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Frenchman Jan Boubli Wins the EPT Barcelona Open

The European Poker Tour crowned it's first champion of their second season. Jan Boubli, a former dentist from France, ended up winning the largest tournament in the brief history of the EPT. He outlasted 325 other players in the $4,000 Euro buy-in event. They were all gunning for a prize pool that was worth over $1.3 million Euros. Jan Boubli won $416,000 Euros and a seat in the $10,000 Euro buy-in Grand Finale event that will be held in Monte Carlo in March of 2006. Along with Pascal Perrault, Jan Boubli is considered one of the best poker players of all time to come from France.

Action was completed tonight at the quaint Casino de Barcelona located in the Port Olimpic district. You can't miss the casino. It' s located directly underneath the infamous golden lights of the fish which was designed by architect Frank Gehry. The cramped and smokey poker room is located downstairs. That's where some of the best players in Europe congregated for two days to find out who would win the Barcelona Open. Last year the event buy-in was $1,000 Euros and 227 players entered. Alexander Stevic won the first EPT event. Unfortunately the Swede was eliminated on Day One.

There were several notable bust outs on Day One including Isabelle Mercier, Tony G, Marcel Luske, Devilfish Ulliot, Barny Boatman, and Noah "Exclusive" Boeken. Last year's rising star on the EPT was American Brandon Schaefer. He took first place at Deauville and was the runner up at Monte Carlo. Unfortunately he was assigned to the featured TV table on day one that included several tough players including Gus Hansen, Pascal Perrault, Christer Johannson, Daniel Larrson, and the "Finish Kamikaze" Ilari Sahamies who seemed to be playing and raising almost every pot.

At the end of Day One, Gus Hansen held the chip lead with over $219K after he amassed a huge stack at the featured TV table. Other notable pros who survived Day One included Kirill Gerasimov, former WSOP champion Carlos Mortensen, Christer Johansson, Luca Pagano, and Liam Flood.

Day Two began with 43 players. With the top 27 players making the money, I expected the play to slow down as it reached the bubble. The opposite occurred. The play was fast and several players were knocked out due to the rapidly increasing blind structures. Players started Day One with $10,000 in chips, but the levels were only 45 minutes in length. Sadly, Carlos Mortensen bubbled out in 28th place.

Here were the payouts:

Final Table:
1. 416,000 Euros
2. 228,000 Euros
3. 117,000 Euros
4. 91,000 Euros
5. 78,000 Euros
6. 65,000 Euros
7. 52,000 Euros
8. 39,000 Euros

And the rest:
9. 26,000 Euros
10-12th 15,600 Euros
13-15th 13,000 Euros
16-18th 10,400 Euros
19-27th 7,800 Euros

Gus Hansen used his big stack and bullied around everyone at his table. Christer Johannson made several big moves. He went from $47K to $137K to $260K over the course of Day Two and played excellent poker. Luca Pagano was trying to make EPT history. He was tied with Brandon Schaefer for most EPT final table appearance with two. Alas, Luca failed in his quest. Mika Puro bubbled out of the TV table and finished in 9th place. EPT final tables are 8-handed.

Here's who made the final table including chip counts:

Seat 1: Gus Hansen (Copenhagen, Denmark) $743K
Seat 2: Patrick Mortensson (Stockholm, Sweden) $281K
Seat 3: Jan Boubli (France) $292K
Seat 4: Romain Feriolo (Marabella, Spain) $282K
Seat 5: Christer Johansson (Hollivken, Sweden) $885K = Chipleader
Seat 6: Patrick Antonius (Helsinki, Finland) $331K
Seat 7: Anton Bergstrom (Lund, Sweden) $338,500
Seat 8: Dario Alioto (Palermo, Italy) $87,500

Here are some interesting facts about our final table players:

* Gus Hansen is a 3 time WPT Champion.

* Patrik Mortensson is still a teenager. The 19 year-old also played in Deauville last year.

* Jan Boubli is a former dentist who turned to professional poker after his retirement. He's regarded as one of the greatest French players.

* Romain Feriolo took 4th at the 2004 EPT Grande Final in Monte Carlo. The interior decorator is a relative newcomer to the game.

* Christer Johansson is one of Sweden's best players. Although he's a cash game specialist, he's a savvy tournament player. He won $500,000 Euros in a World Poker Tour event at the Aviation Club in Paris two years ago.

* Patrik Antonius won the Scandinavian Championships last month and has been playing professionally for three years.

* Anton Bergstroem is a twenty-year old student who bares a resemblance to "Doogie Howser."

* Dario Alioto is a pharmacy student in Budapest.

Romain Feriolo was the first player eliminated from the final table. He was knocked out in 8th place by Christer Johansson. On a flop of K-10-9, Feriolo moved all in with 10-2. Johansson called with 10-9 and turned a full house. Romain Feriolo won $39,000 Euros for 8th place.

Dario Alioto was shortstacked and moved all in with K-Q. Patrik Antonius called with A-10 and it held up. Dario Alioto was eliminated in 7th place. He won 52,000 Euros.

Gus Hansen had been getting beat up by the three Swedes at the final table. Hansen lost a majority of his stack to them in three big pots. Hansen made a move and pushed all in with A-8 versus Patrik Antonius's pocket threes. He caught his ace and doubled up.

Anton Bergstrom was knocked out in 6th place by Gus Hansen. Anton had Q-10 and Gus had A-4. Gus caught trip 4s and Anton was eliminated. He won $65,000 Euros for 6th place.

Gus Hansen lost a big pot with Ks-7s to Patrick Mortensson's A-Q. Patrick Mortensson was the short stack and moved all in. Gus called. Both players caught a runner runner straight but Patrick's was higher. Gus Hansen's stack took a big hit. He eventually was eliminated in 5th place when his Ks-Qs lost to Jan Boulbi's J-J. Gus Hansen won $78,000 for fifth place.

In the battle of the Patricks... Patrick Mortensson was eliminated in 4th place when his 8-8 ran into Patrik Antonius' Q-Q. The young Patrick Mortensson won $91,000.

Jan Boubli won a huge pot against Patrik Antonius. The flop was Js-5s-Jx. Antonius bet out on the flop. Boubli raised all in and Antonius called. Boubli showed As-3s and Antonius showed Ks-2s. The turn was the 10s and Boubli doubled up after he won a $1 million pot. Boubli closed the gap between him a Christer Johansson and nearly pulled even.

Patrik Antonius was eliminated in 3rd place when he missed a flush draw with Ks-3s on a board with As-4s-Ah. Jan Boubli flopped two pair with 3h-4h and it held up when Patrik failed to catch his flush. Patrik Antonius won $117,000 for third place. Antonius pretty much gave Boubli all of his chips.

After a half hour of heads up play, Jan Boubli from France won the Barcelona Open! With K-Q he caught a Queen on the river to beat Christer Johansson's As-2s. Christer flopped two pair on a board of 8-2-8. Bother players got their money all in on the flop. The turn was a rag and the river gave Jan Boubli the win. He thrust his arms into the air to celebrate his come from behind victory. Christer Johansson won $228,000 Euros for second place. Jan Boubli won $416,000 Euros for first place and a seat to the EPT Grand Finale in Monte Carlo in March of 2006.

Congrats to Jan Boubli and to everyone who made the money.

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