Poker Coverage:

Ihar Soika Wins 2014 EPT Barcelona €10,300 High Roller

Belarusian Pro Defeats Jason Mercier Heads-Up To Win €747,200


Ihar SoikaThe 2014 European Poker Tour Barcelona has been a record-breaking affair. The 100th EPT festival saw a record turnout in the super high roller and the largest main event field in the tour’s history outside of the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure. Wrapping up the series was the €10,300 no-limit hold’em high roller, which also earned the distinction of the biggest field of it’s kind in EPT history when 393 players turned out to build a prize pool of more than €3.8 million ($5,072,968 in U.S. dollars.)

In the end Belarus’ Ihar Soika emerged victorious topping an accomplished final table to win his first live tournament title, the €747,200 first-place prize and 1,500 Card Player Player of the Year points.

Soika entered the final day in fourth chip position among the 21 players remaining, but had to outlast some top-quality opposition including Angel Guillen (21st – €34,300), Vladimir Troyanovskiy (20th – €38,100), Juha Helppi (17th – €42,000), Stephen Chidwick (7th – €125,600), Marc-Andre Ladouceur (6th – €168,600) and Ami Barer (4th – €276,900).

In the end it came down to a heads-up battle between Soika and American superstar Jason Mercier. Soika started the final showdown with more than a 2-to-1 chip advantage, and it didn’t take long before the final hand arose.

Jason MercierMercier opened for a min-raise to 400,000 form the button and Soika three-bet to 935,000. Mercier moved all-in for roughly 5.5 million total and and some thought Soika made the call with the ASpade Suit9Diamond Suit. Mercier was slighlty ahead in a classic race situation with his 6Heart Suit6Club Suit, but was unable to maintain his advantage when the board ran out AClub Suit10Heart Suit3Diamond Suit5Diamond Suit2Diamond Suit. With that Soika secured the pot and the title, sending Mercier to the rail in second place with €473,500 and 1,250 POY points. This was Mercier’s fifth final table showing of 2014 and as a result he has climbed to eighth place in the overall POY standings with 3,106 points and year-to-date earnings of $2,778,584.

Fourth-place finisher Ami Barer, who won the Aussie Millions main event for over $1.4 million in January and has now made three final tables since then, earned €276,900 and 750 points. As a result of his success on the tour this year he has moved into third place in the rankings with 3,580 points and year-to-date earnings of $1,930,121.

Here is a look at the payouts and POY points awarded at this final table:

Place Player Earnings (USD) POY Points
1 Ihar Soika $984,193 1500
2 Jason Mercier $623,682 1250
3 Ismail Erkenov $451,001 1000
4 Ami Barer $364,726 750
5 Benjamin Pollak $288,461 625
6 Marc-Andre Ladouceur $222,076 500
7 Stephen Chidwick $165,437 375
8 Carlos Chadha $119,731 250

Photos courtesy of PokerStars / Neil Stoddart.