France’s Simon Wiciak has emerged as the champion of the second-largest European Poker Tour Barcelona Main Event ever held, collecting a €1,134,375 winner’s payday on Sunday. Wiciak’s win over a 2,120-entry field followed a three-way chop late in final-table action wherein Wiciak reached a deal with Brazil’s Joao Sydenstricker and the United Kingdom’s Carl Shaw.
Sydenstricker earned €1,048,555 as the event’s official runner-up while Shaw collected €901,070 for third. The chop’s guaranteed Wiciak and Sydenstricker million-euro paydays and left a small amount to play for, though had Shaw made a comeback from the shortest stack, he also would have logged a seven-figure payday.
As it played out, Sydenstricker sent Shaw to the rail before busting himself to Wiciak, who became the EPT’s 11th main-event titleist from France.
Wiciak enjoyed a dominant run in the event’s later stages, bagging the chip lead at the end of Day 4 and being in or near the lead for the remainder of the tournament. After Wiciak picked off a bluff for the last of Sydenstricker’s chips, the career-best payday was his.
“I have felt so many emotions. Even if I looked in control and confident in my plays, I am still a human,” Wiciak told the EPT after play concluded. The mostly-online player also admitted, “And this was the first time I played an EPT Main Event.” Wiciak had logged barely $100,000 in live-tournament cashes before the breakthrough win in Barcelona.
Much of the interest at the final table involved long-time PokerStars brand ambassador Andre Akkari, who battled relative short-stack status for several days before finally exiting the final in fifth. The official eight-player final table, including nationalities and prize payouts, finished as follows:
- Simon Wiciak (France) – €1,134,375 *
- Joao Sydenstricker (Brazil) €1,048,555 *
- Carl Shaw (United Kingdom) – €901,070 *
- Santiago Plante (Canada) – €511,300
- Andre Akkari (Brazil) – €393,300
- Ezequiel Waigel (Argentina) – €302,500
- Curtis Knight (Canada) – €232,700
- Robin Ylitalo (Sweden) – €179,000
* denotes three-way deal
Featured image source: Manuel Kovsca / Rational Holdings