A €1.1 million return on a €220 investment certainly isn't something you see everyday, but that's exactly what Catalonian Marti Roca De Torres got when he stormed to victory in the World Series of Poker Europe Main Event after gaining entry through an 888poker satellite event!
There were 529 entrants in the event altogether, including the reigning champion Kevin MacPhee, but De Torres went on to beat them all to claim the prize. MacPhee wasn't the only well-known player on the final table, however. Stephen Chidwick and Sam Trickett, two English players, were also in the final games.
Between them, they’re the only two English players that’ve overtaken Jack Salter in terms of earnings from live multi-table tournaments. Still, even they weren't able to stop De Torres. Other notable players included Maria Ho, who poker fans might recognise – she often hosts and reports on games as well as playing them.
Currently one of the top-ranked female players in the world, her goal in the tournament wasn't only to win, but to become the first female player to win a World Series of Poker event. What makes De Torres’ victory even more impressive is the fact that this particular WSOPE event was the second largest ever!
In a classic case of the underdog, the final few hours boiled down to a face off between De Torres and Gianluca Speranza. Compared to Gianluca, De Torres isn't an experienced player, in fact, just a few years ago he was an economics teacher.
In 2015 he decided to follow his dreams of becoming a professional poker player and left the teaching profession behind – a gamble that it’s fair to say has paid off. It’s a victory that tastes even sweeter because Speranza is a highly experienced player, so beating him is no mean feat, especially for a relative rookie.
That said, it wasn't exactly a bad day for Speranza. He came in second, with a final pot of €689,246. He didn't give up the top spot lightly either, as the two faced off for over four hours of gruelling play until De Torres finally took the game.
While everyone was surprised by De Torres’ astronomical rise through the ranks, especially considering his low buy in, the top ten at the end of the tournament still contained all the names you'd expect. Even though some of the more experienced players might have been beaten to the posts this time, they still all went home with a cool €100,000 or thereabouts. The final results are as follows:
This turn of events is certainly a great proponent for online poker, because it tells us one thing very clearly – anyone can compete from anywhere in the world. The game is now open to anyone who can afford the buy ins, which in many cases can be very small – especially for some of the more amateur events.
De Torres is going to be one to watch in the future, and his recent rise to the top in this event also goes to show just how exciting online poker can be. No matter how experienced or well established a player you might be, there's always the potential for someone to come out of the unknown and blaze their way to a massive win.
Whether you enjoy playing the game itself or just spectating, the accessibility and unpredictability of online poker keeps it exciting. 888 and their poker competitions can be a good place to start, if you're considering trying your hand. If so, head over to 888poker now and join the next buy in!