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Simon Wiciak came to play EPT Barcelona’s headliner with barely $100,000 in tournament cashes. But fresh off his largest cash from the World Series of Poker Main Event in July, he carried a confidence that contradicted his results and made magic happen.
Wiciak nearly went rail-to-rail as the chip leader and winner of the 2023 €5,300 EPT Barcelona Main Event for €1,134,375 ($1,224,683). This blows away his second-largest cash of $44,700 won for finishing in the 300 block of this year’s WSOP Main Event.
“I have felt so many emotions. Even if I looked in control and confident in my plays, I am still a human,” Wiciak told an EPT pool reporter after play concluded. “And this was the first time I played an EPT Main Event.”
Wiciak, 30, won the championship after agreeing to a three-way deal with Joao Sydenstricker and Carl Shaw. The event actually minted two poker millionaires: Sydenstricker binked $1,132,031 for runner-up.
It was also Sydenstricker’s largest tournament cash by a whole bunch. According to the Hendon Mob, his next closest is for $4,472 from a tourney in 2018.
Shaw also won his lifetime most with his $972,805 score. He did win a $5,000 WSOP bracelet event in 2019 for $600,000 where he denied Tony Dunst.
Large field nearly breaks record
Wiciak was one of 1,593 who came to Barcelona to play in the headliner. The 527 reentries put the number of stacks at 2,120, just short of last-years record-setting field of 2,294, but still enough to push the prize pool into the eight figures (€10,282,000).
The deal was made after Santiago Plante was eliminated fourth. Plante also won his career highest in this event, $440,000 or so more than the $109,000 he got for third at the $10,150 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure in January.
Fifth-place Andre Akkari owns a WSOP bracelet and more than $3.2 million in winnings, but doesn’t have an EPT title. He does own a trophy for winning an event at the PokerStars Brazilian Series of Poker in 2017.
Rounding out the final six was Ezequiel Waigel, who has made several final table of big buy-in events, but never closed the deal.
Final six of 2023 PokerStars EPT Barcelona (Aug. 27 to Sept. 3)
- Simon Wiciak, $1,225,125
- Joao Sydenstricker, $1,132,439
- Carl Shaw, $973,156
- Santiago Plante, $552,204
- Andre Akkari, $424,764
- Ezequiel Waigel, $326,700
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