Low Cost Online Poker Qualifier Results in Big Tournament Win

Online poker player Sebastian Malec qualified for the EPT Barcelona main event for just €27, then emerged the victor, earning over €1,122,000 with the win.

It is not uncommon for poker players to take part in online qualifiers and satellites to be able to earn a seat to major land based events. Qualifiers and satellites have a much lower buy-in than the actual event which makes them more affordable. What is uncommon is for a player to earn a seat via such qualifying options and then win the event. Such rare occurrences are what make online poker so exciting. The most recent incident of this happening comes from the European Poker Tour’s Barcelona stop during the Main Event.

Qualifying at Its Finest

The goal of a qualifier is to take part in the event and win a spot in a major event. Players will pay a low fee to compete in a tournament. The winner or so many top finishing spots will then move up to another qualifier or win a seat to a big event. 21 year old Sebastian Malec decided to try his hand at a qualifier for the upcoming European Poker Tour, paying just €27 to compete. Malec was able to win the qualifier and then take a spot at the EPT Main Event during the Barcelona stop. The qualifier took place at PokerStars where Malec often plays online poker.

Making the Final Table

During the EPT Main Event in Barcelona, Malec was able to make the final table which consisted of just seven players. The first player to be eliminated would be Harcharan Dogra Dogra who was taken out by Thomas De Rooij who held A-4 against 3-2. Soon after, Andreas Chalkiadakis would be eliminated after showing K-Q against Adam Owen’s A-Q of clubs. A full house of Aces and Queens gave Owen the hand win.

Eliminations would continue until all that remained was Malec and Uri Reichenstein. When the heads up round began, Reichenstein would hold a 3 to 2 chip lead over Malec. It would take over five hours for the first five players to be eliminated from the final table but even longer for the two to battle it out to see who would claim the final win.

Tough Final Round

In the end, Malec would limp in from the button and Reichenstein would check. The flop would show Q-J-6 and Reichenstein would decide to bet 800,000. Malec took this opportunity to raise to 3,000,000 and Reichenstein would call. The turn showed an 8 with Malec leading the betting at 5,000,000. Reichenstein would wait and think but eventually call.

The river would be another 8, which caused Malec to go all in. Reichenstein would then have to decide if he wanted to put his tournament life on the line. It would take some time but the fellow player would make the call. Malec showed A-3 of hearts which gave him a flush while Reichenstein turned over 10-9, only having a straight which just wasn’t enough to take the win.

For his efforts, Malec was given a prize of €1,122,800 which is equal to $1,250,000 in US dollars. The poker player was able to turn a buy-in of €27 as a qualifying player into a massive amount of cash that is certainly life changing. This is just one reason why players use online poker rooms to qualify for land based events, in the hopes of winning a major tournament for very little investment!

Final Results:
  1. Sebastian Malec – €1,122,800
  2. Uri Reichenstein – €807,100
  3. Adam Owen – €646,250
  4. Thomas De Rooij – €535,100
  5. Zorlu Er – €431,550
  6. Andreas Chalkiadakis – €330,290
  7. Harcharan Dogra Dogra – €230,950
  8. Pavel Plesuv – €165,950
  9. Stephen Malone – €123,450