EPT11 Barcelona: Matias Ruzzi reigns in Estrellas Main Event

Beginners luck huh! This was Matias Ruzzi's first ever Estrellas Poker Tour event and he only went and won it! Just nine of the record-breaking 2,560 strong field - the largest live freezeout tournament in PokerStars history - returned today and at the start of play Ruzzi was the second shortest stack, but would be the only player remaining with chips come the end of play.


Ruzzi - winner of the largest ever PokerStars sponsored freezeout tournament

It might have been Ruzzi's first venture onto the Estrellas Poker Tour, but he's no poker virgin. The professional player finished 16th in the EPT Grand Final back in April and the €198,550 he picked up tonight, when he defeated Vladislav Donchev heads-up, effectively doubled the 28-year-old's live winnings. "I am very happy. This is the best tournament I've won and it's even better as PokerStars is saying it's the biggest live freeze-out in its history," said the Argentinian.


Donchev - second again

Whilst Donchev, who finished runner-up at UKIPT3 Edinburgh in January 2013, had to settle for another silver medal, he did receive the biggest pay out due to being chip-leader when a deal was brokered with four players left. He's got €278,500 to be happy with his performance today, whilst start of day chip leader Nir Levy (3rd, €188,511) and Hakim Guitoun (4th, €178,550) were also part of the carve up.

Before the deal was struck the dream of a first female Estrellas Main Event winner was extinguished for another tournament when Corinne Baucher busted in fifth and Andrew Chen - three time a EPT Main Event finalist - had another luckless final table before being eliminated in sixth place and jumping straight into the EPT Main Event.


The Canadian's final table hex continued

Tonight though belongs to Ruzzi, who has reigned in Spain and it'll be steaks, Quilmes and Malbec all round for his friends tonight as he said. "Today I'm going to celebrate but tomorrow I will be back to play Day 1B of the EPT."

#EPT100 Estrellas Barcelona Main Event
Entrants: 2,560
Total prize pool: €2,483,200
Places paid: 833

Final Table Result:

1. Matias Ruzzi, Argentina, PokerStars player, €198,550*
2. Vladislav Donchev, Russia, PokerStars player, €278,500*
3. Nir Levi, Israel, PokerStars qualifier, €188,511*

4. Hakim Guitoun, France, €178,550*
5. Corinne Baucher, France, €91,580
6. Andrew Chen, Canada, PokerStars player, €73,826
7. Daniel Barriocanal, Spain, PokerStars qualifier, €56,369
8. Bela Toth, Hungary, PokerStars qualifier, €40,849

* Payouts adjusted due to four-way deal


Ruzzi and friends celebrate his win

Whilst the Estrellas Main Event may be over the EPT Main Event is just getting started. Follow all the action from the tournament floor on the main EPT Barcelona page. There's hand-by-hand coverage in the panel at the top, including chip counts, and feature pieces below.

Nick Wright
@PokerStars in European Poker Tour