EPT Barcelona, which began with 1,243 runners, featured a large number of prominent pros. But despite this fact, the 8-player final table was largely full of unknowns looking for their first truly big score. Middleton and his heads-up opponent, Kimmo Kurko, were the only players with any sizable poker accomplishments before this event.
Kurko, who had over $1 million in winnings prior to this tourney, worked out a deal with Middleton before they started playing heads-up. With both players about even in chips, they agreed that the winner would take home €942,000 (instead of €1,067,000), and second place would receive €750,000 (rather than €625,000). The idea here was to reduce variance and make sure that the payouts were more equal.
Once a deal was established, the players battled back and forth for quite some time; however, Middleton started pulling out to a big lead. On the final hand, Kurko shoved his chips in preflop with A-4(o) on a 4-bet, and Middleton called and flipped over pocket 5’s. The board failed to help either player, which was to Middleton’s benefit as he won his first EPT title.
Thanks to the massive payout he just received, the Brit now has $2,222,102 in live poker tournament winnings. Besides winning EPT Barcelona, Middleton won the 2012 Fallsview Poker Classic ($304,980) and a 2012 Aussie Millions side event ($86,702). He also took third in a 2011 WSOP $2,500 NLHE tourney ($305,015).
2013 EPT Barcelona Main Event Final Table Results
1st. Tom Middleton (UK) – €942,000
2nd. Kimmo Kurko (Finland) – €750,000
3rd. Kresten Nielsen (Denmark) – €440,500
4th. Luca Fiorini (Italy) – €328,000
5th. Pasi Sormunen (Finland) – €253,000
6th. Benoit Gury (France) – €188,000
7th. Eduard Bhaggoe (Netherlands) – €143,000
8th. Andreas Christoforou (Cyprus) – €102,430