€50,000 Super High Roller
€50,000 Super High Roller
Day 2 Completed

Negreanu and Kurganov Make Unofficial Final Table; Rudoy Bubbles on Day 2

Daniel Negreanu
Daniel Negreanu

The PokerStars Championship Barcelona €50,000 Super High Roller has reached an unofficial final table, and the world's leading online poker room certainly can't be accused of wasting sponsorship dollars when it comes to their high rolling poker pros.

PokerStars Team Pros Daniel Negreanu and Igor Kurganov have both advanced to the final nine after two days of play, with the money bubble bursting about an hour before it was time to bag up for the night.

For all his incredible poker credentials, Negreanu's $34 million in live cashes doesn't include a victory in a $50,000 buy-in or more, despite regular participation in these events. He's excited to try to remedy that situation on Monday, and he's confident as ever in victory.

"I'm making really good decisions," he said. "I played really good today in so many spots. I don't care about any finish except for first, and that's what I'm going for."

Negreanu added that he's been dreaming up some different ways to approach various poker situations. He said he's been attempting some "new, funky stuff" and it's been enjoyable to experiment with some different plays.

Kurganov, meanwhile, dropped to below the starting stack early in the day.

"From that moment I started seeing good hand and playing really well, making good bets, good bluffs," he said.

Of course, it helps to viciously cooler the opposition, and Kurganov did just that when he made mincemeat of start-of-day leader Adrian Mateos. Kurganov dropped the hometown hero under 20 big blinds when each player made aces full in a massive pot, with Kurganov's aces full of kings delivering a crushing blow to Mateos' aces full of queens.

The Russian pro admitted luck also smiled upon him in eliminating Dan Colman, as he said he made a straight in a key pot against the former One Drop champ and then finished him off with ace-queen against ace-king all in preflop.

At least Colman cashed in 10th, along with Isaac Haxton in 11th.

The same can't be said of Mikhail Rudoy, the unfortunate bubble boy in this prestigious event. The Russian high roller has had success in Barcelona before with a 10th-place finish in the EPT Main Event here back in 2014, but he'd be far less lucky on this occasion.

The brutal finish came when Rudoy opened for 150,000 at 25,000/50,000/5,000 and got three-bet by big stack Christopher Kruk. Rudoy responded with an all-in shove, as he held pocket kings, and Kruk put in the necessary calling chips with ace-queen.

The flop and turn were clean enough for the Russian, although he did see his Canadian foe pick up a gutter for a possible wheel. The river brought the ace that Rudoy dreaded from the start, and he walked away empty-handed, enabling short-stacked players like Haxton to sneak into the money.

Joining Negreanu, Kurganov and Kruk at the final table will be chip leader Koray Aldemir, Stanley Choi, Dietrich Fast, Bryn Kenney, Bartlomiej Machon and Ivan Luca.

Aldemir seeks to finish the job here after coming second in a $10K turbo to kick the series off.

Here's a look at how everyone is sitting with the final day — and blinds of 30,000/60,000/10,000 and a 12:30 p.m. start on tap:

1Stanley ChoiHong Kong2,055,000
2Igor KurganovRussia4,170,000
3Ivan LucaArgentina760,000
4Koray AldemirGermany4,540,000
5Dietrich FastGermany1,190,000
6Bryn KenneyUnited States740,000
7Christopher KrukUnited States3,610,000
8Daniel NegreanuCanada1,170,000
9Bartlomiej MachonPoland2,625,000

Tags: Daniel NegreanuIgor Kurganov

Mateos on the Gap in Skill Level Between Spanish Players

Adrian Mateos
Adrian Mateos

Poker is popular in Spain, there's no doubt about that. The €1,100 National Championship that preceded the Main Event at PokerStars Championship Barcelona attracted a record-breaking field of 4,557, the biggest in PokerStars history.

While the Spaniards love poker, people from around the world also still love to play against them. According to Adrian Mateos, one of the most famed and successful Spanish players in history before he's even exited his early 20s, that's because there's a lot of poker fans and poker enthusiasts, but not a whole lot of Spanish poker professionals.

"Poker in Spain has two different groups," he said. "There's a big difference between the players who live in Spain and the people who move to a different country to play."

With poker regulated in Spain, a secluded market emerged. Spanish players logging onto PokerStars.es can't play against players from other countries, similar to the situation in, for example, Italy. The result is a gap in skill level between those who stayed and played exclusively against Spanish players, and those who moved to battle the rest of the world from a different country.

