This five day €10,000 extravaganza of tournament poker has ended after a whirlwind final table that crowned Ivan Freitez champion of the 2011 PokerStars.com EPT Grand Final at the Casino Gran Madrid. His €1,500,000 first prize represents one of the largest on offer in the European poker world, gained after besting one of the toughest fields seen on the circuit this year.
The first try at streaming from a final table, on the day, with the players' hole cards on display for the world to watch on TV and the internet was a huge success, the added frisson of seeing what the last four players saw adding to the drama of this high-stakes final.
Before that stage, both two remaining PokerStars Team Pros Alex Gomes and Juan Maceiras made their exits, as did popular American online players Eugene Yanayt and Andrew Li. No one left this final without a six figure payday, lessening the pain of elimination with the trophy in sight.
With the world watching, Andrey Danilyuk raced his way out in 4th place, his short stack no match for Freitez who not only busted him but won 8 out of the first 9 hands with a headlong show of aggression. Picking up many a preflop ace, one in particular helped him on the way to victory - the one falling on the flop when he had Tamas Lendvai all-in preflop with nines vs. his . Spiking to eliminate Lendvai, he went into heads up monstrously stacked, and despite doubling up Torsten Brinkmann at one point, had clinched the victory within a level.
This tournament, hosted in the glamorous surroundings of the Casino Gran Madrid, was a fitting end to Season 7 of the EPT. Tomorrow, however, the first ever Champion of Champions tournament will provide the cherry on the icing on the cake, as every winner of an EPT has been invited to participate in a €100,000 freeroll, live in Madrid. An event which has broken ground in so many areas will end with a bang tomorrow, and the beginning of Season 8, we bid you adieu.