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The European Poker Tour kicked off with the Barcelona Open, taking place September 10 through September 14.  Six hundred nineteen players turned out for this year’s event, even though there was a supposed 600 cap.  With a buy-in of €8,000, this brought the prize pool up to €4,952,000.  The German poker player Sebastian Ruthenberg took this year’s victory and €1,361,000 in prize money.

Ruthenberg took out second-place Fintan Gavin, a PokerStars qualifier from Ireland, in what turned out to be a short heads-up battle.  Gavin took away a nice €792,000 for his efforts.

The field was not an easy one and was studded with all kinds of noteworthy names.  Team PokerStars Pros Daniel Negreanu, Greg Raymer, Vanessa Rousso and Chad Brown, who placed 34th, all showed their game.  The Swedish NHL player Mats Sundin and Spanish tennis player Sergi Bruguera, both athlete legends, also tried their luck on the felt for the first time at the EPT.

Ruthenberg has made quite the name for himself.  In June, he won the 2008 WSOP $5,000 Seven Card Stud Hi-Low World Championship, taking home the bracelet and $328,762.  Earlier this year, Ruthenberg also joined the PokerStars ShootingStars Team.  Since winning the 2006 German Open, Ruthenberg has been on quite the run, as his live tournament winnings now total over $2.8 million as of 2008.

Here’s the standings of the final two tables:
01 Sebastian Ruthenberg (Germany) €1,361,000
02 Fintan Gavin (Ireland) €792,000
03 Davidi Kitai (Belgium) €455,000
04 Daniele Mazzia (Italy) €351,000
05 Dren Ukella (Germany) €292,000
06 Jason Mercier (USA) €227,800
07 Samuel Chartier (Canada) €178,000
08 Martin Nielsen (Denmark) €119,000
09 Mikael Lundell (Unknown) €74,400
10 Salvatore Pengue (Italy) €74,400
11 Jonas Klausen (Denmark) €49,600
12 Beniamino Speroni (Italy) €49,600
13 Mark Flowers (USA) €27,200
14 Jonas Molander (Sweden) €37,200
15 Stephen Chidwick (UK) €37,200
16 Claudio Cecci (Italy) €29,700
17 Voitto Rintala (Finland) €24,700
18 Steven Weusten (Netherlands) €24,700