPT9 / ESPT3 (2012)1,036€1,004,940
EPT10 / ESPT4 (2013)1,798€1,734,090
EPT11 / ESPT5 (2014)2,560€2,483,200
EPT12 / ESPT6 (2015)3,292€3,193,240

A full week’s worth of events still remain to be played at the Casino Barcelona this week, highlighted by the €5,300 Main Event that started today. Follow PokerNews’ live reporting from the EPT Barcelona Main Event and all of the high rollers playing out this week.

Photo courtesy René Velli of the PokerStars Blog.

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Mario Lopez Wins Record Estrellas Barcelona Main Event at EPT, €408,000 101

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