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This Week’s Big Winner: Piotr Nurzynski Wins 2018 European Poker Tour Barcelona Main Event

by Julio Rodriguez |  Published: Oct 10, 2018

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The 2018 European Poker Tour Barcelona €5,300 no-limit hold’em main event attracted a record-breaking field of 1,931 entries, topping the previous high turnout of 1,785 set at this event in 2016. The gigantic turnout created a total prize pool of €9,365,350 ($10,882,982 USD), with the lion’s share of that money ultimately awarded to Piotr Nurzynski. The 28-year-old doctor from Poland won his seat into this event in a €250 online satellite on PokerStars. He took home €1,037,109 ($1,213,418 USD) as the champion of this event after striking a deal during four-handed play.

In addition to the money, Nurzynski also earned a Platinum Pass (a $30,000 value) for the 2019 PokerStars Players NL Hold’em Championship (PSPC), a gigantic $25,000 buy-in tournament taking place in the Bahamas next January. As the winner of this tournament, Nurzynski was awarded 2,160 Card Player Player of the Year points. This was his first POY-qualified score of the year, but it alone was enough to move the amateur player into 60th place in the overall POY race standings.

Here are five key hands that propelled Nurzynski to victory.

Tournament: EPT Barcelona Main Event
Buy-In: €5,300 ($6,159)
No. of Entries: 1,785
Prize Pool: €9,365,350 ($10,882,982)
1st Place Prize: €1,037,109 ($1,213,418)

The Action

With two tables left in play, Nurzynski raised to 200,000 on the button and was met with an all-in from Heath in the small blind for his last 1,855,000. Nurzynski immediately called with pocket aces, and Heath saw that he was in terrible shape with his KDiamond Suit QHeart Suit. According to the Card Player Poker Odds Calculator, Heath had less than a 13-percent chance at staying alive. Of course, that all changed with the flop of KSpade Suit QClub Suit JSpade Suit, giving Heath top two pair. Suddenly a 62-percent favorite, Heath’s advantage increased to 73 percent with the 2Diamond Suit on the turn. Unfortunately for him, the river was the 10Diamond Suit, giving Nurzynski the winning hand with a straight. Heath was eliminated in 12th place, while Nurzynski began his climb up the leaderboard.

The Action

Nurzynski raised to 350,000 and Wang called from the cutoff. Marques called on the button and then Clarke moved all in from the small blind for 4,480,000. Nurzynski made the call, prompting quick folds behind him from Wang and Marques. Nurzynski showed pocket aces, which were well ahead of Clarke’s pocket nines. The board ran out KClub Suit 6Diamond Suit 2Club Suit KSpade Suit JSpade Suit, and Nurzynski’s aces held to give him the big pot and the knockout. Marques had made a good fold with pocket tens, but Wang coincidentally held KDiamond Suit JDiamond Suit, which would have made a full house.

The Action

On the penultimate day of the tournament, Nurzynski raised to 350,000 from early position and Buckley called from the big blind. The flop fell JClub Suit 2Club Suit 2Diamond Suit and Nurzynski bet 300,000. Buckley then moved all-in for 2,500,000, and Nurzynski made the call with AClub Suit KClub Suit for two overs with the nut flush draw. Buckley had JHeart Suit 10Diamond Suit for top pair, but he was suddenly behind when the QClub Suit hit the turn. He busted when the 6Diamond Suit fell on the river, ending his tournament run in seventh place. He banked €220,000 ($257,400), while Nurzynski took the chip lead.

The Action

Short-stacked Tikerpe moved all-in for his last 3,975,000 and was called by Nurzynski in the cutoff. Tikerpe held AClub Suit KClub Suit, but was racing against Nurzynski’s pocket nines. The flop of 8Diamond Suit 3Spade Suit 2Spade Suit kept Nurzynski in the lead, and Tikerpe was left with just six outs after the 6Heart Suit hit the turn. The river was the QSpade Suit, and Nurzynski scooped yet another pot to take a massive lead into five-handed play. Tikerpe was sent to the rail in sixth place, earning €287,050 ($335,849).

The Action

After a back-and-forth heads-up battle, Nurzynski limped in on the button and Wang checked his option from the big blind. The flop came down ADiamond Suit KClub Suit 6Diamond Suit and Wang led out for 500,000. Nurzynski called and the turn was the 7Club Suit. This time, Wang checked, and Nurzynski bet 2,000,000. Wang called, and the river was the 4Diamond Suit. Wang checked, and Nurzynski moved in. Wang had no time-extension chips left, meaning he had just 30 seconds to make his decision. With the time nearly out, he made the call with KSpade Suit 2Diamond Suit for second pair, only to be shown AClub Suit 9Club Suit. Wang was eliminated in second place, taking home €1,023,701 ($1,197,730). Nurzynski earned the title, the trophy, and the €1,037,109 ($1,213,418) first-place prize.

Final Table Results

1. Piotr Nurzynski — €1,037,109 ($1,213,418)
2. Haoxiang Wang — €1,023,701 ($1,197,730)
3. Ognyan Dimov — €725,621 ($848,977)
4. Pedro Marques — €698,369 ($817,092)
5. Rodrigo Carmo — €354,200 ($414,414)
6. Matthias Tikerpe — €287,050 ($335,849)
7. Mark Buckley — €220,000 ($257,400)
8. Patrick Clarke — €155,000 ($181,350)
9. John Juanda — €118,265 ($138,370)