Two years ago, all eyes were on Team PokerStars Pro Eugene Katchalov at the EPT Barcelona final table as he looked to achieve poker’s prestigious Triple Crown, which is comprised of wins on the WPT, WSOP and EPT. Instead, it was a then 29-year-old German by the name of Martin Schleich who topped the 811-player field to win the $1,224,572 first-place prize.
It was one of the most memorable three-handed battles in recent EPT memory as Katchalov, Schleich and Dragan Kostic exchanged the chip lead back and forth over more than four hours of play. Eventually, Katchalov was felled in third place when he three-bet shoved his 15 big blinds with the only to win into the of Schleich. The nines held and Katchalov had to settled for €315,000. An hour later, Kostic fell in second place for €532,000 and left Schleich as the last man standing.
Schleich, who worked in customer service at the time of his win, began playing no-limit cash games back in 2006 but eventually decided to play more tournaments. The decision obviously paid off with his EPT Barcelona win, but since then things have been pretty quiet for the German, who has just one cash over the last two years – 22nd in the 2012 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure $2,000 No Limit Hold’em Leaderboard Event for $6,410.