EPT11 Grand Final - Spain Gets Its First EPT Winner in Adrian Mateos6 years ago
Eleven years... Eleven years has the Spain awaited this moment, and it has finally arrived. Last night, Adrian Mateos Diaz claimed the victory in the PokerStars and Monte-Carlo Casino EPT Grand Final, bringing the first-ever European Poker Tour title to Spain!
It is no big surprise that it was exactly Mateos who broke the dry spell as the young Spaniard already has some big titles to his name, including the golden WSOP bracelet won in Europe. At the age of only 20, Matoes has just added another accolade to his poker resume and if he continues at this pace, he could soon start threatening some long-standing poker records.
When the six-handed play started yesterday, young pro wasn't in such a good shape, as he was coming back with the second shortest stack. However, by the end of the day, he would prove that the chip count is only a number and that it takes more to win than just starting with a lot of chips.
Mateos' climb towards the title started when he sent one of the most dangerous players at the final table to the rail. Ole Schemion, who lost decent chunk of his stack in an earlier hand, got the last of his chips in the middle with an inferior Ace and the Spaniard was able to hold as the board brought five complete blanks. For his sixth place finish, German high roller earned €233,500.
The Pole Jose Carlos Garcia started the day as the official short stack, so he did well to outlast Ole, but that was as far as he would go after his a9 proved inadequate against pocket Kings of Muhyedine Fares. The title may have slipped under Garcia's fingers, but his great run still earned him a hefty sum of €297,500.
Team PokerStars Pro Johnny Lodden was another tough obstacle that needed to be circumvented before the tile could travel to Spain. Mateos outplayed Lodden on this occasion, as he took a good chunk of his chips on a stone called bluff. Then Fares proceeded to strike the finishing blow, as his Ace-Nine outflopped Lodden's Ace-Queen. Prize of €379,000 for Johnny but, no doubt, some regrets about the missed opportunity.
With Lodden's exit, Mateos found himself in a really great spot, as he was left with the chip lead and facing two self-proclaimed recreational players. But what makes poker beautiful and painful at times that cards can really go either way in any particular tournament and Fares went on a mini-tear, doubling through Mateos and proceeding to eliminate Hady El Esmar in third place. El Esmar took a wrong time to get his chips in the middle after hitting a top pair, as he ran into Fares' pocket Aces, ending his dream of EPT title, having to find some consolation in the €486,000 third place money.
With his departure, the stage was set for the final clash. One of the two would become a champion and Mateos was in a good spot to finally bring the EPT title to Spain. Fares did have a chip lead and the momentum going, but young Spaniard had the experience and hunger which, with some help from poker gods, translated into much desired victory.
After finding a double up flopping two pair with 74 , Mateos found himself in the driver's seat and would soon proceed to finish off his opponent when his a8 held up against a6 of his opponent.
— Adrián Mateos Díaz (@Amadi_17) May 9, 2015
Senegal's businessman Muhyedine Fares earned €679,000 for this truly outstanding run, but Adrian Mateos was no doubt the man of the hour and maybe even the man of the EPT Season 11, which concluded yesterday with the last card of the Main Event. He became the first Spaniard to win the EPT title and also earned €1,082,000 in the process, bringing his total live winnings to just shy of $3.5 million. Not too shabby for a 20-year old, right?
Photo: Neil Stoddart, PokerStars Blog
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