03 Mar 2024
Another stage of the relaunched EAPT has come to an end. The Bucharest stop ended with local player Ionut Flavius Voinea taking home the €36,000 first prize.
Bucharest was the fourth stop of the relaunched EAPT over the summer, after Rozvadov, Milan and Barcelona. Only five cups were played on the Bucharest stage, as the concept of the relaunched EAPT as a mid-stakes weekend series did not imply a large number of tournaments.
As expected, most of the players' attention was focused on the main event. With a relatively low buy-in of €560, the tournament had a juicy €180,000 guarantee, so over four hundred entries were needed to break the entry limit. Not an easy task for a small festival that was not on the radar of Romanian poker fans.
But it all worked out! The Online Day, which took place on the 5th of November on the GGPoker network, also helped. Four players made it to the second day, all already in the money. The rest of the field was played offline and the satellite field for the main event was quite large.
By the end of the four starting flights, the total number of entries was 486 and the total prize pool was €223,560. 73 players made it into the money, winning at least €850 each. Day Two reduced the number of title contenders to 18, with everyone who made it to the final day taking home minimum €1,930.
After a few more hours of playing, the final table was determined. Everyone had secured €3,785 each, but the first-place prize was ten times bigger. There were only eight players left to beat! The EAPT Bucharest final table was streamed live on the EAPT YouTube channel with a live show of cards. Unfortunately, only with English commentary:
Unlike the other EAPT stages, the final table of the main tournament in Bucharest was played by locals. Eight of the nine finalists were from Romania, and one player came from neighboring Moldova. As is often the case in tournament poker, the fate of each pay jump was decided by dead coolers or coin flips. For example, Iulian Dragan was dealt an ace-king against Sebastian Ionita's pocket eights and busted out in ninth place. Cristian Sandu called ace-deuce against Ionut Voinea's jacks, bought nothing and was busted in eighth place.
Alexandru Mitraku was knocked out of the competition with a monstrous bad beat, two outs on the river were bought by Gheorghe Butuc with a pair of sevens.
Finally, the key hand of the final table was Butuc against Ionut Voinea. A pair of queens were dealt to Gheorghe, but he was far behind against Ionut's pocket kings. On the flop, Voinea bought another king for safety and became the big chip leader. A few hands later, Ionut eliminated his opponent and took 85% of the chips at the table.
Despite such a solid chip lead, Voinea even discussed a deal with his heads-up opponent Sebastian Ionita, but the players couldn't come to an agreement. It ended with another cooler, with players moving all their chips to the middle of the table with extremely strong hands. Voinea had A K , Ionita was ahead with K K .
The board was 3 8 5 7 3 . A runner-runner flush on the king bought Ionut Voinea his first EA Poker Tour title.
The EAPT win was the first of the Romanian poker player's career and the €36,000 first-place prize was his best cash.
The same can be said for runner-up Sebastian Ionita, whose €24,700 prize was the biggest win of his career. In addition, Ionita and Voinea, as well as third and fourth place finishe Gheorghe Butuc and Cristian Puscas, received EAPT Grand Final entry packages worth $5,000 each.
The EAPT European tour continues next year when the festival arrives in the Slovenian capital of Bratislava at the end of January.
Next stops are Madrid, Malta and Nottingham. Check out all the upcoming EAPT stops:
- EAPT Bratislava - 21-28 January 2024;
- EAPT Madrid - 12-18 February 2024;
- EAPT Malta - 3-8 April 2024;
- EAPT UK - 17-27 May 2024, £500,000 Main Event guarantee;