Vitalijs Zavorotnijs Wins WPT Barcelona Main Event (€600,000)
21 March 2019
PokerBrave (863 articles)

Latvia’s Vitalijs Zavorotnijs outlasted a field of 1,227 entries to win the WPT Barcelona €3,300 Main Event for €600,000 ($681,426), including a $15,000 seat to the Baccarat Crystal WPT Tournament of Champions.

“I know I can play well, but I also know you cannot win without luck, and I’ve had luck.”

This is the second big win for Zavorotnijs this year who now has more than $1 million in live tournament cashes. At the end of February, Zavorotnijs won the Kings of Tallinn €1,100 Main Event for €85,300 ($96,618), which at the time was his biggest live tournament cash to date.

“I haven’t changed how I have played this year, but I do feel more mentally prepared,” Zavorotnijs said to WPT after the event. “I know I can play well, but I also know you cannot win without luck, and I’ve had luck.”

The WPT Barcelona Main Event smashed its €3,000,000 guarantee with the 1,227 entries generating a €3,570,570 prize pool. This represents the second-largest WPT Main Event prize pool of Season XVII.

2019 WPT Barcelona Main Event Final Table Results

Position Winner Country Prize in € Prize $
1 Vitalijs Zavorotnijs Latvia €600,000 $681,426
2 Boris Kolev Bulgaria €375,000 $425,891
3 Eric Sfez France €281,570 $319,782
4 Niko Koop Germany €215,000 $244,178
5 Jerry Odeen Sweden €160,000 $181,714
6 Alain Zeidan Lebanon €120,000 $136,285

2019 WPT Barcelona Main Event Final Table Recap

The fifth and final day of the Main Event began with six hopefuls from six different countries competing for the lion’s share of the almost €3.6 million prize pool. Zavorotnijs entered the day with a small chip lead over France’s Eric Sfez.

Zavorotnijs’ lead didn’t last long as Sfez was able to surpass his opponent in chips during the opening hands.

Lebanon’s Alain Zeidan entered the final table with the shortest stack and his day was over in a flash after he was ousted in sixth place for €120,000 ($136,285). On the eighth hand of play, Zeidan jammed pocket nines and was unable to win the flip against Bulgaria’s Boris Kolev‘s ace-king.

The chip lead then bounced over to Kolev after he won another pot before Germany’s Niko Koop became the king of the hill.

On the 31st hand of the day, Sweden’s Jerry Odeen jammed a short-stack with queen-jack and got called by both Zavorotnijs with ace-five and Kolev with pocket tens. Kolev’s tens held strong, and Odeen was eliminated in fifth place for €160,000 ($181,714).

On the very next hand, Zavorotnijs doubled up with a straight against Koop with two pair to reclaim the chip lead for the remainder of the tournament. Two hands later, Zavorotnijs took the rest of Koop’s chips to eliminate his opponent in fourth place for €215,000 ($244,178). Koop three-bet jammed with ace-queen and couldn’t win the race against Zavorotnijs’s pocket tens.

Despite Zavorotnijs entering three-handed play with almost double the chips of both his opponents combined, it took another 30 hands for an elimination to take place. Kolev opened with ace-three before Sfez three-bet jammed with ace-nine. Zavorotnijs called with big slick and eliminated Sfez in third place for €281,570 ($319,782) after Kolev had folded.

“A mix of emotion and exhaustion. I’m really tired and really happy!”

Zavorotnijs entered heads-up play with a 3.5:1 chip advantage against Kolev. The heads-up action lasted just three hands after Zavorotnijs holding king-nine suited had a gut-shot and a flush draw on the turn against his opponent’s top pair with ace-queen when all the chips went in the middle. Zavorotnijs completed his flush on the river and eliminated Kolev in second place (€375,000/$425,891).

Zavorotnijs became the first Latvian WPT Main Event champion in the tour’s illustrious history, a dream coming true for Zavorotnijs.

“How I feel right now is hard to describe,” shared Zavorotnijs after the win. “A mix of emotion and exhaustion. I’m really tired and really happy! When you work hard for something, and it happens, to be in this spot right now, it feels like a dream come true.”

Zavorotnijs plans to enjoy a little bit of time with his family before hopping back to the felt: “I am now going to spend some more time with my wife, who won a satellite into the Main Event this week, and my four-year-old daughter,” said Zavorotnijs. “Then I will go to Vegas for the WPT Tournament of Champions.”