Simon Brandstrom Wins Record-Breaking EPT Barcelona

Simon Brandstrom is the 2019 PokerStars EPT Barcelona Main Event champion.

Sweden’s Simon Brandstrom won the record-breaking PokerStars EPT Barcelona Main Event becoming the 11th Swede to secure an EPT title. Brandstrom outlasted a 1,988-strong field to lock up a €1,290,166 first-place prize. He denied Martin Czuczor becoming the first Hungarian EPT champion in the process.

Money Bubble Bursts

The money bubble burst on Day 2 and saw 296 players receive a payout for their €5,300 investment. Floor staff paused the clock when the field had 298 players remaining so they could verify the numbers. Two players busted while this was happening.

Kent Roed’s top pair lost to a flopped straight, but it was Carlos Branco who burst the bubble when his ace-king lost against Alexis Urli’s jacks. Urli went on to finish 124th for €12,440.

Dozens of established grinders busted inside the money place, including Steve O’Dwyer, Martin Jacobson, and Anton Wigg. Also banking a payout were the likes of Tony Dunst, Danny Tang, Alex Foxen, and partypoker pro Isaac Haxton.

Day 5 began with 16 players and finished with the final table of six. Sweden’s Johan Storakers saw his tournament end in a seventh-place finish, the last bust-out of the penultimate day.

2019 EPT Barcelona Final Table Draw

Seat Player Country Chips
1 Rui Sousa Portugal 9,100,000
2 Giovani Torre Portugal 4,450,000
3 Simon Brandstrom Sweden 18,500,000
4 Yunye Lu China 4,500,000
5 Marton Czuczor Hungary 14,450,000
6 Diego Falcone Brazil 8,600,000

China’s Yunye Lu was eliminated on the first hand of the EPT Barcelona final table. Simon Brandstrom raised to 425,000 from the cutoff, Lu called on the button, Marton Czuczor called in the small blind. Diego Falcone came along for the ride in the big blind.

A flop reading Jc-6s-5c saw the action check to Lu. He bet 700,000. Czuczor raised to 1,975,000 before calling Lu’s 4,075,000 shove. Lu showed Kd-Jh for top pair, with Czuczor holding Ac-2c for a flush draw. The turn missed both players but the king of clubs river completed Czuczor’s flush, busting Lu in sixth-place.

Another seat became empty only five minutes later. Czuczor made it 550,000 to play from the cutoff before snap-calling Giovani Torre’s 4,200,000 shove. Torre turned over Kc-Jc which was dominated by the Ac-Kd of Czuczor. An ace on the flop left Torre drawing thin; he was drawing dead on the turn.

It only took 10 more minutes for the player count to reduce again. This time it was Falcone who saw his quest for the EPT Barcelona title end in failure. Czuczor was again the man who did the damage again. A raise to 550,000 from under the gun by Czuczor was met with a 5,100,000 all-in three-bet from Falcone. Czuczor called with pocket eights and was against Falcone’s ace-queen. Falcone paired his queen on the flop, but Czuczor improved to a set on the turn. Game over for Falcone in fourth-place.

Deal Negotiations Break Down

The remaining three players discussed a potential deal during an unscheduled break but could not agree on numbers. Former EPT champion Czuczor wanted more than ICM was awarding being chip leader, but the others did not agree.

Play resumed and Rui Sousa wished he had struck a deal as he was the next to the showers. Brandstrom raised to 525,000 from the button and Sousa called in the big blind. Sousa initially checked the arrival of the 4c-8s-3h flop but sprang into action when Brandstrom bet 500,000. A raise to 1,400,000 from Sousa was met with an all-in bet from Brandstrom. Getting this decision wrong would cost Sousa the shot at glory, and get it wrong he did. Sousa called and showed Th-8d which was way behind the black jacks of Brandstrom. Calls for a ten on the turn from Sousa’s rail were ignored and a seven landed. It was followed by a four on the river to end Sousa’s Barcelona run in third-place, good for €607,400.

New Deal Struck

Both Czuczor and Brandstrom entered more deal discussions and this time they bore fruit. €77,460 was left for the eventual champion with Czuczor locking up €1,253,234 and Brandstrom €1,212,706.

An epic heads-up battle followed; it lasted five hours. Czuczor was the early leader in the one-on-one battle but Brandstrom fought back before claiming the chip lead. The blinds were 200,000/400,000/400,000a when the final hand happened. Czuczor opened to 900,000, Brandstrom three-bet all in and Czuczor called off his last 8,775,000 chips. It was pocket sixes for Brandstrom and king-queen for Czuczor. The 9s-7c-2h flop kept Brandstrom in the lead. Brandstrom stayed ahead on the Ad turn and busted his opponent when the 5h completed the board.

Czuczor had to make do with his second EPT runner-up finish having finished second in Prague in 2016. This result was the biggest of his career, weighing in at €1,253,234. Brandstrom, who was called Persson until he took his wife’s surname, was crowned EPT Barcelona champion and collected €1,290,166.

EPT Barcelona Main Event Final Result

Place Player Country Prize (EUR) Prize (USD)
1 Simon Brandstrom Sweden €1,290,166* $1,417,899*
2 Martin Czuczor Hungary €1,253,234* $1,377,310*
3 Rui Costa Portugal €607,400 $667,536
4 Diego Falcone Brazil €436,760 $480,001
5 Giovani Torre Portugal €364,660 $400,763
6 Yunye Lu China €295,520 $324,778
7 Johan Storakers Sweden €226,490 $248,914
8 Pasquale Braco Italy €159,580 $175,379
9 Kully Sidhu United Kingdom €121,760 $133,815

Matthew Pitt

If it’s something you can play online for real money, chances are Matthew knows a bit about it. He’s been writing about slots, craps and poker for the better part of the last decade. He’s written for PokerNews, PartyPoker and many other respected online gambling websites during the last nine years.


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