Amid much speculation of how Black Friday would affect the live poker scene, live tournaments are still doing extremely well and drawing great crowds. The poker action was heating up in Spain’s capital city of Madrid last week as the conclusion to this latest season of the EPT took place in the form of the EPT Madrid Grand Final. In the end it was Ivan Freitez of Venezuela who outlasted a tough final table of experienced players to win the tournament and become the newest EPT Champion.

The EPT is, of course, the abbreviation for the European Poker Tour, a PokerStars-sponsored series of live poker tournaments which are televised and later broadcast for fans to enjoy. As such, the EPT is broken up into seasons, which each stop of a season taking place in a different beautiful location around Europe. Having begun in 2004 the Tour has now enjoyed seven seasons or one each year, including this most recent which has just come to a close with the tournament in Madrid, Spain.

As the cleverer amongst you can probably guess the EPT Grand Final in Madrid was the last stop of this season’s series, wrapping up an awesome collection of tournaments in some of Europe’s most fantastic locations. Kicking off on May 7th and running through until May 12th, the tournament was hosted in the Gran Casino Madrid, and sported a buy-in of €10,000 + €600 for those not fortunate enough to win a package through one of the many PokerStars satellite tournaments. Falling only slightly short of the 800 cap, the tournament drew 686 players which generated a prize pool of €6,860,000 (just under $10 Million US) to be split among the top 104 competitors, with the winner receiving €1.5 Million.

Among the players to make it to the final table was Team PokerStars Pro Alex Gomes, seeking the  elusive so-called Triple Crown of poker. Having won a WSOP Event in 2008 and a WPT Championship in 2009, Gomes was looking to pull off the hat-trick but was sadly eliminated in 7th place. After this Ivan Freitez really took charge of the final table, and ended up eliminating four of his seven opposition players as the final table dragged on, building up an impressive chip stack. When he knocked out Tamas Lendvei in third place it was time for heads-up play against German Torsten Brinkmann.

Having been busy at the final table, Freitez came into heads-up play with a roughly four-to-one chip lead against Brinkmann. After early drama Brinkmann pushed all-in with Ace King offsuit and was called by Freitez’s much behind Ten Nine suited. A nine on the flop promptly turned the tables, however, and the blanks on the turn and river sealed the deal, sending Brinkmann to the rail in second place and crowning Freitez as the latest EPT Champion. The winner received a handsome €1.5 Million (over $2,100,000 USD) for his troubles in addition to the EPT title.