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Mikalai Pobal Wins EPT Barcelona Main Event

Belarusian Beats Finns For Memorable Million Dollar Final Table Triumph In Spain


Picture Courtesy of PokerStarsMikalai Pobal from Belarus has won Spain’s largest ever poker tournament, the PokerStars European Poker Tour Barcelona main event.

Pobal upset the odds to beat 1,081 opponents to take down the €1,007,005 top prize at Gran Casino in the Catalan capital including two Finns – Ilari “Ziigmund” Sahamies and Joni Jouhkimainen who claimed second and third respectively.

A staggered Pobal said afterwards, “I don’t believe that it’s happened to me. I’m really excited about it. It is my dream which came true.”

Both Sahamies, who was chip leader going into the final table, and 20-year-old Jouhkimainen had opportunities to win the event, the latter with 75 percent of the chips in play at one point before the former pushed his way to the front in a high-octane, drink fuelled final lap.

However Jouhkimainen was adamant the Finnish duo were just out to liven things up saying, "We tried to have fun with Ilari, and this Belarusian guy who won, he was taking it more seriously.

“But I don’t think drinking changed it too much. We were just trying to have some fun. It’s not too serious. It’s one million, but we just wanted to have some fun."

In the end it was easy for Pobal when Sahamies ran 9-5 into his aces and a third on the flop sealed the deal for the quiet yet determined Belarusian.

The final table payouts and CardPlayer Player of the Year points were:

1: Mikalai Pobal — €1,007,550 (1,920 POY points)
2: Ilari Sahamies — €629,700 (1,600 POY points)
3: Joni Jouhkimainen — €404,050 (1,280 POY points)
4: Anaras Alekberovas — €301,750 (960 POY points)
5: Samuel Rodriguez — €230,900 (800 POY points)
6: Sinel Anton — €178,400 (640 POY points)
7: Antonin Duda — €125,950 (480 POY points)
8: John Juanda — €76,100 (320 POY points)

Pobal jumps straight into Player of the Year consideration in 27th place while Sahamies moves up to 29th.