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Simon Brandstrom Tops Largest-Ever European Poker Tour Main Event Field In Barcelona

Swedish Player Outlasts A Record-Breaking Turnout of 1,988 Entries To Win More Than $1.4 Million USD

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Simon Brandstrom has won the largest field European Poker Tour main event in the tour’s 16-year history. The 37-year-old Swedish player overcame a record turnout of 1,988 total entries to win the 2019 EPT Barcelona €5,300 no-limit hold’em main event, securing the title and the top payout of €1,290,166 ($1,432,084 USD) after striking a deal heads-up. The previous EPT main event field record was set at this same event in 2018, which drew 1,931 entries.

In addition to the title and the money, Brandstrom was also awarded a massive haul of 2,160 Card Player Player of the Year points as the champion. This was his second title of the year, having taken down a World Poker Tour event in Barcelona in March for another $305,529 and 960 POY points. As a result of these two big wins, Brandstrom now sits in 25th place in the 2019 POY race standings, which are sponsored by Global Poker.

The final day of this event began with just six players remaining from the nearly 2,000 entries. Brandstrom began in the outright lead, with Hungary’s Marton Czuczor sitting on the next largest stack. Yunye Lu was the first to be eliminated when he got all-in on a JClub Suit6Spade Suit5Club Suit flop with KDiamond SuitJHeart Suit up against Czuczor’s AClub Suit2Club Suit. The 7Spade Suit on the turn kept Lu in the lead, but the KClub Suit on the end gave Czuczor the winning flush. Lu earned $328,027 USD as the sixth-place finisher, while Czuczor surged to the top of the leaderboard.

Czuczor increased his advantage even further by knocking out Giovani Torre. Czuczor raised and then called Torre’s three-bet shove holding AClub SuitKDiamond Suit. Torre was dominated with the KClub SuitJClub Suit. The ace-high flop further reinforced Czuczor’s stranglehold on the hand, and Torre was left drawing dead on the turn. He took home $404,773 USD for his deep run.

Diego Falcone was the next to fall when he lost a preflop race with ADiamond SuitQSpade Suit against the 8Spade Suit8Diamond Suit of Czuczor. Falcone flopped a queen to take the lead, but Czuczor spiked an eight on the turn to make a set, leaving Falcone with no outs heading into the river. He was awarded $484,804 USD for his fourth-place showing.

Brandstrom didn’t notch his first knockout at the final table until three-handed play. He picked up JSpade SuitJClub Suit and raised from the button. Rui Sousa defended his big blind with 10Heart Suit8Diamond Suit. The rest of the chips went in after the flop came down 8Spade Suit4Club Suit3Heart Suit. Sousa failed to improve and was sent packing with $674,214 USD.

Czuczor began heads-up play with a slight lead, holding 31,625,000 to Brandstrom’s 28,000,000. The two agreed to a deal before resuming play that locked up $1,391,090 USD for Czuczor and $1,346,104 for Brandstrom, leaving $85,981 USD and the title to play for. Czuczor got out to an early lead during heads-up play, nearly out chipping Brandstrom by 2:1 by the time the next pivotal hand was dealt.

With blinds of 200,000-400,000 with a 400,00 big-blind ante, Czuczor raised to 900,000 from the button holding 6Spade Suit3Spade Suit. Brandstrom defended his big blind with KClub Suit3Heart Suit and the two saw an action flop of KDiamond Suit3Diamond Suit3Club Suit. Brandstrom checked with his flopped full house and Czuczor bet 700,000. Brandstrom called and the 6Diamond Suit on the turn gave Czuczor a lower full house. Brandstrom checked and Czuczor bet 1,700,000. Brandstrom called and the 10Heart Suit completed the board. Brandstrom checked yet again. Czuczor bet 6,000,000, only to have Brandstrom move all-in for 17,925,000 total. Czuczor quickly, only to see he had run into a larger boat. Brandstrom earned the double up to take the lead.

From there Brandstrom never looked back. In the end he won a race with 6Heart Suit6Club Suit beating the KSpade SuitQClub Suit of Czuczor in a preflop showdown. The board ran out 9Spade Suit7Club Suit2Diamond SuitADiamond Suit5Heart Suit and Brandstrom’s pair of sixes held to lock up the pot and the title. Czuczor’s score of nearly $1.4 million was the largest of his career, and it increased his lifetime live earnings to more than $3.8 million.

Check out a video of the final hand below, via PokerStars LIVE’s twitter account:

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

Place Player Payout POY Points
1 Simon Brandstrom $1,432,084 2160
2 Marton Czuczor $1,391,090 1800
3 Rui Sousa $674,214 1440
4 Diego Falcone $484,804 1080
5 Giovani Torre $404,773 900
6 Yunye Lu $328,027 720

Winner photo credot: Neil Stoddart / Rational Intellectual Holdings Limited.