The Estrellas Poker Tour Barcelona Main Event reached a conclusion Monday night with Mohamed Samri of France besting a record-breaking 3,447-player field and tough final table to win the €1,100 buy-in event and a €353,200 prize following a heads-up deal.
Samri only led briefly during three-handed play on the way to his victory, having started heads-up at a deficit to the Dutchman Teunis Kooij who took away a larger share of the prize pool — €372,060 — thanks to the chop. Those two had to outlast a formidable foe as well in the United Kingdom’s Chris Moorman. The online legend began the final day with the chip lead and also led during three-handed play, but Kooij and then Samri were each able to outlast him as he finished third.
|3||Chris Moorman||United Kingdom||€241,300|
Barcelona is the final stop of Season 7 of the ESPT, coinciding with the PokerStars.es European Poker Tour Barcelona festival with numerous cross-listed events. The 3,447 players who took part in the ESPT Barcelona Main Event — all uniques, as the tournament was a freezeout with no reentries — broke last year’s record of 3,292 and created an overall prize pool of €3,343,590 split between the top 695 finishers.
From three three Day 1 flights, 862 made it through to Day 2 on which the cash bubble burst early. Several notables would make the money over the next two days leading up to the final. Looking just inside the top 100, cashers included Louis Salter (24th - €10,930), Daniel Strelitz (25th - €10,930), Luc Greenwood (29th, €8,430), Christopher Frank (36th - €6,760), Christian Jeppsson (51st - €5,280), Scott Margereson (66th - €4,260), Rodrigo Strong (76th - €3,390), Carter Swidler (94th - €3,390), and Joao Vieira (96th - €2,690).
As noted, Moorman emerged as chip leader of the nine players making the final day, with Samri being one of the several short stacks. 2016 Irish Open winner Daniel Wilson was the first out in ninth, then the Dutch player Kooij eliminated both Lars Farsted in eighth and Jerome Brion in seventh to take over the chip lead.
Moorman next eliminated Jean-Marc Bellini in sixth with kings versus ace-jack, then Marius Enebakk in fifth with versus . In the latter hand, the chips went in on the turn with the board queen-high, then a river ten sunk Enebakk.
After Kooij then took the last of Nicholas Newport’s short stack to send him out in fourth, he and Moorman fought for the chip lead during three-handed play while Samri continued to battle with the short stack. Samri managed a big double-up through Moorman when his pocket nines held against Moorman’s ace-ten — edging ahead of Moorman and Kooij — then came the pivotal hand of the final table.
It began with Moorman slightly ahead of Kooij in chips and opening from the button, then Kooij three-bet from the small blind. When the action got back to Moorman he jammed all in, and Kooij called right away with . Moorman showed he had , and when the queens held Moorman was down to just over three big blinds, which he subsequently lost to Kooij on the next hand.
Kooij and Samri immediately struck a deal (going with the proposed ICM numbers), leaving €12,000 for which to play along with the trophy. Kooij had 55 million to Samri’s almost 31 million to start heads-up play, but Samri quickly doubled up with deuces versus ace-queen, then won the last all-in when Kooij commited on the turn with a flush draw against Samri’s top pair and the river blanked.
It was by far the biggest win in Samri’s career, as he only had less than $4,000 worth of tournament cashes previously. It was also Kooij’s first cash reported by Hendon Mob. Meanwhile the 888poker Ambassador Moorman pushed his live tournament earnings total up over $4.4 million to go along with his more than $13 million in online tournament winnings.
Photo courtesy PokerStars Blog/René Velli.
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