Giuliano Bendinelli Comes Back From 1 BB to Win EPT Barcelona Main Event


The Italian poker pro’s “chip and a chair” story resulted in a €1.5 million payout for him.


Giuliano Bendinelli Takes Down €5,300 EPT Barcelona Main Event for €1.491 Million

The 2022 PokerStars European Poker Tour just concluded at Casino Barcelona yesterday. And it could not have a more poetic ending, with the eventual Main Event champion coming back from 1 big blind to claim his title.

Giuliano Bendinelli was one of the 1,686 players entering the €5,300 buy-in EPT Barcelona Main Event. This was the largest Main Event field in EPT history, which resulted in a massive, €11.126 million sum in the prize pool to be fought over.

Bendinelli entered the last day with the fourth largest chipstack out of the 6 players still standing. He had 43 BB's in front of him to play with - not too bad, especially given the fact the largest stack only had 60 BB's.

However, things soon turned very, very bad for the hero of our story. Those 43 BB's evaporated into just 1 (!) after he ran his Ace-Queen into Jimmy Guerrero's Ace-King in a huge, pre-flop all-in pot. Yet he managed to stay alive with a string of triple-up, chop, then double-up all-in hands.

In the end, Bendinelli ended up facing the very man who already almost sent him to the rails before, the French poker pro Guerrero. That heads-up battle concluded when Bendinelli rivered Quad 8's, while his opponent was holding a full house, Jacks over 8's.

This unlikely comeback reminded many of one of the most famous stories in poker history, often referred to as “a chip and a chair”. During the 1982 Main Event, Jack Straus moved all of his chips in the middle and lost the hand. However, as he was getting up, he found a single 500-denomination chip under a napkin. Since he never announced all-in verbally, he was allowed to stay in the tournament - which he also ended up winning for $520,000.

After his victory, he famously said “all you need in poker is a chip and a chair”, which became a famous epigram among poker fans. In fact, in every intro segment of the famous TV show Poker After Dark, Doyle Brunson can be heard saying just that.

Largest Live Tournament Cash Ever for Bendinelli

However, let's get back to the champion of today, Giuliano Bendinelli.

This is his largest live tournament cash ever. This score makes up the majority of his $2.488 million in live tournament earnings.

Previously, he has won a €1,100 EPT Monte Carlo event and a €500 WSOP Europe event (making him officially a WSOP gold bracelet holder), but nothing even close to a victory of this magnitude.

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