Ivan Freitez wins EPT Grand Final
Ivan Freitez takes down the European Poker Tour Season 7 Grand Final at the EPT Madrid...and picks up €1.5m
|by German Virgin||May, 13th 2011||
Above: Ivan Freitez celebrates the EPT Grand Final win in Madrid
Freitez, the chip leader heading into the final table, got his hands on the trophy when he flopped a pair with ten-nine suited against Brinkmann’s ace-king.
He defeated a 686-strong field comprising some of the best players in the world to land the title, cash and a bracelet worth €22,000.
Freitez, who was also celebrating his sixth wedding anniversary yesterday, said: "When we were down to four players, I felt I was going to win.
"I brought out the animal in me, and just went for it.
"After some poor results, at last I’ve made it and won a big tournament. I met a lot of aggressive players along the way but I adapted my game and stayed calm and it paid off."
It was watched by a record-breaking audience of more than 500,000 people, with a simultaneous “cards-up” broadcast in Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Romania, Slovenia, Russia and Canada, as well as on PokerStars.tv.
Juan Maceiras was thwarted in his hopes of becoming the first ever Spanish EPT champion, eliminated in fifth place for €315,000.
WSOP and WPT bracelet winner Alex Gomes, from Brazil, was also frustrated in his bid to win poker’s elusive Triple Crown, finishing seventh for €185,000.
Other pros to cash were Slovakia’s Dag Palovic (14th, €60,000), Victor Ramdin (23rd, €40,000), Eugene Katchalov (27th €35,000), Leo Fernandez (45th, €25,000), Ivan Demidov (67th, €20,000).
Dutch hottie Fatima Moreira de Melo cashed in 94th place for €15,000 but was outlasted by her boyfriend, Holland’s former tennis number one Raemon Sluiter, who recorded his first EPT Main Event cash, in 22nd place for €40,000.
Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier pulled off an astonishing double during the Grand Final, winning the very first event of the week, the €25,000 High Roller event, earning €525,000, and then the penultimate tournament five days later – the €10,000 High Roller Turbo tourney, for an additional €173,000. American Andrew “LuckyChewy” Lichtenberger won the €5,250 Heads-Up tournament for €70,000, while Spanish player Sara Mariani won the €500 Ladies Event, winning €11,600.
Overall, there were more than 3,000 entries to the 28 events at this season’s EPT Grand Final, making its debut in the Spanish capital - although the Main Event wasn't as big as last year's tournament in Monte Carlo, leading some to question the merits of the switch.