Simon Wiciak ended day 4 of PokerStars European Poker Tour (EPT) Barcelona Main Event as chip leader. At the end of day five, he was still at the top of the leaderboard. And the Frenchman remains the man to beat as an action-packed sixth day leaves just six players left to chase the trophy.
Wiciak ended the night with 22,875,000 and held the chip lead for the third straight season ahead of the remaining six players left in the once huge field of 2,120. Wiciak, who had just over $100,000 in live winnings before the event, has already guaranteed £302,500 but will have his eye on the €1,488,000 top prize when Sunday’s final table continues.
2023 EPT Barcelona Main Event Final Six Chip Counts
|rank||player||country||chip count||Big blinds|
|2||Carl Shaw||Great Britain||17,400,000||70|
to pursue him Carl Shaw, who found himself on the happiest end of the biggest pot of the tournament on day six, helping it grow to 17,400,000 by the end of the evening. Shaw is broken Daniyar Aubakirov with the mother directly against a set, then eliminated Curtis Knight seventh place at the end of the day. The Englishman already has a WSOP bracelet and reached the final table of the Irish Open in April.
Wiciak and Shaw together hold more than 63 percent of the total chips in play. Santiago planned (7,500,000), João Sydenstricker (6,150,000) and Ezekiel Waigel (5,150,000) must try to track them down tomorrow.
And then there’s PokerStars Team Pro Other Akari, who was the ultimate survivor of the event for the last three days, winning numerous all-ins and staying short stacked most of the time. The Brazilian superstar, cheered on by a raucous rail, once again finds himself at the bottom of the leaderboard with 4,500,000.
Day 6 action
Day 6 started with 16 players looking to secure their spot in the last six. Mircea Fluturwho won his entry into this event in an online qualifier was the first eliminator and took home €63,250 for his 16th place finish.
From Marcus, who had previously played kings against Plante’s aces, was eliminated in 15th place. Then came a pot that started the momentum of the day. Shaw and Aubakirov built a pot of more than 17,000,000 as Aubakirov was all in with a set but Shaw had a flopped straight. The board failed to pair on the river and Shaw took down the massive pot, taking his stack to over 19,000,000 and putting him on top of the chip.
Oshri Lahmani (13.), Mohamad El Rais (12.) and Markku Koplimaa (11.) followed to the railing. Plante then did three threes to bust Jose Rodriguez Zurita in 10th place, setting the stage for the unofficial nine-player final table.
Sydenstricker donned a V-like-Vendetta mask at the final table, hoping for a miracle to add to his short stack. He found it immediately. Sydenstricker was all in with king-jack but ran straight into Plante’s pocket kings. The flop gave him flushes and straight draws while his Brazilian rail begged for help. The turn didn’t come, but a queen on the river gave him a straight and kept him in the tournament (although he was forced to remove the mask after a visit from a tournament official).
Final Nine underway
The last nine had played for almost three hours by then Mihai Niste jammed into Shaw’s sixes with ace-ten and failed to win the race. Robin YlitaloEPT London winner almost a decade ago, then moved all in on the river with only king-high and Wiciak called with a straight to end Ylitalo’s hopes of a second title.
Knight was the last player not to survive the day. He called from the big blind with tens when Shaw checked from the small blind with a jack-ten. A lucky Jack on the flop had Knight looking for a single out to stay alive, but no miracles came on the turn and river to bring Day 6 to a close.
Akkari chases an elusive title
Wiciak and Shaw hold the most chips, but it’s Akkari who took the spotlight at the final table. Akkari first cashed in an EPT event more than 15 years ago. He’s just one place away from matching his fifth-place finish at EPT Barcelona in 2017. But first it needed some magic to happen on Day 6.
Akkari started the day with fewer than 10 big blinds. In one of the first hands he found pocket queens and tripled against Knight’s tens and Wiciak’s sevens. He then won a race with tens against Niste’s ace-king at the final table.
Akkari displayed an incredible survival instinct. Just when it looked like his run was about to end, he found the cards he needed to stay alive. After Plante hit a flush to double on the river, Akkari made his own flush and doubled against Wiciak. He then hit a running flush and shot Wiciak away from the flopped straight.
An EPT title is all that’s missing from Akkari’s career résumé, which already includes a WSOP bracelet, an EPT final table and more than $3,000,000 in live earnings. It seemed impossible when Akkari was 32nd of 32 at the start of day five, and unlikely when he was 16th of 16 at the start of day six; But Akkari gave his side a reason to celebrate today and his hopes of progressing to the last six are still very much alive.
Final table payouts
The action starts at 12:30 CET on Sunday, with 65 minutes remaining at level 33, with blinds ranging from 125,000-250,000 and a big blind ante of 250,000. The final table will be streamed to YouTube by PokerStars TV with a 30 minute delay. PokerNews will provide all the action until there is only one champion left.