After a lengthy slumber, the European Poker Tour is back into action at the Casino Barcelona in Spain. Holding their first events since their stop in Monte Carlo back in May, the EPT has wasted little time in getting to business, holding the first of two High Roller tournaments. There is plenty left on the schedule, however,  including another High Roller event, a Super High Roller tournament and the Main Event.

Michael Soyza Takes Down €10,000 High Roller

Besting a field that saw 124 entries, Malaysia’s Michael Soyza emerged as the champion of the “first” €10,000 High Roller event on the EPT schedule.

Plenty of the usual suspects had come out for the tournament – including current Player of the Year leader Stephen Chidwick, Anthony Zinno, Benjamin Pollak and others, but the final table would feature none of these competitors. Iran’s Bahram Chobineh was the leader at the nine-handed final table (not the “official” EPT final table of eight), but he faced some heat from Soyza who was less than 100K in chips behind him. Top pros Luc Greenwood, Dario Sammartino, Goran Mandic and Team PokerStars Pro Liv Boeree also were a part of the mix, making for what turned out to be a quick and exciting final table.

Soyza’s day wouldn’t get off to a good start as he quickly went down the ladder after clashing with Greenwood, Sammartino, Boeree and Chobineh in a few key hands. He got back on the right track in a hand against Chobineh when, in the big blind, he simply called a pre-flop raise from Chobineh and rode it to the river where he flashed a flopped set. That got him back over the million-chip mark and sent him towards the championship.

Soyza took control of the tournament in eliminating Boeree. After the departures of Greenwood and Mandic in eighth and seventh places, respectively, Boeree’s K-10 was outdrawn by Soyza’s K-9 on a K-9-3-J-A board, with the money going in on the river. After Sammartino was ousted in fifth place by Kai Lehto after only four hours of play, the final four of Orpen Kisacikoglu, Chobineh, Lehto and Soyza would fight it out for the title.

At this point, Soyza took over the tournament. He knocked off Chobineh to take a sizeable lead and, after Lehto eliminated Kisacikoglu in third place, went to heads up with about a 3:1 lead. It took roughly 40 minutes for the penultimate hand to fall, which saw Lehto take pocket deuces up against Soyza’s A 8. An Ace on the flop basically ended it and three diamonds by the river saw Soyza improve to a flush to defeat Lehto and take the title.

1. Michael Soyza, €302,500
2. Kai Lehto, €204,500
3. Orpen Kisacikoglu, €133,000
4. Bahram Chobineh, €110,100
5. Dario Sammartino, €88,800
6. Liv Boeree, €70,000
7. Goran Mandic, €53,500
8. Luc Greenwood, €40,300

Still More to Come from Barcelona

There is still a plethora of tournaments to come from the sunny beaches of the Mediterranean. Today marks the start of the EPT Super High Roller, a €100,000 buy in tournament, which will conclude on Sunday (unless there is a larger than normal field). The Main Event begins on Monday, featuring a buy-in of €5000. A second €10,000 High Roller event is scheduled to start on August 31, with its concluding day (September 2) occurring simultaneously with the Main Event.

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