Fernando Santa Maria is the new EAPT Champion; Massive Grand Final Details Revealed

Fernando Santa Maria is the new EAPT Champion; Massive Grand Final Details Revealed

After Rozvadov and Milan, Barcelona became the third European city to welcome the relaunched EAPT. The series took place from September 29 through October 8, and during these days, 18 unique EA Poker Tour Championship trophies found their new owners. The top prize was won by Dominican player Fernando Santa Maria, who was the winner of the 560 buy-in Main Event.

Despite the modest buy-in, the guaranteed prize pool for the EAPT Barcelona Main Event was 200,000 plus 20,000 in packages that EAPT added to the prize pool. Some 354 poker players entered during the four starting flights, plus three others who qualified online via the GGPoker network. Those online Day 1 players arrived in Barcelona already in the money and just in time for the start of Day 2.

Each of the four starting flights played down to the money, so there was no formal bubble phase in this tournament. The tournament paid 53 players, with a min-cash weighing in at 850. By the end of the second day's play, the field had been reduced to only two tables, with the top 18 finishers earning a minimum of 1,900.

The tournament ended with a deal between the final four. The players agreed to split the prize pool according to ICM. After a short discussion, they agreed to split as follows:

The deal left 9,795 to play for, with 6,000 reserved for the eventual winner. In addition, each of the final four players received a package to the EAPT Grand Final, which is scheduled to take place in Cyprus from September 5-15, 2024.

Santa Maria led Galactico 9,800,000 to 4,500,000 at the start of heads-up. Santa Maria took down most pots to extend his lead until the final hand when Galactico moved all in for 2,200,000 on the flop with a pair of eights. Santa Maria called with his own pair of eights but a better kicker and dodged a flush draw on the river to win the title.

Santa Maria became the EAPT Main Event champion in Barcelona, winning the first championship title of his career. For an operations engineer, the reward for his efforts was more than substantial, a cool 26,625 plus a trip to the luxurious Merit Royal Diamond for the EAPT Grand Final with an incredible $5,000,000 guarantee.

EAPT Grand Final (September 5-15, 2024)

The EAPT Grand Final will take place from the September 5-15 at the luxurious Merit Royal Diamond Casino-Hotel in Cyprus, in partnership with the local Mediterranean Poker Party series. Over 11 days of play, dozens of trophies and millions of dollars in guaranteed prize pools will be up for grabs.

The $1,100 buy-in EAPT Cyprus (similar to the popular EAPT Cup) has a guaranteed prize pool of $1,000,000. The $3,300 buy-in EAPT Grand Final guarantees at least $5,000,000. In the decade-long history of the EAPT, these are the highest guarantees ever announced. The Grand Final deserves grand prize pools!

In the run-up to the Grand Final, you can win Main Event packages. Each entry package includes a $3,300 buy-in and accommodation at the five-star Merit Royal Diamond. In addition, online qualifiers for the series will be available on the GGPoker Network, with satellite information appearing a few months prior to the start of the festival.

The EAPT won't be the only tournament with a $5,000,000 guarantee. The Mediterranean Poker Party Main Event has the same prize pool, but the buy-in is much higher at $10,300. The MPP also features a High Roller tournament with a $31,000 buy-in and Super High Roller events commanding a $103,000 buy-in.

Major EAPT Grnd Final tournaments

DateTournamentBuy-inGuarantee*
September 6-12EAPT Grand Final$3,300$5,000,000
September 7-9MPP High Roller$31,000
September 10-12MPP Super High Roller$103,000
September 10-13EAPT Cyprus$1,100$1,000,000
September 10-15MPP Main Event$10,400$5,000,000

The full festival schedule will be available in early 2024.

The EAPT Grand Final takes place at the Merit Royal Diamond Hotel & SPA, located on the Mediterranean coast. The hotel opened a year ago and has since hosted major series from the Merit Poker Tour to the Triton Series. The massive Royal Diamond gaming room can easily accommodate up to two hundred tables and a few thousand people. The ultra all-inclusive system, swimming pools, spa, wellness services, and one of the best (if not the best) sandy beaches in Northern Cyprus are all part of the five-star hotel package.

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