Mikalai Pobal has won the 2012 European Poker Tour Barcelona main event, outlasting 1,081 other competitors to earn a sweet €1m payday. After six days of play, it came down to Pobal and two apparently tipsy Finns – Ilari Sahamies and Joni Jouhkimainen – who returned from their final dinner break with glasses of orange liquid in their hands and sequin-encrusted trilbies – one gold, one silver – on their heads. As the hatless Pobal (pictured right, courtesy of photog Neil Stoddart) watched with some amusment, the Finns would exchange hats whenever the chip lead changed hands, with the chip leader getting to wear the gold chapeau. But once Sahamies eliminated Jouhkimainen, Pobal the Belarusian sent the final Finn packing just three hands later. Sahamies earned €629k for his second-place Finnish (nyuk nyuk), while Jouhkimainen took €404k. The rest of the final table finished as follows: Anaras Alekberovas (€301k), Samuel Rodriguez (€231k), Sinel Anton (€178k), Antonin Duda €126k) and John Juanda (€76k).
Earlier on in Barcelona, Laurent Polito won the €10k High Roller, earning €270k for outlasting a 111-strong field (101 entrants, 10 reloads) over three days of play. Runner-up Alex Bilokur actually earned slightly more cash (€295k) than Polito after the two struck a deal based on their chip counts when heads-up action began. But Polito also got the trophy, the Shamballa bracelet and the place in the record books, so nyah nyah nyah. Tobias Reinkemeier finished third, earning €119k.
In other EPT news, the EPT London has a new venue for 2013. The Landmark hotel will host the main event, which gets underway March 10. The nearby Grosvenor Victoria Casino will host the EPT London side events, the first of which gets underway March 6. Meanwhile, the start of the EPT Berlin will now take place on April 17, a week earlier than the previously scheduled kickoff, and conclude on April 27. The goal is to avoid clashing with the Italian Poker Tour San Remo, which gets underway April 28.
The World Series of Poker Europe has decided to get in on some of this Euro-high-roller action by adding a €50k Super High-Roller non-bracelet event to its upcoming soirée in Cannes, France. The sixth annual WSOPE gets underway Sept. 21 and concludes Oct. 4. There will be seven bracelet events plus 69 side events, including the Super High-Roller, which gets underway Oct. 2. The complete schedule of events is viewable here.
Earlier this week, the International Stadiums Poker Tour (ISPT) triumphantly announced that it had received confirmation from Brent Council that the ISPT’s inaugural event could go ahead in London’s Wembley Stadium starting May 31, 2013, pursuant to a Temporary Use Notice. A day later, the ISPT announced it had signed on as an official partner of the Amateur Poker Association & Tour. The ISPT will sponsor the Scottish Amateur Poker Championship in Glasgow on Oct. 13-14, the United Kingdom Team Championship in Luton on Jan. 26-27 and the World Championship of Amateur Poker in Nottingham from March 28 to April 1. Meanwhile, all players who finished in the money at the main event of the Tanger Poker Festival at the Casino de Tanger in Morocco this weekend were automatically qualified for the ISPT’s maiden event in London.