PokerStars Championship Barcelona: Riding the €10K HR bubble with Adrian Mateos

PokerStars Championship Barcelona: Riding the €10K HR bubble with Adrian Mateos

There were 34 minutes and 57 seconds left till dinner break when the PSC Barcelona High Roller clock stopped.

Only 83 players were left and just 79 would make the money. Blinds were 3,000/6,000 with a 1,000 ante and Adrian Mateos was short stacked with 52,000.

Even though he’s just 23-years-old, Mateos is already second on Spain’s all-time money list. Mateos has amassed $9.3 million in live-tournament earnings and is second only to the 2001 World Series of Poker Main Event Champion, Carlos Mortensen, who’s racked up $12.1 million in earnings throughout his career.

Mateos’s career has barely begun, but it started with a bang. The young Spaniard won the WSOP Europe Main Event when he was just 19, and then he took down an Estrellas Poker Tour Main Event in Madrid a few months later. Mateos then won the EPT Monte Carlo Grand Final Main Event in 2015 and has added another two WSOP bracelets to his jewelry collection since.

The young Spaniard knows how to play, and now he’s on home turf. So how does Mateos play 10 big blinds when he’s four players away from the money in a high roller? Well, here’s how.

Play wasn’t quite hand-for-hand yet. Every table was playing two hands at a time and then the tournament clock would tick down four minutes.

After the clock stopped action folded to Mateos’s button and he moved all in. The blinds folded and Mateos took it down. Mateos folded the next hand and the clock ticked down.

Fold, fold.


Fold. Fold.


Franz Ditz opened to 13,5000 from the cutoff and Mateos called from the big blind. The flop came 7♥4♣J♦ and Mateos check-raised all in. Ditz called and they had to wait for the rest of the tournament to finish up.

“I got a seven,” Mateos told Ditz. “You?”

The dealer stopped the conversation from continuing. No hand discussion allowed.

Mateos did have a seven. He turned over Q♣7♣ for middle pair while Ditz had a bigger pair with 8♦8♥. Things weren’t looking good for Mateos, he needed running clubs, a queen, or a seven. The A♥ on the turn killed any hope of a flush, but the Q♥ came on the river to keep Mateos’s high roller dreams alive. Mateos doubled to 135,000 while Ditz dipped to 290,000.

Mateos then folded the next hand. A player at another table busted and we were down to 82.


Action folded to Mateos’s button and he took down the pot with another shove.

Mateos now had room to maneuver and raised to 13,000 from the cutoff. Stefan Schillhabel called from the big blind and checked the 4♥7♦Q♥ flop.

Mateos bet 13,000, Schillhabel raised to 39,000 and Mateos folded. Maneuvering didn’t go well.


The tournament dropped to 81 players and regular old hand-for-hand play went into effect. The tournament clock also popped back to life and started ticking down again.

Mateos got in five folds before the break and went to dinner with 113,000. Mateos went over to his friend, Sergio Cabrera, and congratulated him on his slightly larger stack of 915,000. The two players seemed happy to go to dinner, but they probably would’ve been happier with an extra €18,400.

Back from dinner

The final 81 players came back 75 minutes later. They were well-fed and ready to make some money. It would still be over an hour before that happened. We got down to 80 quick enough though. Alexandros Kolonias got it all in with K♥K♦ and he fell to JC Alvarado’s A♥3♥.

After that there were at least four double ups and hand-for-hand play extended into the next level level. Mateos won a few pots during that time, exclusively through all ins and folds.

Fabrice Maltez called from the small blind one of those hands and Mateos moved all in from the big blind. Maletz folded and Mateos took down that pot. Mateos then moved all in when he was under the gun and everyone folded.

Mateos showed Q♣Q♦ and raked in the pot. Then Q♣Q♦ made an appearance the very next hand. Steve O’Dwyer raised to 16,000 that hand and Vladimir Troyanovskiy moved all in for 72,000.

“I’ve got good cards,” Troyanovskiy told O’Dwyer when action folded back to him.

“I know you have good cards,” O’Dwyer said. “I have good cards too.”

No go for O’Dwyer and Troyanovskiy tabled Q♣Q♦. Mateos then folded the next few hands and the bubble finally burst.

Raul Martinez moved in with A♠Q♠ and Markus Durnegger called with A♣K♠. The 7♦9♣9♥5♠2♣ board missed both players and ace-king high took down the pot and burst the bubble.

After nearly an hour of play with 80 players, we dropped down to 72 in just 10 minutes. Mateos was in the money and celebrated by moving all in three times in those first 10 minutes. He got no callers on those three, but he did get one later on.

Mateos got chipped down to just 21,000 and moved all in with A♥4♥. Stefan Schillhabel called with A♠K♠ and both players improved drastically on the T♥J♠J♣K♥J♥ board. Mateos hit the nut flush, but Schillhabel hit a full house.

Mateos’s high roller run came to an end and he was able to add €20,000 to his poker resume for finishing 61st. The rest of players still had a shot at the €1 million top prize and title of champion.

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