Michael Soyza Wins EPT Barcelona €10,300 High Roller for €302k

Michael Soyza Wins EPT Barcelona €10,300 High Roller for €302k

On Tuesday, the European Poker Tour (EPT) rolled into Barcelona, an enchanting seaside city located on the northeast coast of the Iberian Peninsula. The 34 event series runs from August 21 to September 2, and throughout its tenure will award ten Platinum Pass packages reserving each winner a seat at the PokerStars Players NL Hold’em Championship (PSPC) set to take place in January 2019.

One of the tournaments helping to kick-off proceedings was its €10,300 High Roller, which attracted 124 entries (31 re-entries) resulting in a prize pool of €1,202,800. Three days later, and Malaysian pro Michael Soyza eventually overcame his last opponent, Finland’s Kai Lehto, to claim a coveted EPT title, as well as a first place prize worth €302,500 ($344,086).

Michael Soyza

Michael Soyza worked in banking before quitting his job to play poker full time in 2017. This year has certainly been a break out year for the pro, though, and in June he booked his biggest score to date after taking down the $1,655 MSPT DeepStack Championship Poker Series for $588,249.

Following his latest victory, Soyza further consolidates his position at number 5 on Malaysia’s ‘All Time Money List’ with $2,281,757 in earnings. Lying above him in pole position is Richard Yong on $11,164,585, followed by Wai Leong Chan ($5,510,475), Seng Yee Leow ($3,610,189), and Wai Kin Yong ($3,369,771). When asked whether moving up the country’s winner list was an important motivation for him, Soyza replied:

“I am not going to try and chase those guys, because they are just nuts. They are buying in for millions and the first prize I win in my tournaments is not even close to a million. This is not a fair competition. That’s alright, I just want to play and win. When I stop winning, I stop playing.”

€10,300 EPT High Roller

The €10,300 EPT High Roller paid out 17 money places, with Kenny Hallaert (A-10) booking a min-cash worth €18,900 ($21,498) after being ousted from the competition by Kai Lehto (A-K). Other notables pros receiving a reward for their efforts was Mustapha Kanit in 15th ($22,636), Adrian Mateos in 14th ($22,636), Ivan Luca in 13th ($24,569), Daniel Dvoress in 12th ($24,569), and Cary Katz in 10th ($27,982).

Final Table

Canadian Luc Greenwood was the first to exit the final table of eight after running his pocket fives into the pockets kings of Michael Soyza. He was followed in 7th place by last year’s winner Goran Mandic, who was reduced to just 9bbs before shoving Q-2 preflop and being bested by Lehto holding K-9.

Next to fall in 6th was Liv Boeree (K-10) after calling three streets with top pair, but ultimately coming off second best versus Soyza’s (K-9) flopped two pair. Five minutes later, Dario Sammartino (A-K) called Lehto’s (9-8) button shove, but exited in 5th after the board ran out 10-8-5-5-8.

Soyza (J-10) then made a straight on a Q-9-6-Q-8 board to eliminate Bahram Chobineh (4-4) in 4th, after which Lehto (K-J) took out Orpen Kisacikoglu (K-8) in 3rd to set up the final battle for the title.

Michael Soyza vs Kai Lehto

Michael Soyza was the chip leader as heads-up play got underway, and while Lehto managed to narrow the gap to 2-1 at one stage, that was as good as it got for him. The final hand subsequently saw Lehto 3-bet all in for his last 27bbs holding 2c-2d, and after Soyza (Ad-8d) opting to call, the ensuing Ac-Jh-10d-4d-Qd board made him a flush to close out the competition.

Final Table Results

1: Michael Soyza (Malaysia) €302,500
2: Kai Lehto (Finland) €204,500
3: Orpen Kisacikoglu (Turkey) €133,000
4: Bahram Chobineh (Iran) €110,100
5: Dario Sammartino (Italy) €88,800
6: Liv Boeree (UK) €70,000
7: Goran Mandic (Croatia) €53,500
8: Luc Greenwood (Canada) €40,300

€1,100 EPT National

Meanwhile, the €1,100 EPT National, which also got underway on the 22nd, attracted a massive field of 4,348 players resulting in a huge prize pool of €4,127,560. The tournament is currently down to just 38 players, with a €547,000 top prize awaiting its ultimate winner.