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Adrian Mateos: "Winning an EPT Has Been a Dream Since I Started"
Over 11 seasons of the European Poker Tour there have been 17 Spanish players at the final table or the main event.
As of today, none have ever won.
As of tomorrow, though, that could change forever as former WSOPE main event champion Adrian Mateos will get his shot at winning the PokerStars and Monte Carlo Casino EPT Grand Final main event.
He's made the final six heading into the last day of play and will return fifth in chips with 1.77m
Can he break the Spanish curse? He showed pretty clearly in October 2013 at the WSOPE - at just age 19 - that he has what it takes to win big tournaments.
If you're looking for a sign tomorrow's the day for Spain to break through: His WSOPE win was good for over €1m, and that’s pretty much exactly the same money that awaits the winner tomorrow.
PokerListings caught up with the young Spanish superstar just before play hit the final table of eight today.
PokerListings: Congratulations on making another big final table!
Adrian Mateos: Thanks, but to be honest I’d rather receive congratulations on the title.
PL: You have your eyes on the title. Then you’d only need one more for a Triple Crown.
AM: It would be absolutely amazing to win this event. If I had an EPT title it would give me a lot more respect.
Also, winning an EPT has been a dream of mine since I started playing poker. I’m wishing to win this with all my heart.
PL: Did your life change after you won the WSOPE main event in France?
AM: It didn’t change my life but it changed my career. As I have more money I can do things I couldn’t do before.
The most important change is that I can play tournaments with higher buy-ins now. I can play the high rollers, too, because my bankroll allows it.
PL: What would it mean to you to win here?
AM: It would be very special. There have been 17 Spanish players at EPT final tables and none of them has ever won.
It is one of my deepest wishes to be the first Spanish title winner.
PL: Do you know the other players at the table?
AM: I don’t know that German guy (editor’s note: Markus Ross), the Lebanese and the African, but I do know the others -- especially José Garcia, who plays a lot online with me.
PL: Do you know why Garcia listed as Polish?
AM: Because he’s half Polish. His father is from Poland and he lives there, too.
PL: The first event of the EPT season is always Barcelona, but there are less and less Spanish players because of the taxes.
AM: The taxes are a huge problem for Spanish players. I live in London now because the taxes in Spain are too high.
Actually, a lot of Spanish players have been pretty much forced to move to London or other places.
I can only hope that somebody in the government is going to understand what they are doing, so that in the coming years things are going to change.
PL: What would happen if a Spanish player wins big at the WSOP in Las Vegas?
AM: If they live in Spain they would of course have to pay taxes there.
But if you live in London you are abiding by the British tax laws and there poker winnings are tax free.
PL: Who do you think is the biggest obstacle at the table on your way to the title?
AM: Ole Schemion. He’s the most dangerous player at the table. But I hope I can beat him – and everybody else.
Tune in tomorrow at 2 pm CET right here on PokerListings to watch Mateos battle it out on the EPT Grand Final Live Stream.