Pobal Wins 2012 PokerStars.com EPT Barcelona Main Event

It would be fair to describe Mikalai Pobal as a relatively unknown player before recently, with the Portugal-born player managing to cash on just one occasion. However, he certainly doubled that record in style at the recent 2012 PokerStars.com EPT Barcelona Main Event.

Pobal took home a check for a massive €1,007,550, meaning that his career has now been completely transformed. Prior to the victory, the player had a relatively poor record in professional poker and had only won €7,500 following a mediocre 104th place finish in Berlin earlier in 2012. His online career was not much better either, with his best finish on this platform being 3rd in the Sunday Million on Poker Stars.

Considering the fact there were 1082 entries in this event, Pobal's success is simply incredible. Despite Pobal's triumph, some would argue that he contributed little to the final table. As competitors such as Antonin Duda, Sinel Anton, Samuel Rodriguez and Anaras Alekberovas and Joni Jouhkimainen were all eliminated; Pobal played no part in their exit from the game and instead concentrated on smaller pots. Such an approach was certainly vindicated, with the player approaching the heads up situation against Sahamies with a chip stack of 20.2m, in comparison with the 12.175m that Sahamies possessed.

As it turns out, the heads up play did not last long and Pobal made quick work of his opponent. An early raise of 600,000 by Sahamies proved to be a disastrous move with his 9S-5S being pitted against the AD-AH that Pobal held. Following a re-raise, Sahamies thought he smelled a bluff and decided to play right into Pobal's hands and move all in. Suffice to say, the flop didn't aid Sahamies in the slightest and Pobal was promptly announced as the winner of the event.