The PokerStars-sponsored European Poker Tour (EPT) just wrapped up its event in Warsaw last night. There were 217 entrants into the 21,000 PLN (approximately €5,200) event and when the smoke cleared, João Barbosa received the best birthday present imaginable, emerging as the champion and pocketing a €367,140 first place prize.

The final table included World Series of Poker Bracelet winner Dario Minieri and EPT Prague champion Arnaud Mattern. In addition to being accomplished players, both are also members of Team PokerStars Pro. Minieri won a $2,500 buy-in No Limit Hold’em Six-Handed tournament during the 2008 WSOP, besting Seth Fischer heads-up in a final table that also included WSOP bracelet winner Kevin Song. He now has three straight third place finishes on the EPT circuit and career EPT earnings of €553,342. ESPN commentator Norman Chad dubbed Minieri “Harry Potter” during his 2006 and 2007 Main Event runs due to his trademark scarf.

Mattern took down EPT Prague during the tour’s fourth season, cashing for €708,400. The Frenchman defeated Italian Gino Alacqua heads-up in that event; Alacqua walked away with €407,300. He finished 51st in the London stop last month for £8,157.

For Barbosa, Warsaw marked his first EPT final table appearance and third cash of the fifth season. He finished 48th in Barcelona for €14,900 and took 26th in London for £13,052. He celebrated his 26th birthday on the same day the Warsaw final table was held and told PokerStars officials after the tournament had concluded, “Things worked perfectly for me. For three hours, I was trying not to think about anything but winning. It’s the best birthday present I’ve ever had. It was great to win.”

Here were the top ten finishers in Warsaw:
1st Place: João Barbosa (Portugal), €367,140
2nd Place: Nico Behling (Germany), €205,270
3rd Place: Dario Minieri (Italy), €123,162
4th Place: Atanas Gueorguiev (Bulgaria), €87,973
5th Place: Arnaud Mattern (France), €72,724
6th Place: Sergey Shcherbatskiy (Russia), €57,476
7th Place: Andrea Benelli (Italy), €45,745
8th Place: Ludovic Lacay (France), €32,843
9th Place: Michael Muheim (Switzerland), €21,114
10th Place: Uffe Holm (Denmark), €21,114

The event was held at the Casinos Poland at the Hyatt Regency and 217 poker hopefuls from around the world descended upon the Polish metropolis. Among the participants were 48 players who had won their way in through online qualifiers on PokerStars, the EPT’s presenting sponsor. Amazingly, three of the 48 (or 6%) made the final table of EPT Warsaw: Atanas Gueorguiev (fourth place), Sergey Shcherbatskiy (sixth place), and Michael Muheim (ninth place).

Also in Warsaw were some of the top members of Team PokerStars Pro, including Gavin Griffin, Marcin Horecki, Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier, Luca Pagano, William Thorson, Alex Kravchenko, and Katja Thater. Grospellier is fresh off a win in the World Poker Tour’s Festa al Lago tournament for $1.4 million. He became just the third person ever to win an EPT and WPT title, the other two being Griffin and Roland de Wolfe. Griffin is the only player ever to have won EPT, WPT, and WSOP titles.

EPT founder John Duthie commented in a press release distributed on Thursday, “Warsaw has always been a popular stop on the EPT train and this has been no exception. It was a particularly high quality final table and another five days of excellent poker.” The EPT now breaks for about three weeks and then heads to Prague. The €5,250 tournament kicks off on December 9th and will crown a champion four days later. After Prague, the EPT crosses “The Pond” for the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.