Watson and Martirosian Win Latest European Poker Tour Barcelona High Rollers

A number of big events wrapped up over the weekend at the 2022 European Poker Tour Barcelona festival, including two massive high-stakes tournaments. The first of the pair of high rollers to crown a champion was the €25,000 buy-in no-limit hold’em single-day event. The tournament attracted a field of 80 total entries, building a prize pool of nearly $2 million USD.

The top 11 finishers made the money, but the biggest payout went to the eventual champion: Artur Martirosian. The EPT Sochi champion and 2021 Super High Roller Bowl Europe winner earned $557,220 USD after coming out on top in this event. This was the second-largest live tournament score of his career, and it increased his lifetime live tournament earnings to more than $4.8 million.

Martirosian earned 672 Card Player Player of the Year points for the win. This was his second title and fifth final-table finish of the year. The points were enough to move him into a tie with Raul Garza for 70th place in the overall POY race, which is sponsored by Global Poker.

Other big names to make deep runs included EPT champion Patrik Antonius (11th), bracelet winner Danny Tang (10th), recent WSOP $100,000 buy-in champion Aleksejs Ponakovs, bracelet winner Mikita Badziakouski (7th), EPT champion Steve O’Dwyer (6th), and recent back-to-back winner at this series Francisco Benitez (4th). Benitez earned $197,544 in this event. With his victories in the €10,200 mystery bounty and the first €25,000 event of the series, he now has cashed for more than $785,000 USD during the first week of this festival.

Four-time bracelet winner Michael Addamo finished third for $256,800, bringing his career earnings to more than $24.3 million. He was knocked out by Paul Phua, who went on to finish second for $359,480. This was Phua’s second podium finish in as many days, having placed third in the first high roller of the series that was won by Benitez. Phua now sits inside the top 40 in the 2022 POY rankings, with one title, seven final tables, and nearly $4 million in year-to-date earnings.

Here is a look at the payouts and POY points awarded at the final table:

Place Player Earnings (USD) POY Points
1 Artur Martirosian $557,220 672
2 Paul Phua $359,480 560
3 Michael Addamo $256,800 448
4 Francisco Benitez $197,544 336
5 Laszlo Bujtas $151,946 280
6 Steve O’Dwyer $120,778 224
7 Mikita Badziakouski $96,645 168
8 Imad Derwiche $77,260 112
9 Aleksejs Ponakovs $61,831 56

Mike WatsonMike Watson was crowned the champion of the next nosebleed-stakes tournament on the schedule in Barcelona, the €50,000 no-limit hold’em single-day high roller. The Canadian WPT and EPT champion got off to a rocky start, busting multiple bullets early on to find himself in for four total entries by the time registration closed. With €200,000 invested, Watson would need to finish in fifth place or better to turn a profit. He did just that, emerging victorious with the title and the top prize of $899,128 USD.

“It feels really good to win. I’ve had a lot of close calls this year, but I haven’t had many where I actually closed the deal. So it feels really good to win one,” he told PokerNews live reporters after coming out on top.

This was the third-largest score of Watson’s career, and it increased his lifetime earnings to nearly $16.4 million. He also secured 510 POY points for his first title of the year, with nine other POY-qualified final table finishes already recorded in 2022. He now sits in 10th place in the overall standings, with $3.8 million in POY earnings accrued so far this year.

With 59 entries building a $2,947,953 prize pool, the top eight finishers made the money in this event. Current POY race leader Stephen Chidwick was sent home on the money bubble, ensuring six-figure payouts for the remaining contenders.

Both Michael Addamo (8th) and Aleksejs Ponakovs (6th) managed to earn their second final table finish in as many days. Australian two-time bracelet winner Kahle Burns played the grim reaper throughout much of the final table, knocking out Ponakovs, Pascal Lefrancois (5th), David Yan (4th), and Arthur Conan (3rd) to set up a heads-up showdown with Watson.

Burns held a solid chip lead to start, but the tables soon turned when Watson got all-in with two pair leading Burn’s top pair. Burns found no help on the river and Watson doubled to take more than a 3:1 lead.

The final hand of the event saw all the chips get in on a QHeart Suit9Spade Suit6Spade Suit flop with Burns holding KHeart SuitQClub Suit for top pair, while Watson had 10Diamond Suit8Spade Suit for a double gutshot. The 10Spade Suit on the turn gave Watson some additional outs. The 7Spade Suit on the river was the flashiest out of all, as it improved Watson to a ten-high straight flush to lock up the pot and the title.

Burns earned $589,593 as the runner-up, increasing his lifetime earnings to $12.5 million in the process.

Here is a look at the payouts and POY points awarded at the final table:

Place Player Earnings (USD) POY Points
1 Michael Watson $899,128 510
2 Kahle Burns $589,593 425
3 Arthur Conan $427,450 340
4 David Yan $324,275 255
5 Pascal LeFrancois $250,578 213
6 Aleksejs Ponakovs $191,621 170
7 Michael Soyza $147,393 128
8 Michael Addamo $117,914 85

Photo credits: Danny Maxwell / Rational Intellectual Holdings Ltd.