Estrellas Ibiza: Gosk defeats Spanish armada to claim the title and €92,100
The PokerStars.com Estrellas Ibiza main event came to a conclusion today and Grzegorz Gosk took down the title in about fours hours - and with it a trophy and a cheque for €92,100. The Polish PokerStars qualifier had a bookend of a tournament, in that he led the field at the end of Day 1 and he led the field when it mattered most; with one left.
On his victory he said: "This is the best time in my life. It's my sixth live poker tournament and this is my biggest win."
He had to defeat the Season 2 TLB winner Alvaro Santamaria in a tense heads-up battle that saw the lead pass from one to the other. Very early on in heads-up play Gosk doubled up and took over the lead when his pocket jacks held against Gosk's ace-king. It was then the turn of the Spaniard to double back up with his favourite hand - A♥Q♥ - to even things up. Ironically it was ace-queen that did it for Santamaria in the end. His ace-four was no match and he had to settle for second place a consolation prize of €58,600.
He said afterwards: "Gosk was a very good player and I knew it. He was not aggressive at all and it was impossible for me to pick up any tells."
The start to today's final table at Casino Ibiza couldn't have been more different to the end of play yesterday. Then, it took nearly two hours to go from nine players to eight and set our final table; today we lost four players in just over an hour of play. The fact that play went on so long last night meant we were further along in the structure and the short stacks were under immediate pressure from the off.
The first player to fall was Alvaro Marino who pushed his short-stack in with 6♦2♦ from the small blind only to run into Alavaro Marino's A♠T♥ in the big blind. There were a couple of quick double-ups before he was followed to the payout desk by Javier Tazon. His A♥9♥ couldn't stay ahead of Jeff Zsolt Soros' J♠T♠.
The next two to fall were Raul Paez and Manuel Martinez. The remaining players would have been happy to see the back of the hugely talented Paez, who had his pocket kings cracked by Gosk's ace-jack. A few minutes later Martinez got his last 800,000 chips in bad, with A♦7♦ to Santamaria's A♣Q♣.
The very aggressive Jeff Zsolt Soros found it hard to get the better of Santamaria today and it was ironic that the first time he did, in a pre-flop showdown, his hand couldn't hold up. Carlos Simon Martinez was the happiest to see him go as he had blinded down to a micro stack and laddered to thousands more in winnings by waiting. He was eliminated when his ace-queen lost out to Santamaria's jack-four.
The Pokerstars staff, the tournament staff and Toby Stone ran a very well organised event that saw 400-player cap broken by 26. Apart from well-run tournaments, the players were treated to bus and walking tours as well as a number of parties at Ibiza's world famous super-clubs. There entertainment hasn't finished either. Tonight, from 11pm, at Ushuaia Ibiza Beach Hotel, one of the island's most stunning resort hotels the Spanish Poker Awards take place. Oh, and there's another party afterwards.
We look forward to seeing you in 2012 for Season 3. Try and win a package on PokerStars.com.
To catch up on all today's action, in English or Spanish, click on the links below.
PokerStars Blog reporting team at Estrellas Ibiza: Marc Convey. Photos by Rene Velli