Martinez pips Team PokerStars Pro Maceiras to Alicante title
There may be something rather large going on in Las Vegas right now, but while that annual jamboree is under way, PokerStars is ensuring live poker continues to flourish and entertain all over the world. The LAPT event in Lima, Peru kicks off this week, as does the first Russian Poker Series tournament in Kyiv, but over the past weekend attention was focused on Alicante, Spain, for the second leg of the PokerStars Estrelllas Poker Tour.
The first leg in Malaga back in April set a great benchmark for the fledgling tour, with 261 players attending, but this event in Alicante built on that early success with 305 players showing up, 118 of them having won their seats online at PokerStars. The rest paid up the €1,000 entry fee creating a bumper €266,448 prize pool.
When it was all done and dusted, it was local 62-year-old Pepe Martinez who pocketed the lion's share, winning €70,148 for his first place. But he had to work hard to get it - his heads up opponent was Team PokerStars Pro Juan Maceiras (€44,000), fellow Spanish Team Pro Juan Manual Pastor was sixth (€12,000), while Macerias' father, Juan Maceiras Sr - known as 'Veitcong01' - was fourth (€20,000).
With that sort of field, one which was mainly Spanish but was in fact represented by 29 countries, including China and Singapore, Martinez knew his work had been cut out.
"I came here to win and I've done it," he said after collecting the trophy. "The level of players was very high so I realise I've also had a lot of luck."
Among the entrants were professionals such as Bryan Huang, a member of Team PokerStars Pro: Asia, Friend of PokerStars Poli Rincón, the former international footballer, as well as Álvaro Ballesteros 'Varico' and Polish player Grzegorz Mikielewicz, both member of Team PokerStars Online.
Other well-known faces from the Spanish poker community included Javier Etayo, Leo Margets, Heikel Vidal, David Gómez 'Gorrioncillo', Javier Piazuelo, Óscar 'Lapúa', Raúl Páez 'El Toro' and many more.
If you now feel you missed out by not playing this event, do not worry - the next leg of the PokerStars Estrellas Poker Tour will be in Madrid from July 8 through 12. Check out how you can qualify now.
Alicante final table results:
1 Pepe Martínez, Spain, €70,148
2 Juan Maceiras, Spain, Team PokerStars Pro, €44,000
3 Israel Moya, Spain, €26,600
4 Juan Maceiras Barros, 'Vietcong01', Spain, €20,000
5 Miguel Ángel Martín, Spain, €14,600
6 Juan Manuel Pastor, Spain. Team PokerStars Pro, €12,000
7 Álvaro Marino, Spain, €9,300
8 Artur Bordyuzha, Russia, €6,600