Deal’s Stephen Chidwick Wins Big in Barcelona
|Published: 1st September 2017 10:34|
This August, a professional poker player from Deal, Kent, has won big in the 2017 PokerStars Championships in Barcelona. The 28-year-old Stephen Chidwick beat 122 other players in the €25,500 Single-Day High Roller event to win the jackpot of €690,400. Chidwick now joins the prestigious list of world’s super high rollers like billionaire CEO Steve Wynn.
Prior to his big win, Chidwick, who plays online poker under the name “stevie444”, was considered one of the best professional players in the world. He started his career playing free rolls in games on the web and progressed to competing in famous events like the World Series of Poker and European PokerStars tournaments.
Telling reporters that the win was “fantastic”, it certainly was his “best result” in a tournament. Although he has amassed a fortune nearing $8 million USD — placing him second on the England all-time money list behind Sam Trickett — this is the first time he has topped the field in a high roller event. He came close earlier this year at another PokerStars tournament, the Championships Bahamas, where he finished seventh and fifth in high roller events winning $154,260 USD and $265,040 USD, respectively.
PokerStars is a global poker platform, home to the annual World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP) and has sponsored some of the world’s most exciting live poker tournaments including the European Poker Tour, Caribbean Adventure, and 2017’s inaugural London Live Super Series. Each event attracts the best players from around the world, and superstar personalities like the Grammy Award-winning House music artist DJ Zedd, who made his debut this year in the €5,300 Main Event.
Over the years, the Barcelona Championships have delivered many exciting moments and this year’s event, which was held at the Casino Barcelona, was no exception. Chidwick had his work cut out for him in the Single-Day High Roller, an event using the Texas Hold’em rules. Other players in his field included Igor Yaroshevsky and Bryn Kenney, an American pro who is currently Card Player’s Player of the Year and previously earned the seventh-place position in the €50,000 Super Higher Roller game in the same tournament. There was also a celebrity appearance at the table, comedy giant Kevin Hart was slated to play but in his place, was F.C Barca star Gerard Pique. Nevertheless, Chidwick was triumphant after 12 hours of play, topping Kenney and other notable players including Isaac Haxton (4th), Adrian Mateos (7th), and Vladimir Troyanovskiy (8th).
Other key moments in the tournament, which ran from August 15-27, included the main event and the €10,300 High Roller. Incredibly, this year, the main event was won by a semi-professional player: Sebastian Sorensson. With only a €215-satellite entry into the game, Sorensson, who had previously only won low-stakes games online, beat nearly 1,682 entries to pocket the top prize of just under €1 million. The €735,000 high-roller pool, however, was won by Ronny Kaiser, a former European Poker Tour main event winner.
Chidwick’s victory has not only seen him increase his cashflow, but has positioned him in 7th place on the Global Poker Index (GPI). The GPI is renowned in the poker industry as the definitive leaderboard index, ranking over 450,000 tournament professionals from around the world. Chidwick is currently the only British player ranked in the top 10 and together with Jack Zi Yang Salter, who is placed at 13th, is one of two British players in the top 20.