Ivarsson Tops Massive Field in Barcelona, Wins EPT National High Roller For Half a Million
Alexander Ivarsson has won the €2,200 EPT National High Roller at the 2019 PokerStars European Poker Tour Barcelona. The Swede topped another bumper field in Barcelona, overcoming a 1,491-player event to capture the stunning first-place prize of €498,520.
En route to his career-high cash — in fact, the massive score instantly doubled Ivarsson's lifetime winnings on The Hendon Mob — Ivarsson had to overcome poker poker icons Ari Engel and Anthony Zinno at the final table. The Swede dispatched both of them in the key hand that turned the final table on its back. Ivarsson rivered a flush against a flopped straight and an overpair to eliminate the dangerous pair from contention just like that.
Sporting a monstrous lead, courtesy of the fortuitous river, it was all smooth sailing from there for the self-proclaimed recreational poker player. Ultimately, long-time short stack Raed Alawadhi of Kuwait held on the longest, finishing in second (€287,550), while Finland's Joonas Helin finished third (€201,210). EPT8 Madrid winner Frederik Brink (12th - €26,580), Bart Lybaert (14th - €23,450), and Alexandre Reard (20th - €17,550) also made deep runs in this event.
2019 EPT Barcelona €2,200 EPT National High Roller Final Results
|Place||Player||Country||Prize in €||Prize in $|
|4||Max Deveson||United Kingdom||€149,030||$165,472|
|7||Anthony Zinno||United States||€64,720||$71,862|
Frantic Pace Throughout the Day
Ivarsson came back with 223 others at noon local time to start a long journey, as the plan was to bring the field all the way down to the winner. With every one of the remaining players ensured of a money finish, chips were flying everywhere right off the bat, shedding half of the remaining already in the first few hours.
The frantic pace of play became a trend throughout the day, with the average stack never really breaking the forty big blind-mark at any point. Among those having to settle for a smaller cash, were the likes of Joao Vieira (221, €3,320) (who jumped into — and cashed — the €25,000 Single-Day High Roller right after), Anton Wigg (217, €3,320), Julien Martini (192, €3,700), Marton Czuczor (179, €4,190) , Chris Moorman (158, €4,190), Faraz Jaka (140, €4,790), Martin Jacobson (93, €6,180), Pete Chen (92, €6,180), and PokerStars ambassador and PSPC champion Ramon Colillas (123, €4,790.)
Vieira wasn't the only high stakes regular running deep in the EPT National High Roller. Besides Anthony Zinno, who ultimately ended up in seventh place, players such as Orpen Kisacikoglu (69, €6,980), fresh off a near seven-figure score in the Czech Republic, WPT-host Tony Dunst (61, €6,980), and 2018 breakout player of the year Ali Imsirovic (24, €12,350) all ran deep as well in an event that attracted recreational players and pro's alike.
Zinno, as well as Ari Engel, were the standouts at the final table with their already mouth-watering poker resumés. While Zinno hung near the top of the counts during most of the day, it was Engel who had to nurture a short stack to make his way to the final table. Once there, a big three-way clash finally turned things around for the Canadian workhorse and provided him with a workable stack.
Ivarsson Goes From Rags to Riches
At that point, a workable stack certainly didn't describe Ivarsson's meager pile of chips. Sporting just a few big blinds, Ivarsson doubled through Zinno, then through Engel, before poetically finishing the pair off in the aforementioned key hand. With four players to a ten-nine-seven flop with two spades, Zinno overshoved all in with pocket queens. Ivarsson called it off with king-queen of spades, and Engel instantly overcalled, having flopped the nuts with jack-eight. While the turn was a blank, the river brought a spade and Ivarsson, barely covering both of them, suddenly became the overwhelming chip leader.
Five-handed, Sorin Flutur was second in chips but bluffed off a chunk with a measly pair of sixes on a board that contained two jacks. Ivarsson held a third jack and called every street to greatly extend his lead over the others. Down to a short stack, Flutur tried to get some back by moving in with ace-ten. Raed Alawadhi looked him up with pocket eights and held to eliminate one of the two Romanians at the final table in fifth place, after Alin Mitrache finished in eight place earlier.
It would be the last time Ivarsson bestowed elimination honours upon someone else, as the Swede mobbed up the rest single-handily after in quick succession. First, Max Deveson had to depart, getting outflopped with ace-queen against Ivarsson's king-six. The Swede then ousted fellow Scandinavian Joonas Helin by winning ace-queen against jack-five, before finishing the tournament in style by quickly ending Alawadhi's run on their first all-in of the heads-up. Alawadhi check-raised third pair all in on the turn, only to be called off by Ivarsson holding top pair. The river was a blank to hand the Swede the biggest victory of his career.
That's it for PokerNews coverage of the 2019 €2,200 EPT National High Roller at the ever-popular European Poker Tour Barcelona. PokerNews will be on the floor to cover all flagship events from the series, so make sure to check back regularly from all the latest from Barcelona!