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Freitez Dominates in EPT Grand Final Victory
Venezuelan Ivan Freitez steamrolled over the final table to capture the PokerStars European Poker Tour Grand Final title in Madrid, Spain Thursday night.
The 46-year-old transport business owner and pro poker player took a sizeable lead into the final table and never really looked back on the way to winning €1.5 million.
“When we were down to four players, I felt I was going to win,” said Freitez.
“I brought out the animal in me, and just went for it. After some poor results, at last I’ve made it and won a big tournament. I met a lot of aggressive players along the way but I adapted my game and stayed calm and it paid off.”
The EPT Grand Final drew 686 players to Madrid, creating a €6,860,000 prizepool.
For the first time in EPT History, the final four was a part of a live TV and online broadcast, with hole cards, shown on PokerStars.tv and TV channels across Europe, Russia, and Canada.
What was expected to be more than half a million viewers tuned into see Freitez dominate play on the night of his sixth wedding anniversary and eventually beat German Torsten Brinkmann heads-up.
Brazillian WSOP and WPT bracelet winner Alex Gomes had a shot at poker’s Triple Crown but could do no better than seventh.
European Poker Awards Handed Out
With the Grand Final helping bring the EPT's seventh season to a close, the Pacha nighth in Madrid also played host to the annual EPT awards.
Portuguese businessman Fernando Brito took home the EPT Player of the Year from the festivities, following a year in which he dominated the race, winning or cashing in a number of side and main events, including a sixth-place finish at EPT London.
German pro Max Heinzelmann won two awards: EPT Achievement of the Year and the Players’ Choice Award.
Italian Dario Alioto won Pot-Limit Omaha Player of the Year, Portuguese pro Diogo Veiga won the Heads-Up Award, and Britain’s Matthew Ashton won the Mixed Game Award.
Swedish pro Martin Jacobsen, who qualified for six EPT events in Season 7 and was runner-up twice, picked up Online Qualifier of the Year while Ireland was named Best EPT Country with 16 cashes out of 70 main event entries.
Here's how the final table finished up in Madrid:
1 Ivan Freitez €1,500,000
2 Torsten Brinkmann €900,000
3 Tamas Lendvai €550,000
4 Andrey Danilyuk €400,000
5 Juan Maceiras €315,000
6 Eugene Yanayt €250,000
7 Alex Gomes €185,000
8 Andrew Li €130,000