EPT Barcelona Main Event Victory For Sweden’s Brandstrom

EPT Barcelona Main Event Victory For Sweden’s Brandstrom

Sweden never really hit the giddy heights their poker players looked like reaching during the late noughties.

Back then many predicted it would become the predominant poker nation outside of the US.

Of course, Martin Jacobson did land the 2014 World Series main event but second on the Swedish all-time money win list is Chris Bjorin who has verified results dating back to the 1980s and he has played a lot of poker down the decades.

Others within the top-6 of Sweden’s win list have disappeared off the scene and/or quit the game. Martin De Knijff, who won $2.7million in 2004’s Bellagio Five-Star World Poker Classic/WPT Championship, and William Thorson (13th in the 2006 World Series main event for $900,000) are two such examples.

But they could soon be pushed down the rankings as 37-year-old Simon Brandstrom is heading towards the top of the charts courtesy of a number of strong results which were capped off by victory in the Barcelona European Poker Tour main event over the weekend.

In outlasting a record-breaking turnout of 1,988 entries – all paying €5,300 to play – he bolstered his career earnings by €1.29 million and complimented a string of six-figures paydays which include a runner-up spot in a 2019 WPT Barcelona Deepstacks event (netting €187,880), third in a 2015 €1,000 entry Prague Eureka event (€120,090) and a second in the 2013 Amsterdam Masterclassics of Poker main event (€182,913).

Stormy Ride For Hungarian Runner-Up

Brandstrom took the glory in Barcelona but he chopped the prize-money (all but €37k) with Marton Czuczor from Budapest, Hungary, in a heads-up deal. He was doubtlessly lucky to claim the trophy courtesy of a number of favourable run-outs but that’s all part of Hold’em.

Czuczor has now finished runner-up in two EPT main events (he won €630,000 in December 2016’s Prague leg). He also collected €364,460 in a May 2019 Monte Carlo EPT high roller before registering seven cashes at the 2019 World Series, the most valuable of which was $28,618.

World Series Europe Details Announced

The schedule for the 2019 World Series of Poker Europe has been announced.

It will run between October 13 until November 4 in King's Casino in Rozvadov, Czech Republic for a third consecutive year. There are 15 bracelet events in total, a big increase on 2018 when ten bracelets found new homes.

The 2019 event carries €22.4m in tournament guarantees with entry fees ranging from just €350 up to a spine tingling €250,000.

The first of two Main Event Day 1 flights starts on Friday October 25. In 2018, WSOP Europe featured more than 6,000 entries competing for nearly €21m in prize money.

“We heard the feedback and are happy to add some mixed games and some bigger buy-in tournaments in order to encourage more players to make the trip,” said King’s Resort owner Leon Tsoukernik on announcing the 2019 WSOPE.

“After hosting some big events here at King’s recently, players insisted to me they would come back to WSOP Europe if we added a few additional tournaments. So, we have now done so and we look forward to welcoming them with this revised WSOP Europe schedule in October.”

Microgaming’s Universal Championship of Poker

The Microgaming Poker Network (MPN), which pools online poker players from sites such as Betsafe, 32Red, Grosvenor, 188Bet and a host of others, has set aside September 15-29 for their Universal Championship of Poker (UCOP).

Universal Championship of Poker consists of 94 tournaments and €1 million in guaranteed prizes. Competition entries start at just €2.20 and rise to €320.

The main event, with a €100,000 guarantee, costs just €110 to enter. It starts on Sunday, September 29, at 5pm BST.

Stars WCOOP is a Monster

Microgaming’s effort at an online series is dwarfed by Poker Stars World Championship of Online Poker which gets underway this week. Its vital statistics are:

  • Begins with six events on Thursday 5 September - concludes with three events on Monday 23 September.
  • More than $75 million in prize money guarantees
  • 73 events, each with three tiers of buy in (except the main event, which has two)
  • 219 tournaments in total
  • The smallest buy in is $2.20
  • The biggest entry is $25,000 (for the high roller event which has $2 million guaranteed)

The World Championship of Online Poker made its debut in 2002 when it consisted of nine events and generated $730,000 in combined prizes.

It has been staged every year since with the 2018 main event, just one of 186 tournaments, generating a $10.2 million prize-pool.

€88 million All-In in Prague?

If you’re still wondering how 54 people came together to pay £1 million apiece to enter a single tournament in London’s Triton Super High Roller Series over the summer maybe it’s time for you to turn your attention to next October and question how a yet-to-open hotel and casino in Prague will generate an €88 million prize-pool for a €50,000 entry event.

That’s their plan anyway, albeit there is no sign of the all-important word ‘guarantee’ amongst the hype on their official website which claims: “In our complex you‘ll find the largest casino in Central Europe inspired by Las Vegas casino standards.”

The ambitious All In Prague hotel/casino promotional video certainly makes the project look exciting but it is not going to open its doors until 2020 and more than ambition will be needed to attract the required 1,760 players with €50,000 to spare to reach such a colossal prize-pool especially when no guarantee is yet in place.

Nevertheless, according to organisers ‘Satellite Tournament Registration’ will begin in two weeks’ time, but there is no mention of where these satellites will happen, making the low-key announcement of this enormous project looking very shaky in additional to worryingly sketchy.