Welcome back to 4th part of the ESPT History Series. So far, we walked through 3 amazing ESPT seasons. What started as an annual, 3-event poker tour has rapidly grown to a poker festival with thousands of fans from all over the world. In this part we will explore how ESPT grew in season 4, what where the biggest events, who won them and who took the most cash home.
Estrellas Poker Tour (2013)
ESPT Season 4 was smaller in events, but much more popular by attendance. There were no more stops at Alicante, Malaga, San Sebastian or Ibiza that ESPT has experimented with for a few seasons. In fact, it seems that PokerStars has decided what the best ESPT ingredients are and are not planning to change it anymore.
So, the four events that from now on make an ESPT season are:
ESPT 4 Madrid
Three out of four ESPT seasons were opened in Spanish capital Madrid. This year it continued to grow as ESPT Madrid was bigger and richer than on any of the previous years. It was slightly bigger than last year’s event plus, along with the €1,000 +100 Main Event there were 8 side events.
- Events – 9
- Running – January 23-27, 2013
- Main Event attendance – 632
- Main Event (in the money) – 72
- Prizepool – €606,720
It has become a tradition to open new ESPT seasons at Grand Casino Madrid. This 4-day festival attracted over 2,000 poker players with 632 of them entering the Main event that generated a massive €606,720. There were a lot of ESPT regulars in the player pool but the festival grew in international attendance as well. And it showed.
When there were two tables remaining in the Main Event, a third of remaining players were not from Spain.
Here are the Top 15 payouts of the ESPT Madrid:
As you see, Adrian Mateos Diaz, currently an EPT regular and Spain’s No.1 on Poker Money list, finished on top. Back then, even though it’s not that long ago, it was Diaz’s only third cash. After then his career just skyrocketed with frequent final table appearances and wins all over the world.
But Diaz was not the favorite when the Final table was formed. Not only he was the shortstack at the FT, he had to outlast much more experienced players like Richard Milne from Scotland that already had 8 Final tables under his belt and a €1,500 +150 Irish Open event win and last year’s Final tablist at ESPT San Sebastian Main Event Vicente Delgado Zamorano.
But everybody knows that anything can happen at a poker table. And it did. After a quick double at the start of play, Diaz rapidly rose in ranks and took the title and €103,000. And it seems he never stopped winning since.
ESPT 4 Valencia
Maybe not by much, but Valencia grew as an event as well. For example, last year nearly 400 players entered the Main Event while this year there were 483 entries. It was an amazing event, well-worth repeating annually.
- Events – 7
- Running – April 3-7, 2013
- Main Event attendance – 483
- Main Event (in the money) – 56
- Prizepool – €463,680
There was a nice lineup of events prepared for poker players in Valencia. There were 7 side events including a €1,850 + 150 High Roller that kicked off the festival and 6 events ranging from €100 +10 to €300 +30 as well as €250 +25 PLO event.
High Roller event had only 13 entries with 3 places paid. Zamorano, a name you will recognize as Season 3 San Sebastian and Season 4 Madrid final tablist, finished 3rd while German Andre Wagner took the title.
As we mentioned, the Main Event was slightly bigger than last year and generated €463,680 prizepool through 483 entries.
There was no deal at the final table so Daniel Boender, one of two international players at the final table, took home by far the biggest chunk of the promised prizepool – €104,550 that at the time was the second biggest cash prize in ESPT history. And while it’s probably true that Boender is not one of the names you easily recognize, you may know 5th place finisher Renato Almeida, a common EPT face from Portugal who won a €1,000 +100 EPT side event in Madrid in 2012.
Here are the Top 15 payouts of the event:
Pokerstars Marbella Festival
For the first time Spain’s biggest poker tour held an amazing event in Marbella that, as we can tell now, will become a regular ESPT stop from now on. First thing you notice about it is its unusual name isn’t it? Neither of other ESPT events is called a Pokerstars Festival, is it?
You want to know why?
- Events – 8
- Running – June 12-16, 2013
- Main Event attendance – 763
- Main Event (in the money) – 88
- Prizepool – €732,480
Welcome to Pokerstars Marbella Festival. If you are interested in why it is not called simply ESPT Marbella, here’s why. Marbella is not only an ESPT event. It’s a combined, ESPT-UKIPT Season 4 event. A festival you might say.
Ludovic Geilich, a name you should be familiar with by now, took down the first Marbella Main Event title along with €130,000. If you don’t know him, Geilich is also a 4th place finisher at EPT London Main Event and a EPT €2,000 +200 Side event winner. He made a name for himself with his crazy, aggressive style, that apparently is working for him pretty well. You can often hear
Do you know who did he have to beat to win the title? Pablo Rojas Martinez Del Marmol. Sounds familiar? That’s because he’s the ESPT Season 3 Ibiza event winner. After a deep and long heads-up battle, it all came down to a coin flip. Geilich’s pocket 99’s held against Rojas’s QJ, even though he may have been very optimistic after he saw the flop come K-T-T.
Here are the Top 15 payouts of the event:
Top three payouts were decided after a deal with €14,000 and a title left to play. Geilich’s prize became the second biggest ESPT cash but just until the next event in Barcelona where top prize exceeded €200,000.
ESPT 4 Barcelona
After a new ESPT event in Marbella, Pokerstars brought the poker action back to Barcelona. Again, it will close ESPT Season 4 and open doors to the new EPT season. Again, EPT/ESPT Barcelona broke all the attendance expectations and prize pool records.
- Events – 30
- Running – August 28-September 1, 2013
- Main Event attendance – 1,798
- Main Event (in the money) – 264
- Prizepool – €1,744,060
Let’s make it clear. This poker festival in Barcelona was the biggest one to date. And it’s not even close. To put it in a perspective, since ESPT Madrid in Season 1 to Season 4 the event has grown from 291 to 632. Main Event attendance in Barcelona has grown from 1037 to 1,798 in one year!
Speaking of ESPT Barcelona, 1,798 players generated a massive €1,744,060 prizepool with 264 players getting paid from €1,320 to prizes exceeding €200,000.
In the end, it all came down to final 8 players including Paul Nunes, Marcelo Ramos Da Fonseca, Lukasz Roczniak and Alfonso Amendola ‘JR’, each with impressive live poker tournament resumes. While Amendola and Roczniak fell consecutively 8th and 7th claiming €29,000 and €41,100, experienced players Nunes and Fonseca went deep.
4-handed players decided to make a deal. Nunes, the chipleader, claimed the biggest slice of the pie – €204,000, Germans Sameeian and Jahn Soenke both got around €157,000 each while shortstack Fonseca guaranteed himself €121,000 with €12,000 left to play for.
After the play resumed, Soenke eliminated Fonseca, took a massive chiplead and held on until the end claiming the title and the remaining €12,000. By the way Nunes’ prize has him in second place on all-time ESPT money list.
Here are the final top 15 payouts of the event:
We hope you enjoyed this trip through ESPT Season 4. If you did, please check out part 5 of the series about ESPT Season 5 that, as expected, broke all attendance records again!