Lucien Cohen Wins the Biggest PokerStars LIVE Tournament in History 28 Aug

Amid what's being hailed as the second poker boom, the poker community is buzzing with a series of record-breaking live tournament attendances. Following the historic turnouts at the 2023 World Series of Poker, PokerGO Tour events, and the recent World Poker Tour Prime festival, the spotlight now shines brightly on PokerStars’ Estrellas Poker Tour Main Event.

Historically, Barcelona consistently draws in the largest crowds for the European Poker Tour. Just last year, the city hosted the biggest EPT Main Event in its 19-year history. This year, it seems poised to outdo itself once again.

The biggest PokerStars LIVE tournament ever.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves, as today’s story revolves around the Estrellas Main Event becoming the biggest PokerStars LIVE tournament in history, drawing a whopping 7,398 entries across eight Day 1 flights. Players from 86 different nations converged and pooled a staggering €7,102,080 in prize money. The overwhelming attendance was such that while the €100,000 Super High Roller concluded a day early, the duration of the Estrellas Main Event had to be extended to accommodate the action.

At the epicenter of this poker cyclone was Lucien Cohen, known fondly as "The Ratman." Cohen isn't a stranger to the limelight, having won the EPT Main Event in 2011 in Deauville, bagging a cool €880,000. Known for his plastic rat card protector, he also happens to run a successful pest control business. While the rat was absent this time, his signature celebratory singing and dancing were very much present.

The final 6 of the €1,100 Estrellas Main Event.

As Day 5 unfolded, six finalists eyed the top prize of €676,230. While PokerStars Ambassador Parker "tonkaaaap" Talbot had exited 7th the previous day, Cohen began as the frontrunner, holding almost a third of the chips in play.

As the day progressed, Cohen's dominance was palpable. Ankit Ahuja felt the brunt after a failed hero call against Cohen's flush. Short-stacked, he went all-in with A6o only to be eliminated by Cohen's pocket sevens, sending him home with €177,810.

Danilo Velasevic was next, his A6o also proving no match for Cohen's other pocket pair. Eights this time around. “Hes funny, poker loves him," Velasevic said in his post-game interview, pocketing €232,090.

With each passing hand, Cohen's chip lead grew monstrous. Petros Karadimos couldn’t get away from his top pair either. While dancing, Cohen completed his straight on the river, awaiting a call from his opponent. €294,620 consolation prize for the Greek.

Cohen entered the heads-up battle with a 4:1 chip lead over Ferdinando D’Alessio, and even an early double couldn’t help him as the day belonged to Cohen. On the final hand, his K8 dominated Belgian’s K4. Two pair on the turn, and the Frenchman was at the worst splitting the pot, but the river was a blank, and Lucien started celebrating with his rail.

The Ratman has returned.

2023 ESPT Barcelona Main Event Final Table Results

Position Name Country Prize
1 Lucien Cohen France €676,230
2 Ferdinando D'Alessio Belgium €415,320
3 Petros Karadimos Greece €294,620
4 Danilo Velasevic Serbia €232,090
5 Ankit Ahuja India €177,810
6 Avihai Smadga Israel €136,850
7 Parker Talbot Canada €105,590
8 Igor Kaufman Israel €81,230
9 Marcos Thielke Spain €62,470