The biggest ever EPT Main Event (EPT Barcelona) concluded yesterday after several days of thrilling and action-packed poker. Poker legend John Juanda bested a field of 1,694 players to lay hands on the trophy and over €1 million in prize money!
It could have been much less prize money, though. Well, that is if he decided to go along with the deal that was offered when the final table was down to four players. Juanda was the short stack at that point and would "only" have received €150k more than already guaranteed (€405k). He turned down the offer saying, "And forfeit the chance for a million?"
Juanda tripled up shortly after the failed deal negotiations with KJ against Shafikov's AK and Warburton's 44 (Juanda hit a jack on the flop and won the pot).
After Denys Shafikov had been sent packing in fourth place, the remaining trio had far more closely matched stacks and decided to chop the remaining prize pool. Warburton would be getting at least €941,613, Juanda €922,593 and Jensen €810,294. Left to play for was €100,000 and the trophy.
Play continued for a while before it was time for a scheduled dinner break. At this point, Juanda had almost 30 million while neither of his opponents had more than 13 million.
Juanda remained out in front after the dinner break, and eventually he had eliminated both of his opponents to claim the title!
"I feel really blessed," Juanda said. "I've been playing poker for 18 years and you still get a rush."
He then thanked ElkY and Erik Seidel, who had offered him strategy assistance throughout the final table.
"You guys were so lucky for me," Juanda said.
"It was perfect timing," ElkY said. "Good job, John. Really good job."
"I got lucky too a few times," Juanda said.
"You have to be," Elky replied.
This was his first EPT title but unbelievably enough just the third biggest payday of his career (2012 Macau High Stakes Challenge Super High Roller, Macau for $ 1,645,757 and 2008 World Series Of Poker - Europe, London World Championship for $ 1,580,096). As of today, he has over $17 million in live tournament earnings!
EPT BARCELONA MAIN EVENT INFO:
Prize pool: €8,215,900
1 - John Juanda, Indonesia, €1,022,593*
2 - Steve Warburton, United Kingdom, €941,613*
3 - Frederik Jensen, Denmark, €810,294*
4 - Denys Shafikov, Ukraine, €405,100
5 - Rainer Kempe, Germany, €320,400
6 - Andreas Samuelsson, Sweden, €253,900
7 - Amir Touma, Lebanon, €194,100
8 - Mario Sanchez, Spain, €137,080
*denotes three-way deal