Much like Thursday, the players were in a rush to get to the final table of the European Poker Tour Barcelona Main Event on Friday. How much of a rush? The players dropped so quickly that, instead of stopping at three tables remaining, they played down to the final 16 (two tables) before calling it a night. When the chips were bagged and tagged, Rui Sousa had taken over the lead with a nice 6.98 million chip stack with a very hungry Marton Czuczor in pursuit in second.
From 48 to 16
Pasquale Braco led the way for the final 48 players, and he didn’t do anything to embarrass himself throughout the day. With his 2.8 million starting stack, Braco kept a hammerlock on the lead as players dropped out of the action. Timothy Adams would depart the proceedings in 43rd place, while Day 2 chip leader Simon Mattsson was dispatched in 39th place after fighting back from being crippled on Day 3.
As the action moved into the late afternoon, the players began to shake it up even more. Shannon Shorr, who came into the Day 4 play in second place, had some hard times in dropping down to less than a quarter million in chips. But he gave some great demonstrations of fighting off the short stack. He wouldn’t get anyone to call him when he pushed nearly all in (left only 10K behind) with pocket sevens, and he did the same thing on the next hand with a K-8 off suit – with the same 10K left in the rear – and once again didn’t get a caller. It all set up for what would be, at least for one player, a rather cruel hand.
A couple of hands after his last “nearly” all in push, Shorr put in 500K and left “only” 60K behind. Isaac Haxton had enough of Shorr’s antics and put his nearly 835K in chips into the center of the felt. This left Simon Brandstrom with a dilemma; holding pocket nines with two top professionals all in ahead of him, Brandstrom decided that discretion was the best move and plopped his pocket pair in the muck. When he saw the hands turned up, he might have regretted his action.
Shorr only had an A-5 of clubs for battle and it shrunk up even further when compared to Haxton’s A-10 off suit. A 4-K-Q flop only helped Haxton further, but a five on the turn pushed Shorr into the lead. Looking for a ten or a Jack, Haxton instead saw a six on the river and most of his chips go to Shorr. Shorr would finish the day with less than what he started (1.83 million) but he will be in the battle; Haxton, unfortunately, will not, having departed after that tough hand in 18th place.
Sousa Races into the Lead
For his part, Sousa steadily rose up the leaderboard until a major clash rocketed him into the lead. After Kimmo Kurko moved all in for nearly a million chips, Sousa would ask for a count before he moved all in himself to get Kurko isolated. Once the blinds got out of the way, the hands were shown and the race was on:
Kurko: pocket Jacks
Sousa: Big Slick
It was over on the flop as an Ace came in the window (A-10-8) and a deuce came on the turn. Once a six came on the river, Kurko was out in 17th place and the final two tables were determined in the EPT Barcelona Main Event.
1. Rui Sousa, 6.98 million
2. Marton Czuczor, 6.065 million
3. Yunye Lu, 5.49 million
4. Balarishna Patur, 5.47 million
5. Pasquale Braco, 4.485 million
6. Giovani Torre, 4.29 million
7. Johan Storakers, 4.2 million
8. Jiayuan Liu, 3.48 million
9. Kully Sidhu, 3.46 million
10. Alexander Ivarsson, 3.085 million
11. Felipe Salgado, 2.93 million
12. Simon Brandstrom, 2.165 million
13. Leandro Bustillo, 2.055 million
14. Shannon Shorr, 1.83 million
15. Cyril Monbrun-Massot, 1.81 million
16. Diego Falcone, 1.8 million
Action will resume at the Casino Barcelona at noon on Saturday (6AM Eastern Time), with the plan to play to the eight-handed EPT final table. At stake is the biggest piece of the prize pool, €1.659 million, and the EPT Barcelona Main Event trophy, which will be awarded on Sunday.