Simon Wiciak Brings PokerStars EPT Barcelona Title to France Simon Wiciak Brings PokerStars EPT Barcelona Title to France

The 2023 edition of PokerStars' European Poker Tour’s (EPT) Barcelona stop is now complete with action on the final events finishing September 3. With 63 scheduled events, the series ended up shelling out well over €40 million in total prizes across the board, with one prize pool in the eight-digit range and eight games that cracked the €1 million mark.

Two weeks of poker in Barcelona are now complete and it was a pretty big deal for PokerStars. That said, Barcelona is usually a pretty big deal in the PokerStars LIVE tour: the stop at the Catalonian capital routinely sets records in various events.

This year was no exception with a new record set for field size in the companion Estrellas Poker Tour (ESPT) Main Event which usually kicks off the EPT Barcelona festival.

While the EPT Main Event ended up just shy of another record, the 2023 game took over second place on the all-time field size list for EPT Main Events, behind only the 2022 edition of this very tournament. This year marked the second time an EPT Main Event field capped 2000 runners.

It was France’s Simon Wiciak who came out on top of the Main Event this year and he did it in pretty dramatic fashion. Not only did he carry the chip lead through the final three days of play, but the Frenchman also made a massive hero call on the final hand to capture the title.

While the final three players cut a deal, Wiciak still secured the biggest payday with €1,134,375 compared to just over €1 million for runner-up João Sydenstricker from Brazil.

Wiciak Rides Three-Day Lead to the Title

Simon Wiciak was emotional talking to media after the eventIt was quite the ride for Frenchman Simon Wiciak in the EPT Barcelona Main Event this year. Not only did he book the win in the second-biggest EPT Main Event ever, but he did it after holding the chip lead to end Day 4, 5, and 6 before ending up with all the chips at the end of the final Day 7.

As if that were not enough to make this a storied win for the player from neighboring France, Wiciak also won the tournament with a sick hero call that meant a win if he was right, but a crippling defeat to leave him nearly felted if he was wrong.

He had to burn through some timebank chips before finally putting in the call, but his flopped pair of fives was good against a bluff on a board that showed an overpair to Wiciak’s pair as well as some baby straight potential.

Big Decision

The thrill of victory -- Simon Wiciak reacts to the final hand of EPT Barc Main EventIt was a huge decision point for the Frenchman as he only had the Brazilian runner-up covered by about 3 million, less than 10 big blinds at that stage. The wrong decision would leave him nearly felted, needing an epic comeback to take down the title.

It was a fairly gross board for his flopped pair. He had turned straight outs as well, but the river paired the board while bricking his outs. With a fold, he’d still have 22 million, a healthy stack to attack his rival with about 40 million after the fold, whereas a call pretty much meant all the marbles, regardless of how it turned out.

He was clearly emotional when he finally put in the call and saw that his pair of fives was the best hand and he was somewhat overwhelmed after the game.

“It’s everything at the same time,” he said, adding, “I’m thinking about my parents, I’m thinking about this tournament. My life is changing with this money. All the three last days, the camera didn’t catch me, but I was crying some times, hiding in the halls. There is too much emotion. Even if I look in control, confident in my plays, there is still a big part, you are human.”

That puts a wrap on EPT Barcelona for 2023. Once again, the city was the home of record fields and eight-figure prize pools on the EPT, leaving us with big expectations for the 2024 event.

2023 EPT Barcelona Selected Results

# Event Entries Buy-In Prizes
Event 25 Main Event 2,120 €5,300 €10,282,000
Event 1 ESPT Main 7,398 €1,100 €7,102,080
Event 54 EPT High Roller 475 €10,300 €4,607,500
Event 21 ESPT HR 2,214 €2,200 €4,250,880
Event 33 EPT Main 2nd Chance 797 €2,700 €1,932,725
Event 22 $100k SHR 18 €100,000 €1,746,360
Event 40 PLO 137 €10,200 €1,328,900
Event 35 50k SHR 2nd Chance 24 €50,000 €1,164,240
Event 51 NLH Mystery Bounty 663 €1,650 €954,720
Event 16 25k NLHE 34 €25,000 €833,000
Event 5 $10k Mystery Bounty 79 €10,200 €790,000
Event 38 Single Day HR 29 €25,000 €696,290
Event 11 25k NLHE 28 €25,000 €686,000
Event 100 25k NLHE 28 €25,000 €686,000
Event 56 Deep Stack 310 €2,200 €595,200
Event 47 NLH Freezeout 577 €1,100 €553,920
Event 17 Estrellas Cup 1,093 €550 €546,500
Event 26 PLO 371 €1,650 €534,240
Event 45 25k NLH 22 €25,000 €528,220
Event 31 NLH Single Reentry 213 €2,100 €408,960
Event 3 NLHE Freezeout 383 €1,100 €383,000
Event 10 Seniors 363 €1,100 €363,000
Event 62 6-Handed 37 €10,200 €358,900
Event 36 Hyper Turbo Freezeout 326 €1,050 €312,960
Event 61 6-Handed 105 €3,150 €305,550
Event 43 Hyper Turbo KO 143 €2,100 €274,590
Event 53 PLO Unlimited Reentry 189 €1,650 €272,160
Event 41 NLH Freezeout 527 €550 €252,960
Event 49 NLH Hyper Turbo 234 €1,050 €224,640
Event 9 Hyper Turbo KO 21 €10,150 €210,000
Event 57 Unlimited Reentry 424 €550 €203,520
Event 55 Hyper Turbo 104 €2,100 €199,680
Event 34 PLO Hi-Lo 162 €1,100 €155,520
Event 59 Hyper Turbo Freezeout 139 €1,050 €133,440
Event 63 Super Hyper Turbo 104 €1,050 €99,840
Event 7 8-Game 84 €1,100 €84,000
Event 60 Unlimited Reentry 166 €550 €79,680
Event 44 HORSE 69 €1,100 €66,240
Event 52 Womens 79 €550 €37,920