2018 EPT Barcelona: Online Qualifier Piotr Nurzynski Wins Main Event, Max Silver Takes High Roller
5 September 2018
PokerBrave (1135 articles)

It was a busy Sunday around the Casino Barcelona in Spain as the European Poker Tour concluded its stop on the sunny shores of the Mediterranean. In the €5000 Main Event, an online qualifier from Poland, Piotr Nurzynski, captured the championship while, on another patch of baize in the tournament arena, high stakes player Max Silver emerged as the champion of the €10,000 High Roller.

Record Attendance Fuels Million Euro First Place Prize

A 1931 entry field had been whittled to the final six by Sunday afternoon, vying for the biggest chunk of the €9,365,350 pie that was served to the Barcelona combatants. It was an entirely European affair as five of the six seats were taken by European players. The only seat that wasn’t taken by someone from the Old Continent was the chip leader Haoxiang Wang, who came to the table with 16.2 million chips. Nurzynski was in second on the ladder with his 15.425 million in chips, while Bulgaria’s Ognyan Dimov (10.125 million), Estonia’s Matthias Tikerpe (7.1 million), and Portugal’s Pedro Marques (6.95 million) and Rodrigo Carmo (two million) rounding out the field.

Nurzynski and Wang were the two dominant stacks at the start and, as it would prove out, would use that chip dominance to work to heads up play. Nurzynski took out Tikerpe in sixth place and Wang knocked off Carmo in fifth before things ground to a bit of a halt. The four competitors stopped the action at this point to discuss a deal and, after around ten minutes of discussion, cut up the remaining prize pool as such:

Wang – €1,023,701
Nurzynski – €857,109
Dimov – €725,621
Marques – €698,369

Saving back €180,000 plus the Platinum Pass to the PokerStars Players’ Championship, the quartet went back to battle. Wang continued to pound the table at this point, ending Marques’ tournament in fourth place when his pocket tens survived the race against Marques’ A♣ 3♣. The situation would get even better for Wang when he knocked off Dimov in third place, taking a more than 3:1 lead to heads up against Nurzynski.

The tide turned after about 20 minutes of heads up play. Nurzynski got a double up when his pocket Kings stood tall against the open-ended straight draw of Wang, then pulled into the lead in winning the next two hands. The duo would battle it out for another 90 minutes before the penultimate hand came to pass.

Nurzynski called the big blind and Wang checked to see a 6-K-A flop. Wang, holding a K-2, opened up with a bet and Nurzynski, sitting on an A-9, smooth called. A seven on the turn saw Wang slow down a bit with a check, but he then would call Nurzynski’s two million chip bet. A four on the river locked up the hand for Nurzynski and, after Wang checked, he put Wang to the test by moving all in. With no time bank chips left, Wang was down to the final seconds on his clock before making the call and seeing the unfortunate news as Nurzynski took the championship.

1. Piotr Nurzynski, €1,037,109*
2. Haoxiang Wang, €1,023,701*
3. Ognyan Dimov, €725,621*
4. Pedro Marques, €698,369*
5. Rodrigo Carmo, €354,200
6. Matthias Tikerpe, €287,050

(* – reflects four-way deal)

Silver Strikes Gold in High Roller

In one of the biggest High Roller events you’re likely to see anywhere, Germany’s Max Silver emerged as the champion of the second €10,000 High Roller on the EPT Barcelona schedule.

A field of 439 entries, rivaling the size of some Main Event fields, made the second Barcelona €10K event a notable exercise. Another deal was reached during this event, with Silver, Norbert Szecsi and Joris Ruijs cutting up the remaining money by chip counts. This ensured that the payouts would look as such:

Szecsi – €626,357
Silver – €540,924
Ruijs – €488,819

Within a half hour of the deal, Silver had the champion’s trophy in his hand. Silver knocked off Ruijs in third place when he miraculously rivered a Wheel straight after Ruijs had flopped two pair, then set his sights on Szesci. On the final hand, Silver had Szecsi dominated, his pocket tens over Szecsi’s pocket treys, and the 80/20 favorite held on the run of the K-9-4-J-J board to give Silver the High Roller championship.

1. Max Silver, €600,924*
2. Norbert Szecsi, €626,357*
3. Joris Ruijs, €488,819*
4. Richard Kirsch, €295,960
5. Orpen Kisacikoglu, €232,080
6. Cord Garcia, €181,830
7. Zhong Chen, €136,700
8. Niall Farrell, €97,100

(* – reflects three-way deal)