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Poker EPT Barcelona - Limit Holdem
Betholdem Manager's Report from EPT Barcelona
While the Fearsome Foursome rolled into Harrah's Lake Tahoe this weekend, a former Fearsome Foursome team member was representing the BetHold'em name at the latest EPT main event in Barcelona, Spain.
Brian Jensen from Aalborg, Denmark, faced off with Europe's best, a few American poker masters and an Aussie champ who also made up the 480-player field. The buy-in was 5000 Euros, totalling a prize pool of 2,304,000 Euros. The first-place finisher was in for a 691,000 Euro payday, while the top 50 finishers would all end up with some cash. Now that the pleasantries are over, let's turn things over to Brian with a quick report on the event and his own play.
This was my first trip to Barcelona and I've got to say it's one beautiful town. The Casino De Barcelona is a fine building. It may not stack up to some of the casinos in Las Vegas, but not many places in this world do.
A quick scan of the poker room at the Barcelona revealed a number of well-known faces from the poker world. Some of the big names included Joe Hachem, Phil Ivey, Mike Matusow, John Gale, Kenna James and Andy Black. What about the big European names you may be asking? I was just getting to that.
Two of the biggest European poker stars, Marcel Luske and Gus Hansen were out to expand their already large poker bankroll, and the best part (or worst part depending how you look at it) was that both of them were at my table when play began on Day 1.
I felt really good about my game heading into this tournament after having two of the best months I've ever had in my online poker career. Unfortunately this recent success and positive attitude didn't translate into a big run in Barcelona.
I got some really bad cards early and watched my chip stack gradually shrink before hauling in a few small pots to get back to a respectable chip-level. That changed quickly though when I found myself with King-Four. Marcel Luske had just called from an early position pre-flop. I limped in from the small blind and the big blind checked, leaving three of us to see the flop. The flop was Jack-Four-Four. I threw in small bet and the big blind folded. Luske immediately moved all-in. He was short stacked and I felt pretty good about my trip fours so I called him. He flipped over 10-9 putting me well ahead. That all changed when an eight hit on the turn giving him a straight draw. The river card was the Queen and Luske lucked out the straight, which tore apart my three fours and left me with only 8000 in chips. You've got to be lucky at times to be as good as Luske, and that hand just proves it.
I was down to about 7500 chips when I caught pocket Jacks and really thought it was my time to make a comeback. Gus Hansen raised pre-flop in that hand and I simply called. The big blind also called and three of us saw the flop. The flop was Queen-Jack-Four. Another set of trips on the flop for me. Hopefully this time I'd receive a better outcome. Both the big blind and Hansen checked to me and I bet. The big blind put in a raise (didn't really see that check-raise coming) and Hansen folded. I looked at my trip Jacks and pushed all-in. The big blind called right away and flipped over 10-9. Trips versus 10-9 again? I was ahead again against another straight-draw, but just like last time the turn was an 8 and I was beat by another straight. Two hands decided my tournament fate and both times it was 10-9.
The winner of the event turned out to be Bjorn-Erik Gleene, who ran over Phil Ivey heads-up to win the tournament. Congrats to Gleene on a well-played tourney.
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