Polish PokerStars qualifier Sebastian Malec has won the European Poker Tour (EPT) 13 Barcelona Main Event – the biggest EPT ever held – for €1,122,800 – after qualifying online for just €27.
Sebastian Malec beat Germany’s Uri Reichenstein heads-up to take the title, trophy and massive first prize. The 21-year-old, one of the youngest EPT champions ever, used to play chess competitively as a youngster but when his chess coach travelled to Las Vegas for the 2010 World Series of Poker (WSOP), he started following the poker scene instead. He immediately fell in love with the game – and, in particular, the European Poker Tour. While studying at the University of Warwick in the UK two years ago he took the opportunity to visit EPT11 London. “It was only two hours away so I thought why not? I was reading literally every update from the tournaments back then and watching all the live streams,” Malec said.
At EPT London, Malec met his poker heroes for the first time, players such as Dominik Panka and Team PokerStars Pro Jason Mercier – and he now joins their ranks as an EPT champion. He is the third EPT champion from Poland, following in the footsteps of Panka and EPT 12 Dublin champion Dzmitry Urbanovich.
Malec’s EPT Main Event debut came only last year in Barcelona when he made it to 76th place for €15,600 – his biggest cash until today. He also played last season’s EPT Malta and EPT Dublin Main Events. He’s currently studying maths in Maastricht but moving to the Netherlands shortly to study art and culture.
Runner-up Uri Reichenstein, 28, who was born in Israel but now lives in Germany, was among the biggest stacks from Day 2 – and in the top five for each of the last three days. Reichenstein’s biggest live result before now was in Cyprus and he also went deep in this summer’s WSOP Main Event, eventually falling in 141st place for $49,108. Online, he’s won numerous online tournament titles including the Sunday Million, Super Tuesday, Sunday SuperSonic, The Big $162 victories and many others.
1: Sebastian Malec, Poland, PokerStars qualifier, €1,122,800
2: Uri Reichenstein, Germany, €807,100
3: Adam Owen, UK, PokerStars qualifier, €646,250
4: Thomas De Rooij, Netherlands, PokerStars qualifier, €535,100
5: Zorlu Er, Turkey €431,550
6: Andreas Chalkiadakis, Greece, PokerStars qualifier, €330,290
7: Harcharan Dogra Dogra, Spain, €230,950
8: Pavel Plesuv, Moldova, PokerStars qualifier, €165,950