The final eight
What a week it’s been! The PokerStars Marbella festival – a joint collaboration between the ESPT and UKIPT – was back for its third edition this past week and proved more popular than ever with most tournaments beating previous attendance records. The Main Event attracted a record 841 players and at 12:15pm CET on Sunday, the final eight took their seats with dreams of a €150,800 payday still intact.
The final table was a tale of two halves. It took only slightly less than four hours to get down to heads up and about the same time again for a winner to be crowned. It looked as if the day would be over in record time and then it looked as if the heads up battle might go on for a record amount of time.
Isidoro Barreña – champion
Isidoro Barreña and Jose Angel Latorre were the last two standing and the latter had a three-to-one chips lead after dominating the final up until that point. We say up until that point because Barreña became a different beast when faced with only one opponent. Multi-way he looked unsure and nervously handled his chips; heads-up he looked decisive and in control.
Just before head up play began
It helped that at the start of their duel he made hands and had Latorre consistently betting in to him – an aggressive tactic that had served him so well thus far – and before he knew it, Barreña had a near six-to-one advantage. Latorre stayed calm though and fought his way back to evens. The players kept trading the lead as the increased blind levels made the swings larger. Barreña had around a four big blind advantage when the final hand of the tournament came about. He four-bet all in with ace-queen and Latorre called off with ace-jack. A queen fell on the turn and it was all over.
Jose Angel Latorre – 2nd place
Let’s take the action right back to the beginning of the day where Latorre entered with more than 25% of the chips in play and double that of his nearest competitor. He’s known by many as the best Sit and Go player in Spain and that meant he was at home and knew what strategy to employ. He pressurised his opponents from the off and sucked up as many chips as he could.
The first player to put their tournament at risk was PokerStars qualifier Sam Grafton. He shoved with deuces over a couple of limps but Juan Bautista had trickily limped with queens and made the call. Fate can be cruel though and a deuce appeared on the flop to crush Bautista and his stack and he busted to Latorre shortly after.
Juan Bautista – 8th place
Jeffrey Brouwer – 7th place
That was good news for Jeffrey Brouwer who came into today with the only sub one-million stack and would’ve been looking to ladder as high as possible. He earned an extra €6,000 by surviving until seventh. He shoved with ace-eight but ran into Latorre’s ace-queen that went on to make a dominating two pair.
Latorre’s charge was in full-flow by that point and none of his opponents had an answer as the Supernova Elite gathered half the chips in play into his welcoming arms. It was surprising then that didn’t have a hand in the third exit of the day.
Sam Grafton – 6th pace
Grafton had fewer than 12 big blinds when he shoved from the small blind with queen-five. The Brit then had to suffer while Barreña took several minutes to call with king-nine and then when a couple of his tablemates over-celebrated the sight of a king flopping to send him on his way.
The unassuming David Vedral was soon behind Grafton at the payout desk after he ran ace-ten into Latorre’s pocket aces after three-betting all in. Rodrigo Rosales was also involved in the hand but (wisely) folded the on the turn. That meant an all-Spanish final four but Latorre was in no mood to play friendly. He went into overdrive winning almost every pot en route to owning 75% of the chips in play.
David Vedral – 5th place
It was going to take one of the other three players finding big hands to make them risk their tournament lives, and that’s exactly what happened. Dario Carrion found pocket queens under-the-gun and moved all in; Barreña looked down at ace-jack in the big blind, made the call, and went on to make a full house.
Dario Carrion – 4th place
Rodrigo Rosales was probably the best-supported player at the final table today and his support carried him to a third-pace finish after a swingy day. The man who hails from Burgos, and is a barrow boy by trade, finally succumbed to Barreña after he three-bet all in to his ace-jack whilst holding ace-five. The €64,600 he earned was, by far, the biggest he’d ever won at the poker table and we’re sure he and his supportive girlfriend will spend it wisely (or not).
Rodrigo Rosales – 3rd place
Below is a reminder of how much everyone won at today’s final table. While they took the lion’s share of the prize pool, 128 players shared €807,360. For a full breakdown, please click here
||Jose Angel Latorre
The UKIPT says goodbye to the ESPT for another year and returns to the British Isles for the next leg of Season 5 in Bristol. The fun and games will take place August 6 – 9 where we, and the two jokers pictured below, hope to see you there. Satellites are already running on PokerStars so get involved!
Toby Stone & David CurtisPictures copyright of Mickey May