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Sebastian Sorensson Wins 2017 PokerStars Championship Barcelona Main Event

Swedish Semi-Pro Defeats Field of 1,682 To Win €987,043


Sweden’s Sebastian Sorensson is a semi-professional poker player. The 27-year-old warehouse worker participates in low-stakes games online. He won a €215 satellite into the 2017 PokerStars Championship Barcelona €5,300 buy-in, €7 million guaranteed no-limit hold’em main event and took a seat in a field of 1,682 entries. This was only his second time ever playing in a live poker tournament. Roughly a week after the first cards were dealt Sorensson emerged victorious as the champion of this event, securing the first-ever PSC Barcelona main event title and the top prize of €987,043 ($1,176,901 USD).

“When I arrived here and saw over a thousand people on the first day, I felt so intimidated. Then I reached the second day, the third day, the fourth day and so on and I asked myself: ’What’s going on?’” Sorensson told PokerStars reporters before contemplating whether or not to go pro after this massive score. “Do I continue working in a warehouse? I don’t think so.”

Coming into the final day Raffaele Sorrentino was the chip leader with six players remaining. Sorensson entered the final six with the second shortest chip stack, but was able to build his stack early on in the day. He and Brazilian poker pro Andre Akkari traded the lead a few times in the action packed final table before Akkari ultimately lost a blind-versus-blind showdown with his pocket fours being counterfeited on a 6Heart Suit6Club Suit5Spade SuitQSpade Suit5Club Suit run out. Wth that he was sent to the rail in fifth place, earning €319,760 ($379,120 USD). The very next hand Sorensson’s A-Q held up against the K-Q of Brian Kaufman Esposito to send him to the rail in fourth place €402,000 ($479,325 USD).

After some short handed action the final three players decided to discuss making a deal. Sorensson, Sorrentino and Lachezar Petkov agreed play for the title and €100,000 while apportioning the remaining prize money as follows:

Lachezar Petkov: €917,347
Sebastian Sorensson: €887,043
Raffaele Sorrentino: €850,110

Sorensson drew first blood, winning an all-in preflop race with pocket threes against Sorrentino’s AHeart SuitQDiamond Suit to send him to the rail in third place, taking a 4-to-1 lead into heads-up action against Petkov. The Bulgarian was able to mount an impressive comeback and even retake the lead, but Sorensson was able to quickly regain the momentum and close things out from there. By the time the final hand arose he held a 3-to-2 advantage. Petkov moved all-in from the button for around 11 big blinds and Sorensson quickly called with the AClub SuitKHeart Suit. He was dominating Petkov’s KClub Suit9Heart Suit, and took an even bigger lead when the flop brought the ASpade Suit3Club Suit2Diamond Suit. The JDiamond Suit on the turn secured the pot and the title for Sorensson, with the 10Spade Suit on the river being a mere formality. With that Petkov was eliminated in second place, earning the €917,347 ($1,093,799 USD) he had negotiaited in the deal.

Raffaele SorrentinoIn addition to the massive amounts of money awarded in this event there were also plenty of Card Player Player of the Year points on the line. Sorensson scored 2,160 points for the win, enough to see him catapulted into 53rd place in the standings despite no prior live cashes this year.

Third-place finisher Sorrentino earned 1,440 points for his fourth final table showing of 2017. His largest score came when he took down the PSC Monte Carlo €5,300 buy-in main event for $513,269 and 1,824 points. With 4,224 total points and year-to-date earnings of $1,621,325 he has climbed into second place on the Player of the Year leaderboard, which is presented in 2017 by the Commerce Hotel & Casino.

Here is a look at the payouts and POY points awarded in this event:

Place Player Earnings (USD) POY Points
1 Sebastian Sorensson $1,176,901 2,160
2 Lachezar Petkov $1,093,799 1,800
3 Raffaele Sorrentino $1,013,629 1,440
4 Brian Kaufman Esposito $479,325 1,080
5 Andre Akkari $379,120 900
6 Usman Siddique $300,472 720
7 Aeragan Arunan $230,124 540
8 Albert Daher $162,160 360

Photos courtesy of PokerStars / Neil Stoddart.