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Benjamin Pollak Wins 2018 European Poker Tour Barcelona €50,000 Single Day High Roller

French Poker Pro Defeats Field of 69 Entries To Win $1,145,430 USD


Benjamin Pollak has had an impressive run on the live tournament circuit recently, accumulating more than $8 million in cashes since the middle of 2017. For his latest big score, the French poker pro defeated a field of 69 total entries to win the 2018 European Poker Tour Barcelona €50,000 buy-in single day no-limit hold’em high roller event, earning €979,000 ($1,145,430 USD). He now has lifetime live earnings of more than $10.8 million.

This was Pollak’s second title and his ninth final-table finish of 2018. Pollak was awarded 612 Card Player Player of the Year points as the champion of this event, enough to see him move into 36th place on the overall POY leaderboard with 2,600 points and $2,821,951 in year-to-date earnings.

Pollak entered the unofficial nine-handed final table of the event as the chip leader with 114 big blinds, more than twice as many as his nearest competitor Jean-Noel Thorel. Matthias Eibinger was the first player eliminated in the money, taking home $113,595 USD as the ninth-place finisher. Jan Eric Schwippert (8th – $148,824 USD) and
Jack Salter (7th – $191,880 USD) were the next to fall, with Pollak still leading despite not scoring any knockouts early at the final table.

Alex Foxen had eliminated Salter with pocket aces, and he picked up the best starting hand again and called Seth Davies all-in on a king-high flop. Davies had paired his king with KSpade Suit7Club Suit, but was still behind. He failed to improve and was eliminated in sixth place ($242,775 USD). Foxen eliminated another shorter stack in Mikalai Vaskaboinikau (5th – $313,326 USD) to move into second chip position.

2013 World Series of Poker main event champion Ryan Riess was the next to hit the rail. He got all-in with pocket sevens against the pocket threes of Jean Noel Thorel. The Frenchman hit a trey on the turn to win the hand and send Riess home in fourth place ($403,299 USD).

Thorel won a sizable pot of Foxen to leave him as the shortest stack. He ultimately got his last chips in with the KDiamond SuitQClub Suit, only to get called by Pollak’s AClub SuitQHeart Suit. Ace high held up and Foxen was knocked out in third place, earning $534,573 USD and 408 POY points. This was his tenth final table of 2018, with four titles won already this year. With 4,394 and $2,783,429 in year-to-date earnings, Foxen now sits in sixth place in the POY standings.

Thorel took roughly a 5-to-4 lead into heads-up play, But Pollak was quickly able to seize control of the match. By the time the final hand arose he held more than an 11-to-1 advantage over Thorel, who moved all-in for 565,000 from the button with the ADiamond Suit3Heart Suit. Pollak called holding the AHeart Suit9Diamond Suit and the board ran out JSpade Suit7Heart Suit6Spade SuitJClub Suit10Heart Suit. With that Pollak secured the pot and the title, sending Thorel home with $822,510 USD.

Here is a look at the payouts awarded at the final table:

Place Player Earnings (USD) POY Points
1 Benjamin Pollak $1,145,430 612
2 Jean Noel Thorel $822,510 510
3 Alex Foxen $534,573 408
4 Ryan Riess $403,299 306
5 Mikalai Vaskaboinikau $313,326 255
6 Seth Davies $242,775 204
7 Jack Salter $191,880 153
8 Jan Eric Schwippert $148,824 102

Winner photo credit: René Velli / PokerStars.