Sweden’s Simon Brandstrom outlasted a record field of 1,988 entries to win the European Poker Tour (EPT) Barcelona €5,300 Main Event, securing his first live title and career-best score €1,290,166 after a heads-up deal with Marton Czuczor from Hungary. Czuczor claimed his career-best payday with €1,253,234 for his runner-up finish and moved to 5th place in Hungary’s all-time money list.
This win was the second biggest score of 2019 for Brandstrom who had earned € 187,880 for his runner-up finish in the € 1,350 + 150 NLH WPTDeepstacks at the WPT Barcelona in March 2019. It took his total live earnings to $1,656,068 to place him 115th in the Sweden All Time Money list.
It was certainly not smooth sailing for Brandstrom even though he started the final day as a chip leader among the 6 survivors. He had a roller-coaster ride on Day 1 and was down to just 16 bigs with 15 left. However, he made some rush from there and took the lead into final day of the event.
The final day of the marquee main event began with 6 players remaining. Brandstrom began as the chip leader, with Hungary’s Marton Czuczor sitting on the next largest stack. Action was fast on the final day and Yunye Lu, Giovani Torre, Diego Falcone, and Rui Sousa were sent to the rail in the first hour itself. It was Czuczor who dominated through the first half an hour and eliminated Lu, Torre and Falcone in quick succession. The eventual champion Brandstrom scored his first elimination on the final day when he sent Day 4 chip leader Rui Sousa to the rail in 3rd place to eventually enter heads-up with the runner-up Marton Czuczor who held 3-1 lead into the heads-up battle.
Cruzer played his A-game though but the cards came in Brandstrom’s favour. In the three-hour heads-up battle, the key hand came when Brandstrom flopped a full house and Czuczor hit an inferior full house to become the underdog. This was followed by a chop-chop between the two players. Brandstrom eventually took the control and it was all over with a classic flip where Czuczor had Ks Qc and Brandstrom held 6h 6c. Czuczor needed to hit to get back into the game. However, the board ran 9s 7c 2d Ad 5h bringing no help to Cruczor and Brandstrom won the title.
The Main Event saw several Indians notching up ITM finishes. Sahil Chuttani among them was the only Indian to make it to Day 4 among the 48 survivors but his impressive run came to an end in 41st place for €25,650 (INR 20.25 Lac), his career best score that surpassed his eighth-place finish at the 2019 APPT Manila PHP 65,000 Main Event (INR 17.61 Lac) earlier this month. Apart from Chutani, there three other Indians who finished ITM in this event and they included the veteran pro Raman Gujral (73rd for €17,160), Kunal Punjwani (99th for €14,750) and Sumit Asrani (291st for €8,390).
Final Table Payouts ((EURO)
1.Simon Brandstrom – €1,290,166
2.Marton Czuczor – €1,253,234
3.Rui Sousa – €607,400
4.Diego Falcone – €436,760
5.Giovani Torre – €364,660
6.Yunye Lu – €295,520
7.Johan Storakers – €226,490
8.Pasquale Braco – €159,580
9.Kully Sidhu – €121,760