Joao Barbosa found himself playing at the final table of the European Poker Tour Polish Open on his birthday and through his play managed to give him a birthday present of â‚¬367,141 as he captured the title and the victorâ€™s prize money. Barbosa was sixth in chips at the start of play but would climb the ranks until he was the only one left.
As is often the case, the short stack, Michael Muheim, was the first to exit the final table, doing so when he pushed all-in with [Ad][9c] and found himself facing the pocket aces of Sergey Shcherbatskiy. The board would not let Muheim see another hand as it rolled out [Qs][10s][9d][Js][3c]. Michael Muheim collected â‚¬21,114 for his ninth place finish.
Ludovic Lacay would fall in eighth place when Nico Behling cracked his pocket aces. Behling had been dealt pocket eights and made a preflop raise. With his pocket aces Lacay showed no hesitation in firing out a reraise. Behling called and the two players saw a flop of [8h][7s][5d]. Lacay fired a bet, Behling responded with a raise, and Lacay pushed all-in. Behling called to show his set to Lacay. Neither the turn nor the river delivered salvation in the form of one of the two remaining aces and Ludovic Lacay exited in eighth place for a payday of â‚¬32,843.
Andrea Benelli shoved all-in preflop while holding pocket jacks and was in a race after the Italian pro, Dario Minieri, made the call with [Ah][Qh]. The flop of [8c][5h][4h] delivered two hearts to give Minieri a flush draw. The turn dropped the [3h] on the felt to give Minieri his flush and Benelli was drawing dead. The [8s] fell on the unnecessary river and Andrea Benelli finished in seventh place for â‚¬45,746.
Joao Barbosa would eliminate his first opponent of the final table when he took Sergey Shcherbatskiy out in sixth place. Barbosa picked up pocket queens and started the hand with a raise. Shcherbatskiy then moved all-in and showed [Ad][5h] after Barbosa made the call. Shcherbatskiy was in trouble and after the board fell [Js][10c][7h][Kc][9s] he was no longer in the tournament. Sergey Shcherbatskiy earned â‚¬57,476 for finishing in sixth place.
Arnaud Mattern doubled up Atanas Gueorguiev and fell in fifth place shortly thereafter. Mattern picked up pocket tens and moved all-in with them. Barbosa made the call with pocket eights, giving Mattern the advantage. Mattern liked the flop of [Jh][6c][3c], however the [8s] would fall on the turn to give Barbosa his set. The river card was the [Ah], which sealed Matternâ€™s doom. Arnaud Matternâ€™s fifth place finish would be rewarded with â‚¬72,724.
Atanas Gueorguiev would also fall while holding a dominating hand, and once again it was Barbosa who was dominated. Gueorguiev shoved all-in with [Ac][Kc] and Barbosa made the call with [Ks][Qs]. Both players hit a pair of kings on the flop of [Kd][4s][3c], but Gueorguievâ€™s ace was making the difference. After the [9h] landed on the turn Barbosa needed a queen to win the hand, and he got it when the [Qh] landed on the river. Atanas Gueorguiev collected â‚¬87,973 after finishing in fourth place.
Dario Minieri ended his day in third place when he moved all-in and his pocket sevens could not overcome Barbosaâ€™s pocket nines. The board ran out [Qc][3s][3h][8d][4d], which did not hold a much needed seven, and Dario Minieri exited in third place, richer by â‚¬123,162.
Joao Barbosa held the chip lead at the start of heads-up play between him and Nico Behling. In the final hand of the battle Behling was all-in with [Js][7s] and facing the [Ah][10h] of Barbosa. Barbosa hit his ace on the flop of [As][7c][3h] but Behling made a pair as well to maintain the status quo. Behling still needed a jack or a seven, and the turn card came down [6h]. That reduced Behlingâ€™s outs as now he needed a jack or a seven that was not a heart, giving him three outs instead of five. The river card was the [6d] and Nico Behling was eliminated in second place for a payday of â‚¬205,270.
On his 26th birthday Joao Barbosa captured the EPT Polish Open for his first EPT title and â‚¬367,141.