A former teacher from Catalunya has won the main event of the re-invigorated World Series of Poker Europe and over €1,000,000 at the Kings’ Casino in Rozvadov.
888poker was the main sponsor of this year’s World Series of Poker Europe and somehow they managed to provide the winner, too.
While established pros Maria Ho, Niall Farrell and Jack Salter were all at the final table it was the unheralded 888 qualifier Torres who claimed the glory.
Qualifier Goes All the Way
Spain’s Marti Roca de Torres only had about $30,000 in tournament winnings before the WSOPE 2017 and none of his cashes came from a tournament win.
Now he’s a member of the millionaires’ club.
The WSOPE took place at the King’s Casino in Rozvadov this year (and will return there in 2019) and it had 12 tournaments on the schedule.
The Main Event drew 529 entries which was just enough to break the €5,000,000 guarantee. With the King’s Casino now being the most successful casino in Europe it came as no surprise that numerous international stars flocked to the tables.
That was reflected at the final table as well. EPT Monte Carlo runner-up Jack Salter, former BOM host Maria Ho and EPT Malta winner Niall Farrell all made it to that famous last table but they weren’t able to get a hold on the trophy.
Instead, it was formerly unknown player Marti Roca de Torres from Barcelona who prevailed. de Torres was delighted, but also exhausted after the last hand was dealt.
“I am more nervous now than before when I was playing. But for sure I am very happy and it is a dream come true. I don’t know what to say.”
de Torres Finds Aces
Salter finished the tournament in 7th place after losing two big hands to runner-up finisher Gianluca Speranza. It was the last elimination of the penultimate day.
By this time many other big names had already busted out long ago – like Stefan Schillhabel (78th), Dominik Panka (76th), Will Kassouf (64th), Anatoly Filatov (55th), Pierre Neuville (53rd), Phil Gruissem (47th), David Peters (44th), Mike Leah (39th), Parker Talbot (25th), Rainer Kempe (22nd), Kristen Bicknell (18th) and eventually Kevin MacPhee (10th).
Maria Ho came into the final as chipleader – with de Torres in 2nd place – and had high hopes of becoming the second female winner of a WSOP main event but then things went horribly wrong.
First she lost two sizeable pots against De Torres and then she pushed all-in with pocket deuces against NFarrell’s open raise with jacks.
Farrell called and won the hand. It propelled him into the second place of the leaderboard while Ho fell to last place. Her demise was the biggest hand thus far and, sensationally, it also cost the Scotsman Farrell his tournament life.
Ho was all-in with A-J, Farrell found pocket kings and came along but then de Torres found aces in the big blind and took them both out.
de Torres’ emotional rollercoaster
de Torres moved into a huge chiplead then and for a while it looked like the other three players were only competing for second place.
However, 4-handed play lasted over six hours and Gianluca Speranza, Mathijs Jonkers and Robert Bickley fought back and bit piece by piece off of Torres’s stack.
In fact, de Torres was taken from first all the way to last place in the chip counts and, at that point, few people still thought he’d be able to come back.
“For a moment I thought it’s done. Then, for a moment it looked impossible. But finally I was growing my stack hand by hand. I tried to play hand by hand and don’t think in the future,” commented de Torres.
de Torres hung in and after Bickley and Jonkers – who is the organizer of the Dutch Championship of Poker – bowed out, he came into the final as a rather short stack.
Speranza had pretty much the opposite experience at this table, having been the short stack for most of the time, and he had a psychological advantage. But de Torres came back once again, took over the chiplead and eventually found a way to grind down his Italian counterpart.
The deciding hand was – as ever so often – a coin flip: de Torres’ pocket fives against Speranza’s A-J. An ace on the flop and a five on the turn showcased the drama of this finale very well and de Torres, now with all the chips but two big blinds, won the tournament on the very next hand.
Astonishingly, de Torres had won his ticket for the WSOPE Main Event in an online satellite. He played a €220 sub-satellite, worked his way up the levels and eventually won the tournament package.
WSOP Europe 2017 Final Table Payouts
Mati Roca de Torres
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