Simon Wiciak has received the 2023 European Poker Tour Barcelona €5,300 buy-in no-limit maintain’em important occasion. The 30-year-old from La Rochelle, France outlasted a 2,120-entry discipline to earn his first dwell match title and the highest prize of $1,225,125.
While this was Wiciak’s debut victory on the dwell circuit, he’s an skilled on-line participant. It’s not at all times simple to switch the abilities honed behind a pc display to a brick-and-mortar occasion.
“I have felt so many emotions. Even if I looked in control and confident in my plays, I am still a human,” Wiciak advised PokerStars reporters after popping out on high. “And this was the first time I played an EPT main event.”
Wiciak had simply over $100,000 in prior dwell earnings to his title from 12 in-the-money finishes, along with his largest earlier payout being $44,700 earned for a 344th-place exhibiting on this yr’s World Series of Poker important occasion. Now, he’s an EPT champion and a poker-made millionaire.
“It is everything at the same time – the win, the crew, the moment, the work I have done,” stated Wiciak. “You want to scream!”
In addition to the title and the cash, Wiciak was additionally awarded 2,160 Card Player Player of the Year factors for his title run in Spain. This was his second final-table end of the yr, having positioned sixth in a $600 buy-in this summer season on the Aria Poker Classic in Las Vegas. With 2,300 whole factors and $1,235,933 in to-date POY earnings, Wiciak now sits simply outdoors the highest 100 within the 2023 POY standings offered by Global Poker.
This occasion drew the second-largest discipline in EPT historical past, trailing solely the 2022 operating of this similar occasion, which attracted 2,294 entries. The huge turnout on the Casino Barcelona resulted in a ultimate prize pool of $11,112,786 which was finally paid out among the many high 303 finishers.
This match ran over the course of eight days from Aug. 27 by way of Sept. 3. Just 438 gamers moved on to day 2 from the 2 beginning flights, with late registration nonetheless open by way of the beginning of the primary day of combined-field play. A complete of 67 gamers availed themself of that choice, bringing the ultimate whole to 2,120. By the tip of day 2, the sphere was narrowed to only 303 hopefuls. It took one other 4 days to whittle that quantity down to 6 contenders for the ultimate day. Notables that ran deep included EPT champion and high-stakes common Patrik Antonius (54th), bracelet winner and WPT Prime Championship winner Stephen Song (forty seventh), bracelet winner Ka Kwan Lau (thirty first), Thomas Boivin (twenty fifth), and 2013 EPT London champion Robin Ylitalo (eighth).
Wiciak ended every of the three days main as much as the ultimate desk atop the chip counts. He sat with 92 massive blinds when playing cards obtained within the air for the ultimate six. 2021 Card Player Poker Tour Venetian important occasion champion Ezequiel Waigel was the primary to fall. The Argentinian ran A-7 into the A-Okay of Brazil’s Joao Sydenstricker to complete sixth for $326,700. Waigel now has almost $1.8 million in recorded earnings after this newest robust exhibiting.
PokerStars Ambassador Andre Akkari obtained the final of his chips in with a flush draw going through the highest pairs of each Sydenstricker and Carl Shaw. The board introduced operating jacks after the chips went in on the flop, lacking Akkari’s flush draw and giving his two opponents each jacks stuffed with kings. The bracelet winner from Brazil earned $424,764 for his fifth-place exhibiting, rising his profession earnings to greater than $3.3 million within the course of.
Canada’s Santiago Plante limped in with QQ from the small blind and snap-called when Shaw shoved from the large blind with Q9. The board got here down J1010OkayJ and Shaw made a king-high straight to crack Plante’s pocket queens. Plante earned $552,204 because the fourth-place finisher.
After a little bit of three-handed motion, the remaining gamers hashed out a deal to redistribute the remaining prize cash. Shaw locked up no less than $973,156, whereas Wiciak ($1,107,432) and Sydenstricker ($1,132,439) ensured themselves seven-figure paydays. The trio left $117,693 and the title to play for.
Shaw ran Okay-Q into the A-Q of Wiciak to complete third, taking residence the sum he negotiated for within the deal. This was the biggest rating but for the bracelet winner from the UK, and it elevated his lifetime earnings to greater than $2.2 million.
Heads-up play started with Wiciak holding 38.3 million to Sydenstricker’s 25.3 million. The lead modified fingers a few occasions, however Wiciak had moved again in entrance in time for the ultimate hand of the match. Sydenstricker raised on the button with Q10 and Wiciak three-bet holding 65. Sydenstricker known as and the flop got here down 952. Wiciak wager along with his second pair and Sydenstricker known as along with his two overs and backdoor straight potentialities. The 4 drew a test from Wiciak. Sydenstricker wager 3,500,000 within the pot of 14,400,000 and Wiciak known as. The 9 paired the board and Wiciak checked once more. Sydenstricker moved all-in for 19,380,000. Wiciak had 22,800,000. He went into the tank for a couple of minutes earlier than asserting a name to win the pot and the title.
Here is a have a look at the payouts and POY factors awarded on the ultimate day:
Photo credit: Manuel Kovsca / Rational Intellectual Holdings Ltd.