Latvia’s Vitalijs Zavorotnijs Wins WPT Barcelona for $678K

Latvian pro Vitalijs Zavorotnijs has just tripled his career earnings in one fell swoop after taking down the WPT Barcelona Main Event yesterday, scooping €600,000 ($678,000) and breaking through the $1million barrier in the process.

By: Andrew Burnett

The season XVII, €3,300 buy-in Main Event at Casino Barcelona boasted a guarantee-busting €3,570,570 prizepool after 1227 entrants put up their money at the Casino Barcelona, the flagship event closing a massive festival in the Spanish city.

Six players returned for the final table, Zavorotnijs joint chip-leader at the start of play and still buoyant after taking down the Kings of Tallinn Main Event title just three weeks ago in neighbouring Estonia – an €85,300 ($96,738) payday that was already guaranteed to be topped as the Barcelona Main Event played down to a winner.

It wouldn’t be an easy ride for the former pro basketball player, but even as his stack diminished in the early stages of play, others were hitting the rails – Zeidan and Odeen falling by the wayside.

A huge hand with four players left bounced Zavorotnijs right back into the mix and when he finally met Boris Kolev heads-up for the title it would take only 3 hands to decide the trophy’s destination.

A rivered flush sealed Bulgarian Kolev’s second-place fate and the Latvian victor celebrated his success with his wife, who herself had satellited into the Main Event.

“How I feel right now is hard to describe,” the champion told WPT reporters afterwards. “A mix of emotion and exhaustion. I’m really tired and really happy! When you work hard for something, and it happens, to be in this spot right now, it feels like a dream come true.”

Final Results:

1 Vitalijs Zavorotnijs €600,000.00
2 Boris Kolev €375,000.00
3 Eric Sfez €281,570.00
4 Niko Koop €215,000.00
5 Jerry Odeen €160,000.00
6 Alain Zeidan €120,000.00

Zavorotnijs’ €600,000 win - the first-ever WPT Main Event victory by a Latvian - includes a $15,000 seat to the Baccarat Crystal WPT Tournament of Champions to be held in Las Vegas later this year.

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