He was down to 1 big blind on Day 1 but came back. He beat aces with ace-queen and tens with nines. It was his first live tournament ever, and he won. Today, nothing or nobody could stop Pedro Cairat from Argentina. Cairat took home €432,178 after winning the PokerStars National Championship Barcelona, the largest live tournament in PokerStars history.
"This was the most stressful time of my life!"
A massive 4,557 entries were made into the single reentry €1,100 PokerStars National Championship Barcelona. The big event preceding the PokerStars Championship Barcelona Main Event got underway August 16th and had its final day today with 12 players coming back. The majority of the €4,420,290 prize pool was still up for grabs, €575,000 was set aside for the winner.
Just after noon, the 12 remaining players gathered for the last time in Casino Barcelona. Within 2.5 hours, the tournament was down to the official final table of 8. Belgian EUREKA and FPS champion Bart Lybaert had the lead, closely followed by Brian Kaufman.
Still, Kaufman would be first to go. First, he doubled Marius Gicovanu. Kaufman three-bet pre and triple barreled on a board not higher than a nine. Gicovanu called all the way with queens and turned out to be right as Kaufman had nothing but an unimproved ace-jack high. Kaufman busted not much later as he, short, found ace-jack again and shoved. Gicovanu called with kings and the board came nothing but irrelevant low cards.
The player from Uruguay was followed out the door by Dylan Kehoe. The Irishman got it in short with jack-eight against the ace-queen of Bart Lybaert and the latter hit a queen on the flop to even improve his hand. The turn gave Kehoe a gutshot but he ended up with nothing as the river bricked.
Six minutes later, Angel Blanco joined them on the rail as he ran king-queen into the queens of Lybaert. Agnius Ismailovas fell victim to Pedro Cairat as he got it in with aces against a flush draw. The king of spades on the turn was fatal for Ismailovas, no way of improving anymore against the flush of Cairat.
It didn't take long for Cairat to claim another victim. This time, Nikolaos Lampropoulos was the unlucky one. The player from Greece got it in with tens against the nines of Cairat but a nine on the river did him in.
Down to just 3 players after only a couple hours of play, the remaining players decided to take a look at the numbers. Marius Gicovanu demanded €5,000 above the ICM numbers and got what he asked for, just €30,000 and the trophy remained there to play for.
Three-handed changed nothing to Cairat's good run. He first finished Lybaert with a set against top-pair and top kicker. Not much later, he beat Gicovanu with ace-king pre-flop all in against ace-ten. Neither player improved and Cairat fell on his knees and cried his eyes out so happy he was.
"This was the most stressful time of my life!" Cairat said afterward about the final table. The amount of stress was only matched by the amount of run good he had this tournament. He told PokerNews about being down to 1 big blind on Day 1 and down to 3 big blinds just before the money. He came back both times and crushed the final table to go home the richest. "I felt more secure after each level today. I had the luck of a champion, and also good timing."
Cairat had no idea yet what he was going to do with the money, he was overwhelmed by emotions and couldn't stop crying out of happiness. "It's too difficult to think now."
He celebrated with his friends, getting multiple rounds of applause from the other players in the tournament room.