FC Barcelona Star Gerard Piqué Wins €352,950 at EPT Barcelona, Arturo Vidal Cashes €134,460
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The first Single-Day High Roller of the 2019 PokerStars.es EPT Barcelona festival has come to an end with a familiar face of the High Roller circuit on the winner shot. Juan Pardo topped a field of 70 entries to take home the biggest share of the €1,680,700 prize pool, knocking out seven of the eight finalists to claim the top prize of €491,600.
However, the spotlight of the final table was on two football stars that currently play for FC Barcelona, both in action on the soccer pitch just the day previous. Gerard Piqué and Arturo Vidal were both part of the match squad that beat Real Betis Sevilla with 5-2 at the world-famous Camp Nou stadium with Vidal scoring once.
Just a day later, both showcased their talents at the poker table and stood their ground against some of the biggest names in poker and High Roller regulars to earn their portion of the seven-figure prize pool in the €25,000 Single-Day High Roller.
Arturo Vidal finished in fifth place for €134,460 and Piqué made it even further, as he came runner-up to Pardo for €352,950. It was the fifth cash of poker aficionado Gerard Piqué during PokerStars sponsored events at Casino Barcelona, and he has already racked up more than half a million in poker tournament cashes.
Michael Addamo finished third after a lengthy short stack battle and among those to cash were also Hirokazu Kobayashi, Kazuhiko Yotsushika, Ramin Hajiyev, and Joao Vieira. Bubble boy of the tournament was 2013 WSOP Main Event champion, Ryan Riess. Japanese star Gakuto "Gackt" Oshiro also took part in the event but busted before the money.
EPT Barcelona €25,000 Single-Day High Roller Results
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* Prize in $ via XE.com
Pardo was thrilled before the start of the final table and managed to get a group picture with both football stars before the action kicked off. The Spaniard, known under his online alias of Malakastyle, had taken a short vacation and returned to the live poker tables in style to secure another six-figure result.
Pardo: "I was like a little kid with Piqué and Vidal at the tables."
"I am obviously really happy, everything went my way," Pardo told Spanish poker media after his victory.
When asked about the experience with the football stars, Pardo had the following to say.
"I was like a little kid with Piqué and Vidal at the tables," and he also managed to send both of them to the rail on his road to victory.
Pardo started the final table second in chips trailing only Kazuhiko Yotsushika, but it didn't take long for the Spaniard to take over control. Mike Watson lost a flip to Pardo when he failed to hold up with eights against ace-king and Gerard Piqué was responsible for the second elimination when he got there with ace-queen against the eights of Joao Vieira.
A double-elimination cemented the status of overwhelming chip leader for Pardo soon after. Facing the open-shove of Kazuhiko Yotsushika and the all-in call of Ramin Hajiyev on the button, Pardo glanced at pocket kings in the big blind and had an easy call. Yotsushika tabled ace-eight, and Hajiyev turned over pocket jacks. Neither player got there as the tournament was down two players.
Arturo Vidal Finishes in 5th Place (€134,460)
Pardo also knocked out Arturo Vidal when he held with ace-king versus ace-nine. Hirokazu Kobayashi would be his next victim. Left short after a clash with Piqué, Kobayashi got it in with queen-six suited and Pardo called with king-queen to send the next opponent to the payout desk.
Gerard Pique Finishes in 2nd Place (€352,950)
Michael Addamo was a cat with nine lives on the final tables as he doubled several times through Pardo. Eventually, the Aussie could not come from behind once more with treys versus nines and Pardo set up a heads-up duel with his idol Piqué. It lasted just a few moments as the deuces of Pardo remained ahead of the ace-nine suited of Piqué despite the latter picking up a flush draw.
While Piqué and Vidal will be back on the training pitch soon, the poker and High Roller action at Casino Barcelona continues without a break, and the PokerNews team will be there to cover all the action from start-to-finish. Follow all EPT Barcelona live updates in the PokerNews Live Reporting section.