Watson earned the first EPT title of his career after shipping the €50,000 Single-Day High Roller I

The 2022 PokerStars and Barcelona Casino European Poker Tour has been in full swing for the last nine days, with eight of the fourteen events on the schedule complete. The €5,300 EPT Main Event is currently on Day 3 of action, with two other events (€3,000 Mystery Bounty Championship and €25,000 Single Day High Roller II) in play as well. The completed events include a back-to-back winner, two seven-figure pay days, and some of the biggest names in poker taking down titles in the first EPT event since 2019.


Back-To-Back For Benitez


The opening event of EPT Barcelona 2022 was a €10,000 Mystery Bounty event, which attracted 91 entrants. 39 of those players ended up with a bounty on their heads, which ranged from €5,000 all the way to the top bounty of €100,000, which went to eventual fourth-place finisher Joris Rujis. Uruguay’s Francisco Benitez ended up with the title, the €114,080 top prize, as well as an additional €110,000 in bounties, after defeating a tough foe in Igor Yaroshevskyy in heads-up play. As reported by Brandon Bloom of PokerNews, the final hand of the tournament saw Benitez check-call bets on the flop and turn with middle pair, and the river paired the board but also gave Benitez the nut flush. Benitez led out, Yaroshevskyy jammed with king-high, and Benitez called to lock up his first title of EPT 2022…but not his last.

Just two days later, Benitez topped a field of 50 entries in the €25,000 No-Limit Hold’em event, which added an additional €341,565 to his bankroll after a heads-up deal with Argentinian Ramiro Petrone, who banked €306,750 in the deal. High stakes regular and Triton Poker founder Paul Phua finished third for €174,040, while fellow high stakes grinders Erik Seidel (6th – €81,030) and Timothy Adams (7th – €63,030) rounded out the seven players who earned a cash in the high-stakes tournament. Benitez was ecstatic about the dual victories, as evidenced in his second winners photo.




Badziakouski Earns Second Career EPT Super High Roller Title


In 2018, Mikita Badziakouski capped off an absolute sun run of a year with a win in the €100,000 Super High Roller at EPT Barcelona for €1,650,300, which somehow was just the third biggest score of the year for the Belarus native, thanks to a pair of Triton Poker victories for over $7.7 million. Badziakouski’s run good at EPT Barcelona didn’t wane after a three year hiatus, however, and he navigated a field of 68 entrants to earn his second EPT €100,000 Super High Roller title of his career, as well as a whopping €1,979,220 after defeating Erik Seidel in heads-up action. Seidel was just grateful to be in the tournament at all, as he didn’t plan on firing until some prodding from Mike Watson convinced him to fire a bullet.



Watson managed to finish 7th for a €319,950 payday, while Kevin Paque (3rd – €913,730), Ben Heath (4th – €702,620), Timothy Adams (5th – €540,980), Teun Mulder (6th – €415,630) and Nick Petrangelo (8th – €247,400) rounded out the eight players who earned a cash.


Addamo, Watson and Martirosian Ship Single-Day High Rollers


There are a total of four Single-Day High Rollers on the schedule for EPT Barcelona 2022, with the final €25,000 version in action today. Both of the €25,000 versions and the first €50,000 event finished earlier in the series, with a trio of high-stakes crushers taking home the hardware in the fast-paced events.


The first of the one day affairs, the €25,000 Single-Day High Roller I, brought 80 entrants to the felt, and a nearly fifteen hour day of play saw Artur Martirosian overcome a tough final table that included the likes of Michael Addamo (3rd – €249,320), the aforementioned Francisco Benitez (4th – €191,790), Steve O’Dwyer (6th – €117,260) and Mikita Badziakouski (7th – €93,830) to earn the €540,099 top prize after beating Paul Phua in heads-up play. It was Phua’s second deep run in as many days following his third-place performance in the €25,000 No-Limit Hold’em event.


The €50,000 Single-Day High Roller I had 59 entries, and unfortunately for Mike Watson, he was four of them. Despite the hefty €200,000 investment, Watson made it pay dividends by defeating Australian pro Kahle Burns in heads-up play, earning €872,940 for the win, after “wasting” a monster hand on Burns to earn the victory:



Burns took home €572,420 for his runner-up performance, and Canada’s Pascal Lefrancois (5th – €243,280) and the aforementioned Addamo (8th – €114,480) were among the eight players to earn a payday.


Addamo’s work in the Single-Day events wasn’t over, however, as the second and final €50,000 version saw the Australian pro earn his first ever EPT title, which may come as a surprise given Addamo’s stellar tournament resume over the course of his lengthy career on the felt. The €917,330 Addamo earned for topping a 62-entry field in the €50,000 Single-Day High Roller II would be a career highlight for many, yet for Addamo, it counts as just the eighth-biggest score of his career, a testament to the success Addamo has enjoyed as a high-stakes reg. David Yan had to settle for second place and €601,520, while Adrian Mateos (5th – €255,650), Dan Smith (6th – €195,500) and Sam Greenwood (7th – €150,380) were part of eight players who earned a cash.


Van Bruggen and Alilovic Earn Estrellas Tour Titles


Rounding out the completed events so far at EPT Barcelona were a pair of Estrellas Poker Tour Events. In the €1,100 Estrellas Poker Tour Main Event, a total of 6,313 entrants participated in the five-day event, and 2018 WSOPE Main Event champ Jack Sinclair managed to work his way through the monster field and make it to heads-up play against Rick van Bruggen, who only had around $20,000 in career cashes coming into the event. Van Bruggen was undeterred by the challenge, and earned €600,000 for the top prize after busting Sinclair, who had to settle for €377,120 for his second place run.


The ESPT also held a €2,200 High Roller event which attracted a more modest, but still impressive 2,173 entrants. Andre Akkari squeaked into the final table before busting in ninth for €57,490, while Miroslav Alilovic (€512,650) and Ian Bradley (€500,000) chopped up the lion’s share of the prize pool, with the Frenchman Alilovic earning the title, trophy and the small amount of cash left to play for after the chop.