8 mins Read
The €50,000 Super High Roller at the inaugural PokerStars Championship Barcelona was the most expensive buy-in tournament on the schedule. The High Rollers and Super High Rollers are a staple on PokerStars tours, the PokerStars Championships and the European Poker Tour, and this event was no different with a total 86 entries (67 unique + 19 re-entries).
The event paid out the top 11 players a share from the massive €4,129,290 prize pool. The field was full of high roller specialists and besting them all was PokerStars Team pro from Russia Igor Kurganov (cover image). As expected the final table of the event included some of the toughest opponents Kurganov could face including fellow PokerStars pro Daniel Negreanu, Bryn Kenney, Ivan Luca, Dietrich Fast and Koray Aldemir.
With this win Kurganov claimed his 12th live tournament title but this is his first Super High Roller title in Europe. Kurganov banked €1,078,106 for his win.
But, before the Russian was able to celebrate his feat, a tragic incident shook the city of Barcelona. On August 17, a minivan rammed into people on La Rambla, the popular tourist street. Thirteen people lost their lives and more than 100 were injured in the attack. Poker players are not known to be intimidated easily and despite the attack, the series continued unabated.
Mikhail Rudoy went out on the money bubble while Isaac Haxton was the first elimination in the money as he settled for the 11th place.
Dan Colman (10th place) was the last elimination on Day 2 and his exit set up the 9-handed affair to be resumed on the final day. Both Haxton and Colman cashed €103,200 each.
Final Day Recap
With a total $34,093,588 in winnings along with five WSOP bracelets, two WPT titles and a rare feat of being player of the year at the WSOP twice, there is no doubt that Daniel Negreanu can give anyone a run for their money but unfortunately for the PokerStars Team pro, he was the first casualty of the final table.
He first lost a huge chunk of his chips to Dietrich Fast with his ace-king against pocket sevens and was shown doors in the very next hand by the eventual champion.
Kurganov’s next victim was Stanley Choi after he clipped a pair of ace against Choi’s pocket jacks to end his tournament run.
Bryn Kenney followed Choi to the rail five minutes later. He announced all-in with king-seven and found one caller in Christopher Kruk who tabled ace-deuce. The board fell a brick and Kenney hit the rail in seventh place.
The next to fall from the table was Argentinian high roller Ivan Luca and Kurganov then went on to eliminate Russian pro Dietrich Fast. Fast got it in with deuces against the jacks of Kurganov and the latter hit a set on the board.
The Russian pro seemed to be a killing machine at this point as soon thereafter, he knocked out Koray Aldemir in third place to set up the heads-up battle against Poland based Bartlomiej Machon.
Both players then agreed on restructuring the payouts and divided the difference between the 1st and 2nd prize money in half and added that to the 2nd place payout. The other half was divided according to chip counts.
It didn't take long for the Russian to end it all. He first took a huge chunk of Machon’s stack and sealed the victory with his pocket queens against Machon queen-jack.
Final Table Results (Euro)
1. Igor Kurganov – €1,078,106*
2. Bartlomiej Machon – €864,694*
3. Koray Aldemir – €528,500
4. Dietrich Fast – €406,790
5. Ivan Luca – €322,100
6. Christopher Kruk – €251,900
7. Bryn Kenney – €198,200
8. Stanley Choi – €154,900
9. Daniel Negreanu – €117,700
*denotes heads-up deal
Keep following the latest updates from PokerStars Championship Barcelona on PokerGuru!