Kayhan Mokri with First EPT Title at 2023 EPT Barcelona €100,000 Event 28 Aug

After several near-misses, Kayhan Mokri has finally clinched his first-ever European Poker Tour title. Mokri, who already had impressive 2nd and 4th finishes at two separate €25,000 final tables this week, and a 6th place finish at last year’s Barcelona’s Main Event, ensured there were no such “slip-ups” this time around, securing the €100,000 event crown.

From the get-go, Mokri set the tone, leading the pack after Day 1 with a staggering 286 big blinds. Hot on his heels was PokerStars' Ambassador Alejandro Lococo with 128bb. By the end of Day 1, out of 14 entries, only six players survived to see Day 2, but there was still late registration open until the start of Day 2 and four more players, opted for this option, including the enigmatic Jean-Noel Thorel, who is always a tough opponent.

The tournament ended up with 18 high-calibre entries, generating a prize pool of €1,746,360, with a hefty €750,960 reserved for the top spot.

It was all Mokri through the final day, also eliminating bubble boy Mikalai Vaskaboinikau in 5th place. It still wasn’t all smooth sailing as Jean-Noel Thorel threw a curveball and seized the lead three-handed.

Sam Grafton finished 4th

Thorel kicked out Sam Grafton in 4th place with a kings full of nines against Grafton's straight on the turn. Shortly after, Steve O'Dwyer's hopes were dashed by Mokri, leaving the tournament in 3rd place after a dominant run out by Mokri.

The stage was set for a heads-up battle between Mokri and Thorel. Thorel, a beauty company magnate, has proved time and again that he can stand toe-to-toe with players a third of his age with nearly €14 million in live tournament earnings.

Wild Jean-Noel Thorel

However, in this duel, Mokri seemed more than prepared. Despite facing a six-to-one chip deficit at one point, Mokri methodically chipped away at Thorel, playing snug and capitalizing on bluffs. The tournament's structure, shortened by a day, meant the blind levels never caught up, allowing Mokri more room to maneuver.

In the final hand Thorel went all-in on the turn with a flush and straight draw against Mokri’s top pair. After a short tank, the Norwegian made the call. The river came up blank, allowing Kayhan to celebrate with his friends over his inaugural EPT victory and €750,960 payday.

2023 EPT Barcelona €100,000 Super High Roller Final Results

Place Player Country Prize
1 Kayhan Mokri Norway €750,960
2 Jean-Noel Thorel France €471,500
3 Steve O'Dwyer Ireland €314,300
4 Sam Grafton United Kingdom €209,600