Highroller tournaments are a real challenge for the main events of poker series, with the number of participants being constantly on the rise. All those who are even remotely interested in this game are tempted to pay more attention to what happens at highrollers tables and some poker pros are firmly against the strength. Meanwhile, the EPT Barcelona High Roller Event exceeded expectations with 393 players paying a massive buy-in of €10,300.
The amount is comparable to what players invest when sitting down at the World Series of poker main event tables, even though many more choose to participate in the Las Vegas tournament. There are no qualifiers running over the Internet for highroller tournaments, which means that those who play here need to have not only the poker skills, but also the resources. This explains why the tables are populated by poker players and only a handful of amateurs risk swimming in the shark infested waters.
The tournament was played over the course of three days, with many professionals being sent to the rail in the first two. Just 21 players were left in the race at the start of Day 3 and they knew that only 15 of them will make the money, therefore offset their investment. It took a while for the final table to be set in place and the 8 finalists knew that even if they were to suffer an untimely elimination, they would still collect a nice paycheck of €90,000.
Carlos Chadha was the first to go home, followed shortly by Stephen Chidwick, leaving Jason Mercier and Ami Barer as favorites to win the tournament. None of them had a lot of chips in front of them, but they were by far the most experienced players, which explains why the specialists gave them the first chance to prevail. Both of them survived long enough to witness the elimination of four players, but Ami Barer fell short of three handed play and had to settle for the fourth-place and €276,000.
Ihar Soika emerged as the new favorite, mostly due to the fact that he was riding a huge stack and he put that to good use against the Team PokerStars Pro. The heads up stage was highly contested, with Jason Mercier doing his very best to beat the odds, but at the end of the day he had to accept defeat. Even so he took home a nice paycheck of €473,000, while Soika claimed the first prize and the corresponding €747k.
These were the eight players who made the final table and the amounts they collected for their efforts: