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The final table of EPT Barcelona’s first event of 2023 saw players such as Erik Seidel, Conor Beresford and others all eclipsed by the Uruguayan player Mathis Duarte. As two $55,000 bounties were won by players at the final table, there was plenty on the line even after each hand was over, as a prizepool of $400,000 was shared between the top 11 players in the event.
A field of 79 entries and a top prize of $115,000 was up for grabs, and that was just on the tournament side. With two $55,000 bounties also on the table, the Mystery Bounty event was a thriller. Only 11 players would make the money and in the early stages, that made things very competitive indeed.
As the players settled into their seats, the final eight were introduced, with the nine-time WSOP bracelet winner Erik Seidel front and center in everyone’s minds as a potential champion.
It's final table time in the #EPTBarcelona €10K Mystery Bounty.Erik Seidel, Conor Beresford and Tom Orpaz are among the final nine.Follow along, via @PokerNews updates, here 👉 https://t.co/B3q78mUf0g pic.twitter.com/NnW01ZAe21— PokerStars LIVE (@PokerStarsLIVE) August 22, 2023
It's final table time in the #EPTBarcelona €10K Mystery Bounty.
Erik Seidel, Conor Beresford and Tom Orpaz are among the final nine.
Follow along, via @PokerNews updates, here 👉 https://t.co/B3q78mUf0g pic.twitter.com/NnW01ZAe21
— PokerStars LIVE (@PokerStarsLIVE) August 22, 2023
Just outside the money places, players such as Argentinian in-form tournament pro Nacho Barbero and Sam Grafton fell. The British PokerStars ambassador joined Swedish online star Niklas Astedt and the 2022 defending champion in this event Francisco Benitez on the rail, with the latter cheering on his countryman Duarte.
Inside the money places, Polish player Pawel Krol min-cashed for $10,000 in 11th place, as American Keith Lehr lasted one place longer for the same result. Martin Zamani was the last man to miss out on the final table, cashing for around $13,000 in ninth place. Zamani lost a key flip to the also-short Duarte as the Uruguayan’s pocket eights held against Zamani’s ace-queen. That elimination and near double-up for Duarte was to prove the springboard to his success.
As play began as the eight-handed final table, Tom Orpaz was a huge chip leader with over 2.5 million chips to his name, well clear of Conor Beresford in second place on 1 million. The eventual winner, Duarte, was some way back on just 530,000, with Seidel also in the middle ranks. After French player Ouassini Mansouri shoved with king-nine, he lost to Orpaz’s eight-six, as a board of T-7-6-9-Q gave the latter a straight on the turn to reduce the field to seven and send Mansouri home with $32,000 in total winnings including bounties.
Next to leave the party was Ramon Kropmanns, whose willingness to test the powers of fate knew no bounds before they took a grisly revenge. Deciding to cash in his bounty chips after having earlier eliminated a player, Kropmanns had the fortune to pull one of the two $55,000 bounties. “Now I can play,”, he confidently declared, almost immediately leaving for $106,900 when his king-jack ran into Orpaz’ ace-five and couldn’t catch up.
It was the nine-time WSOP bracelet winner Erik Seidel who busted next. All-in with ace-nine, Seidel was short enough that Orpaz could call with Doyle Brunson’s famously winning hand from the 1976 and 1977 WSOP Main Events, ten-deuce, otherwise known as the ‘Texas Dolly’. Four spades came to align with the one in Orpaz’ hand as he took out the most experienced player at the table for a total prize fund of $43,600.
Tom Orpaz continued to cut through the field on his determined course. Slaying Chinese player Quan Zhou in fifth for a total prize of $31,000, Orpaz had eliminated the only player not to win a bounty during the event who made it to the final table. Next was Patrick Kennedy, who lost with pocket jacks to Orpaz’s queen-jack, as the Israeli seemingly could do no wrong, turning Kennedy dead by making a Broadway straight to send the Brit to the rail with $56,600.
It wasn’t long, however, before Orpaz ran out of luck. Unable to catch any cards with queen-nine of clubs falling to Duarte’s ace-ten, he slid out, but not before cashing in an astronomical amount of bounties, leaving his total prizes collected in third place at $155,500, more than the runner-up would claim.
Heads-up, the chips were all with Duarte as he had timed his run to chip leader to perfection in pursuit of the first trophy he might collect outside his native Uruguay. Holding 5.5 million chips to Beresford’s 2.4 million, a flop of A-Q-3 saw British player Conor Beresford c-bet with ace-ten. Duarte called that bet and another on the eight turn before a river of a jack led to Beresford shoving.
Duarte, leaping out of his chair and punching the air, made a snap-call, turning over king-ten for a rivered gutshot Broadway straight. It was a miraculous card to give him the win, but during an exciting final table, he’d earned his fortune and collected a total of $207,000 as well as his first-ever live ranking win outside his home country. Beresford, who himself had gone from sixth in chips with six remaining to runner-up, could console himself with six figures, banking $108,600 for a great few days’ work.
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