EPT9 Sanremo: Vesa Leikos wins €210,000 in enormous €2,100 side event

ept-thumb-promo.jpgFinnish grinder Vesa Leikos has won €210,000 in the enormous €2,100 side event beating the well rated Michal Polchlopek, one of Poland's rising stars of the game, head-up. The tournament side event, which started five days ago, picked up an incredible 450 runners building a €873,000 prize pool. JC Alvarado played a short stack well to secure a third place payout while Jonathan Little, who was looking for his first six-figure live score in two years, tumbled out in seventh.

Leikos, who we had trouble catching after his win as he was trying to dash to the airport, may have started the heads-up in a dominant position but he certainly wasn't a big stack througout.


vesa_leikos_event15.jpg

Vesa Leikos

Tournament info
Buy-in: €2,100
Game: NLHE
Players: 450
Prize pool: €873,000

The final table
1. Vesa Leikos, Finland, €210,000
2. Michal Polchlopek , Poland, €115,000
3. JC Alvarado, Mexico, €71,600
4. Giulio Astarita, Italy, €57,600
5, Jeffrey Rossiter, Australia, €43,700
6. Radoslaw Morawiec, Poland, €35,000
7. Jonathan Little, USA, €27,000
8. Manolo De Vecchis, Italy, €18,940
9. Jan Bendik, Slovakia, €14,800

See a full rundown of the all 48 payouts from this event at the bottom of this article.

"I started the second day with about 10 big blinds. I didn't find any spots to push at the end of day one. After the first level or so of the second day I had maybe ten times the chips. I got a couple of small suck outs and I also got 40 BBs in with queens versus tens and ace-king and it held up," said Leikos with a shrug.

Polchlopek had called all-in from the big blind with Q♠T♥ and was in good shape against Q♥6♦. That double up pulled him to around 1,280,000 which he manged to build up to almost 2,500,000 through small button raises and wide big blind three-bets. Italian poker has traditionally been a good hunting ground for Polchlopek who won IPT Malta for €190,000

"He was very tough, a very tough opponent but I had a huge chip lead to start. I did begin to get a little worried about he started to grind his way up," said Leikos.

The Finn still had Polchlopek out-chipped by around three-to-one and the tide eventually turned back towards the Gulf of Finland leaving Polchlopek adrift in second for a €115,000 payout.

Good draw
"I had a lot of good luck in the seat draw I thought. The softer players were to my right," said Leikos.

Those 'softer' players are unlikely to include JC Alvardo (third, €71,000) or Jonathan Little (seventh, €27,000). Alvarado finished second in the €50,000 Super High Roller at EPT9 Barcelona for €788,674 while Little, a player with two wins of more than a million dollars, can hardly be considered a soft target. Combined that pair have close to $6,000,000 in live tournament winnings.


ept_sanremo_jc_alvarado.jpg

JC Alvarado

Leikos will be playing the EPT Prague main event this December looking to erase some bitter memories: "I was there last year and cashed in the main event . I was disappointed," he said.

Leikos finished 24th in that main event for €20,000 just missing on the big money places (which was won by Martin Finger who scooped €720,000). That's certainly a sentiment that that he can't apply to this tournament.

Event #15 payouts
1. Vesa Leikos, Finland, €210,000
2. Michal Polchlopek , Poland, €115,000
3. JC Alvarado, Mexico, €71,600
4. Giulio Astarita, Italy, €57,600
5, Jeffrey Rossiter, Australia, €43,700
6. Radoslaw Morawiec, Poland, €35,000
7. Jonathan Little, USA, €27,000
8. Manolo De Vecchis, Italy, €18,940
9. Jan Bendik, Slovakia, €14,800
10. Melanie Weisner, USA, €14,800
11. Gaelle Baumann, France, €12,800
12. Ronny Kaiser, Switzerland, €12,800
13. Oliver Speidel, Australia, €11,400
14. Athanasios Polychronopoulos, USA, €11,400
15. Javier Gomez, Spain, €10,000
16. Enver Abduraimov, Ukraine, €10,000
17. Dan Smith, USA, €8,900
18. Nacho Barbero, Team PokerStars Pro, Argentina, €8,900
19. Sergey Baburin, Russia, €8,900
20. Sofianos Vergitsis, Greece, €8,900
21. Michael Eiler, Germany, €7,900
22. Tomasz Cybulski, Poland, €7,900
23. Faraz Jaka, USA, €7,900
24. Denys Drobyna, Ukraine, €7,900
25. Sam Chartier, Canada, €7,000
26. Kent Lundmark, Sweden, €7,000
27. Giacomo Fundaro, Italy, €7,000
28. Vojtech Ruzicka, Chech Republic, €7,000
29. Dmitry Stelmak, Russia, €6,100
30. Kevin MacPhee, USA, €6,100
31. Andrii Nadieliaiev, Ukraine, €6,100
32. David Benyamine, France, €6,100
33. Andras Nemeth, Hungary, €5,200
34. Patrick Fortin, Canada, €5,200
35. Mats Robert Eriksson, Sweden, €5,200
36. Ognjen Sekularac, Serbia, €5,200
37. Pawel Brzeski, Poland, €5,200
38. Jose Carlos Garcia, Poland, €5,200
39. Marco Leonzio, Italy, €5,200
40. Calvin Anderson, USA, €5,200
41. Andrey Gulyy, Russia, €4,370
42. Vincent Van der Fluit, Netherlands, €4,370
43. Dmitry Vitkind, Russia, €4,370
44. Timothy Adams, USA, €4,370
45. Jacek Ladny, Poland, €4,370
46. Nikolay Tyurin, Russia, €4,370
47. Konstan, Russia, €4,370
48. Wilfried Hareg, Germany, €4,370

Click through to see all side event results or the live reporting, news and interviews of the main event and High Roller here.

is a staff writer for the PokerStars Blog.

Rick Dacey
@PokerStars in Side events and news