Spain reign as Rodrigo Espinosa wins PokerStars Marbella Festival and €136,000

It what was yet another blink and you'll miss it UKIPT final table, Rodrigo Espinosa emerged victorious in under five hours and is €136,000 better off tonight. He came into the day second in chips, took the chip lead when he eliminated Jake Cody in eighth place and never relinquished it.

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Rodrigo Espinosa - PokerStars Marbella Festival champion

That hand against Cody set the tone for Espinosa's road to victory at the final table. He raised with aces, Cody shoved for just under 20 big blinds with nines and didn't get there. With five players left Espinosa had accumulated more than half the chips in play and would have even more when he won the biggest pot of the tournament with three players left.

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Svendsen - so close to being the first female UKIPT champion

Katja Svendsen had started the final table as chip leader and was in with a great chance of becoming the first female main event champion on both the UKIPT and Estrellas tours. She made a great fist of it too, never slipping out of the top three in chips but bust in a huge flip against Espinosa. On a [10s]9♦3♦ flop she held 8♦6♦ to Espinosa's pocket kings, the chips - all 10,320,000 of them - went in and she had a 42% chance of having two thirds of the chips in play.

The board bricked out though and the Norwegian, who resides in Kent, was out in third winning €58,700. As for Espinosa, he now had a greater than three-to-one chip lead going into heads-up play against Christian Bauer.

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Bauer was in the zone all day

Between them Bauer and Espinosa had knocked out all but one of the players at the final table on the way to heads-up play. Yet Bauer started with less than a million more than he began the final table with, or about nine big blinds in real money given that the price of poker had gone up. Yet he still had 33 big blinds and one double up would've put him right back in the mix. However, it was not to be for the 27-year-old German professional player who resides in Vienna.

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Heads-up play in Marbella

Just five hands into heads-up play he found a great spot to double up. He flopped top pair with K♣3♣ on a 9♠K♠6♥ board and got it in against Espinosa's 9♥7♠, however the Spaniard was given instant service on the 7♣ turn and Bauer missed his outs on the 2♦ river. Still the online professional collects €82,900 to add to his career earnings and can be rightly proud of his performance this week.

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Elorza played a disciplined game

One of Bauer's victims was Javier Elorza, who had lifetime live winnings of just €386 before this tournament. He added another €44,050 to that ledger today but came in short stacked and never escaped that territory. In retrospect he did a superb job to ladder to fourth place. He may have got lucky against Gareth Hamilton with five left but also made some disciplined ICM folds such as folding pocket sixes to a single raise from Espinosa when his compatriot had pocket sevens and folding king high from the big blind when shoved on from the small blind.

But, he picked the wrong time to call all-in with king high as Bauer had A♦K♦ when he took his stand with K♣7♥. Like Elorza, Daniel Rodriguez came to the final table knowing he'd need some luck to be in the shake up come the end. In the same vein as Elorza he never got anything going and ran pocket eights into Bauer's pocket queens to bust in sixth place which was good for €26,550, a career high.

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Hamilton - hard to know if he'll be happy or not

If Elorza did a good job to finish fourth given he started the day sixth in chips then Gareth Hamilton can look back on his own laddering job with pride. However, it'll be pride mixed with a sense of what might have been as Hamilton had an eventful day. He was dead last coming to the final table but essentially absorbed Marcin Barwinski's stack into his own by doubling up with A♦K♠ against the Pole's A♥J♣ and then eliminating him in seventh with A♠J♥ against Q♠J♣.

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Barwinski - bust in seventh

Whilst his stack never climbed above the water mark of average he had a legitimate shot at the big money before losing with a dominating ace against Elorza. Despite getting one double up through Svendsen, the Irishman's luckless run continued when his pocket kings were cracked by Espinosa's A♦8♦ who went runner-runner-runner diamond just for the extra ouch factor.

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Cody - not the day he'd planned

Neatly nestled in the middle of the pack at the start of play was none other than Team PokerStars Pro Jake Cody. With WSOP, WPT and EPT titles to his name he is one of five owners of the coveted Triple Crown but was in with a shot of completing the UKIPT Triple Crown today, which I'm sure you'll agree is as prestigious! He has UKIPT High Roller and UKIPT Series flags, but the wait goes on for a UKIPT Main Event win as he was first out today.

He'd been forced to raise and fold a few times and had slipped below 20 big blinds when, facing a raise from Espinosa, he peaked down at pocket nines. He committed his chips only to run into the Spaniard's pocket aces. Still he was philosophical in his exit and its back to bracelet hunting for Cody for now.

To catch up on all today's action click here and to see the full list of payouts click here but that's it from Marbella. Football results apart we've had fun in the sun and we hope you've enjoyed the coverage. The next UKIPT event is the UKIPT Series that takes place at The Hippodrome Casino, August 8th-10th.

PokerStars Marbella Festival Final Table Result:

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The elite eight

1st. Rodrigo Espinosa, Spain, PokerStars Qualifier, €136,000

2nd. Christian Bauer, Germany, €82,900
3rd. Katja Svendsen, Norway, PokerStars Qualifier, €58,700
4th. Javier Elorza, Spain, PokerStars Qualifier, €44,450
5th. Gareth Hamilton, Ireland, €35,150
6th. Daniel Rodriguez, Spain, PokerStars Player, €26,550
7th. Marcin Barwinski, Poland, PokerStars Qualifier. €19,050
8th. Jake Cody, United Kingdom, Team PokerStars Pro, €13,030

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Vamos!

All photos are copyright of Danny Maxwell and Rene Velli.

Nick Wright
@PokerStars in UKIPT