Sorensson Slips By Akkari to Win Massive PSC Barcelona Main

Six players came back for the final day of the 2017 PokerStars Championship Barcelona Main Event on Sunday.

Nobody expected what they had in store.

In an almost surreal final Swedish Sebastian Sorensson prevailed in only his second live event while PokerStars team pro André Akkari had his deepest run yet and finished fifth.

Most Ridiculous FT Ever?

Just when you think you’ve seen it all, something like Sunday’s PSC Barcelona final table happens.

After Usman Siddique was eliminated in 6th place, it took more than 4 hours to eliminate the next player. With just 100 big blinds on the table there were still five players left so the average chip stack was just 20 bb.

At one point the Brazilian superstar Akkari was down to 5 big blinds; later, Brian Kaufman Esposito shrunk to just 4. But the shortstacks just kept coming back.

andre akkari psc barcelona 2017 1

The man to beat.

Even the commentators couldn’t believe what they were seeing and their descriptions went from “most ridiculous final table ever” to “mind-boggling.”

The chiplead went back and forth with almost every hand and, over time, each player saw himself at the top and the bottom of the counts.

Sorensson Prevails

Eventually it was Akkari who had to face elimination after he first found himself on the wrong side of a bad beat (see below) and then had his pocket fours counterfeited against the A-9 of Lachezar Plamenov Petkov with two pairs on the board.

Kaufman busted with K-Q to Sorrenson’s A-Q in the very next hand. At this point a deal was suggested but rejected by Rafaele Sorrentino, who then thought better of it at the next break when all three players had almost equal stacks.

It proved to be a good change of mind for Sorrentino because he was next to go. At this point just 60 big blinds were left on the table.

No EPT or PSC main event had ever gone beyond Level 40 – 600k/1200k – but this one did. Twenty minutes into Level 41 – 800k/1600k – it was Sebastian Sorensson who eventually took down the last hand of the tournament and won both the title and the top prize.

When both players were fairly even Petkov moved all-in with K-9 pre-flop and Sorenssen called with A-K. The flop brought an ace and Petkov was drawing dead on the turn.

The winner’s check was supposed to be €1.4 million but the last three players agreed on a deal that guaranteed everybody over €850,000 and left €100,000 to play for. A sound idea if you consider that there were barely more than 60 bb on the table at that time and, as Sorrentino put it, they were “basically playing a Spin and Go.”

Sorensson, who works in a warehouse in his hometown of Lund in Sweden, was only playing his second live tournament ever.

PSC Barcelona Main Event Final Table Payouts


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Sebastian Sorensson




Lachezar Plamenov Petkov




Raffaele Sorrentino




Brian Kaufman Esposito


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André Akkari




Usman Siddique




Aeregan Arunan




Albert Daher



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Remarkable Feats

Not only did the PSC Barcelona feature its biggest tournament of all time there were several other astonishing feats accomplishe this week in Barcelona.

rallaele sorrentino psc monte carlo 2017 ME winner 1

Near back-to-back for Sorrentino.

Dutch young gun Sander van Wesemael beat a field of 2,638 players to win the PokerStars Cup event but, incredibly, this was the third PokerStars Cup he’s won in just two months!

Van Wesemael first won the Cup at the PS Festival in Marbella (788 players; €36,450 prize) and thenat the PS Festival in Lille (558; €28,704). In Barcelona he received €127,000.

Brian Kaufman Esposito from Uruguay reached the final table of the 4,557 entry National Championship and finished 8th for by far his largest cash of €66,370 only to then also reach the final table of the main event where he finished 5th for €400k — more than six times more than said largest cash.

Raffaele Sorrentino won the PSC main event in Monte Carlo last May in a field of 727 players for €466,714 only to make the next final table here in Barcelona with 1,682 players.

His third-place finish meant there were just two players between him and a “back-to-back” title if you disregard PSC Sochi and Macau as he didn’t play there. It took the EPT 12 years and 101 main events to crown Vicky Coren as the first two-time winner while the PSC almost did it within the first season.

André Akkari made his first final table appearance at a PokerStars main event – his best result having been a 23rd place in Monte Carlo. It could have gone all the way for the popular Brazilian, too, if he hadn’t suffered from a terrible suck-out when his pocket queens were bested by Sorrentino’s A-Q by an ace on the river.

2017 PSC Barcelona By the Numbers

The PSC Barcelona saw the largest live tournament ever played at a PokerStars event. The €1,100 National Championship drew 4,557 entries to generate a €4.4 million prize pool.

igor kurganov DHxP6EvWsAEeTbR.jpg large

Another success for Kurganov.

Pedro Cairat from Argentina emerged victorious and bagged €432,178. The original first prize was €575,000 but the last three players agreed on a deal.

The €330 PokerStars Cup that started on the same day as the National Championship also saw a record 2,648 players.

Dutch player Sander van Wesemael, as mentioned, achieved the unlikely feat of winning his third PokerStars Cup within half a year.

On the high end Igor Kurganov won the €50k Super High Roller event for €1,084,100. Again, the last two players made a deal so the original first prize of €1,135,500 was not quite reached.

The main event was almost the same size as last year. Here’s a rundown of the most important numbers compared.

Main Event



No. of players



Prize pool



1st prize



Places paid



This year’s main event was a lot top heavier than last year’s, which is mainly the result of PokerStars taking back the new concept of paying 20% of the field after feedback that implied the majority of players preferred the traditional pay-out system.

Uruguay, Dublin, Sochi, Hamburg, Prague

PokerStars will now follow up with Festivals in Uruguay, Dublin, Sochi and Hamburg before the next Championship will be played in December in Prague.

If you want to qualify online for any of these events, go to our PokerStars review page and download the PokerStars software. Create your account, and you might be the next player to lift up a PokerStars main event trophy.

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