Fernando Santa Maria is the new EAPT Champion (€26,600)

03 Mar 2024

After Rozvadov and Milan, Barcelona became the third European city to welcome the relaunched EAPT. The series took place from the 29th of September to the 8th of October and during these days, 18 unique EA Poker Tour Championship trophies found their new owners. The top prize was won by Dominican player Fernando Santa Maria, who was the winner of the €560 buy-in Main Event.

Despite the modest buy-in, the guaranteed prize pool for the EAPT Barcelona Main Event was €200,000+€20,000 in packages.

The guarantee was not met; 354 poker players entered during the four starting flights, plus three more qualified online via the GGPoker network. They arrived in Barcelona already in the money and just in time for the start of day two. Each of these players received added value from the organizers in the form of an overlay.

Each of the four starting flights played down to the money, so there was no formal bubble phase in this tournament. The minimum payout was €850 and was claimed by 53 players. By the end of the second day of play, the field had been reduced to two tables with the top 18 earning a minimum of €1,900. A live TV broadcast from Barcelona began at this stage and lasted more than nine hours thanks to the smooth structure of the game.

The tournament ended with a deal between the final four. The players agreed to split the prize pool according to ICM. After a short discussion, they agreed to split as follows

  • Carlos Escudero - €27,400;
  • Ariel Galactico - €20,880;
  • Fernando Santa Maria - €20,625;
  • Jose Rodriguez - €19,275;

There was €9,795 left to play for, with €6,000 being reserved for the winner. In addition, each of the final four players received a package to the EAPT Grand Final, which is scheduled to take place on Cyprus from September 5th to 15th, 2024.

The final showdown was won by Fernando Santa Maria. In the final hand of the tournament, after a single raise in the pot on a flop of K 4 8 , Galactico played a check-push against Santa Maria's continuation bet, who made the call. Galactico held a second pair with 9 8  and bet with no direct outs against Q 8 . A hopeful turn of 7  gave Ariel some optimism, but a 2  river secured the hand for Fernando. Galactico finished in second place for a total prize of €24,675.

Fernando Santa Maria became the EAPT Main Event champion in Barcelona, winning the first championship title of his career. For an operations engineer, which is Fernando's profession, the reward for his efforts was more than substantial - €26,625 + a trip to the EAPT Grand Final.