"It's a big gap because you have to make a big decision if you want to play professionally and move, or stay home and play not that high," he said. "It's a big difference."

Adrian Mateos

All Time Money List:63rd        
Spanish All Time Money List:2nd        
GPI Ranking:5th        
Total Live Earnings:$9,200,682        

Mateos moved to London where he lives together with other Spanish poker players. A "grinders house," as he likes to call it. They eat, talk and breathe poker; their lives circle around the game.

"We live together and improve a lot," he said. "I think that's why professional Spanish players are really good. We play professionally and study a lot, it's normal that the gap with the rest exists. "

Mateos isn't just talking to Spanish players, he's also good friends with some of the other regulars on the circuit. The language barrier was a big hurdle to tackle, though.

When he won the Estrellas Main Event and WSOPE Main Event back in 2013, Mateos spoke hardly any English. But, he has improved a lot and now feels comfortable enough to be interviewed in English.

"Little by little, I try to improve my English so I can speak with more people," he said. "But I still spend the most time talking with Spanish players. Maybe that will change."

Six-figure live scores:

DateBuy InEventPosition Prize
October 2013€10,450WSOPE Main Event1st€1,000,000$1,351,661
May 2015€10,600EPT Monte Carlo Main Event1st€1,082,000$1,214,161
April 2017€50,000PokerStars Championship Monte Carlo Super High Roller1st€908,000$988,924
March 2017$50,000SHRPO Super High Roller2nd $413,567
June 2016$1,500WSOP Summer Solstice1st $409,171
June 2017$10,000WSOP Heads-Up Championship1st $336,656
July 2016$111,111WSOP High Roller for One Drop11th $310,550
May 2017$50,000Aria Super High Roller2nd $293,340
December 2016€25,500EPT Prague High Roller3rd€260,300$ 276,665
May 2017$100,000Aria Super High Roller7th $264,600
December 2016$25,000WPT Five Diamond High Roller2nd $247,680
December 2015€25,500EPT Prague High Roller4th€193,050$211,933
April 2016$10,000WPT Seminole Hard Rock4th $200,510
March 2017$25,000Aria High Roller2nd $186,000
January 2013€1,100Estrellas Main Event1st€103,053$137,247
July 2016$25,000Bellagio High Roller3rd $131,040
AUgust 2016€50,000EPT Barcelona Super High Roller12th€98,000$111,026
December 2016$25,000WPT Five Diamond High Roller6th $107,520

Tags: Adrian Mateos

Can Esfandiari Ever Fold Kings Pre-Flop to Dwan?


On a recent episode of the relaunch of Poker After Dark, fans saw a clash of titans when Daniel Negreanu, Antonio Esfandiari and Tom Dwan were dealt QQ, KK and AA respectively. Sarah Herring heads into the field at the PokerStars Championship in Barcelona to find out if is ever possible for Esfandiari to fold KK pre-flop in a deep cash game.

Tags: Antonio EsfandiariDaniel NegreanuTom Dwan

New Member of Team PokerStars Pro Jeff Gross


Jeff Gross is wearing so many hats these days it is hard to keep track of him. He is the newest member of Team PokerStars Pro. He is going to be commentating alongside Maria Ho on ClubWPT King of the Club. He is a member of StreamBoat. He has his own Twitch Stream, the Poker Flow Show. The list goes on and on. Where does he get the energy to maintain such a hearty schedule? Well it might be that he just completed a five-week fitness program with All American Dave.

Tags: Jeff GrossMaria Ho

Quan Zhou About Bubbling the WSOP Main Event: "I'm just disappointed in myself because I made a mistake"

Quan Zhou in the PokerStars Championship Barcelona €50,000 Super High Roller
Quan Zhou in the PokerStars Championship Barcelona €50,000 Super High Roller

Quan Zhou was the most infamous man in poker for a few hours in mid-July when he bluffed off a big stack on the stone bubble of the World Series of Poker Main Event. He spoke with PokerNews about what he was thinking during the hand and how he feels in the aftermath.

Tags: Davidi KitaiQuan Zhou

€1.135.500 Awaits the Winner


With 67 entries and 19 reentries, the total prize pool has come to €4,129,290. The top 11 players will get in the money, cashing for a minimum of €103,200. For some, that's not enough to get back in the black as there are multiple players in for 3 bullets wirth €50,000 each.

The winner walks away with €1.135.500. Here's the prize pool distribution. Updates can still be found on the PokerStars Blog.