Big names outplayed by relatively unknown Mikalai Pobal
This weekend saw the end of the Euro 5,300 buy-in Pokerstars European Poker Tour Barcelona main event, which wrapped up with a surprise win of a relatively unknown internet player from Belarus, Mikalai Pobal (28), who gave an outstanding performance against a field of 1,082, which included star names like Gus Hansen, Ilari Sahamies, Ivan Demidov, Fatima Moreira De Melo, Ville Wahlbeck, Daniel Negreanu, Jason Mercier, Lex Veldhuis, Angel Guillen, Sebastian Ruthenberg, John Juanda, Mike “Timex” McDonald, JC Alvarado, Justin Bonomo, Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier, Jonathan Duhamel, Dario Minieri, Liv Boeree and 2011 WSOP Main Event champ Pius Heinz.
At the long final table, the Minsk player faced many of the big shots, including Ilari Sahamies, Joni Jouhkimainen, Anaras Alekberovas, Samuel Rodriguez, Sinel Anton, Antonin Duda and John Juanda, and ended up in the thrilling heads-up with Sahamies.
After he defeated his much more experienced opponent, and sent him home with a nice runner-up paycheck to Euro 629,700, Pobal ended up with his biggest ever pay day - Euro 1,007,550 main prize, and an expensive watch from luxury Swiss brand HD3.
Considering that his previous best live cash was Euro 7,500, this will surely be a tournament the young Belarus will never forget!
In related news, another EPT Barca event saw its great finale over the weekend - the Euro 10,000 High Roller event which also saw a star-studded entry field of 101 players.
Some of the big players who took part in the competition were Jason Mercier, Andrew Lichtenberger, Dan Smith, Pius Heinz, Scott Seiver, Jonathan Duhamel, Bertrand 'ElkY' Grospellier, Tobias Reinkemeier and Alex Bilokur
The final table seated only some of these, and comprised Lauren Polito, Bertrand Grospellier and Jean-Noel Thorel from France; Alex Bilokur, Gurgen Melkonyan and Stanislav Labutkin from Russia; Tobias Reinkemeier from Germany; Carlos Mora Alvarez, Mexico; Joao Vieira, Portugal; Kristijonas Andrulis, Lithuania; Jonathan Duhamel, Canada; and Andrew Lichtenberger, United States.
It was the Russian player Bilokur and France's Polito who ended up in the head's up, fighting for the trophy and the $10,000 winner's bracelet after the duo agreed to a two way chop, which left Bilokur and Polito with Euro 295,451 and Euro 270,229 respectively.
In the end, the honors went to Polito, who took down his best live cash yet.