The computer engineering student from Oporto was the first European Poker Tour winner from Portugal and has been a consistent performer this season, chasing in three of the four EPT events he has played.
He defeated Nico Behling, a 23-year-old qualifier from Germany, in a three hour heads-up with Italian World Series of Poker Bracelet winner Dario Minieri in third place.
A total of 217 players from 29 countries including 10 former European Poker Tour champions were in attendance at the Hyatt Regency in Warsaw but none of the 13 strong British contingent (Mark Dalimore, Kara Scott, Priyan de Mel, Colin Harrison, Richard Gryko, Anthony Quinn, Laurence Houghton, William Fry, Josh Gould, Peter Gould, Marc Teltscher, Terry Cook and Roland De Wolfe) made it to the final table.
Rowe takes down a million
19/12/2008 AT 11:46
Seven countries were represented at the final table with things tight at the top with Minieri (359,500 chips), Russian Sergey Shcherbatskiy (349,000), Behling (343,500) and the French pair of Arnaud Mattern (328,000) and Ludovic Lacay (296,500) all tightly packed.
Atanas Gueorguiev from Bulgaria (186,500) and Barbosa (123,000) followed with a second Italian Andrea Benelli (100,000) and Swiss Michael Muheim (89,000) making up the rear.
Online qualifier Muheim was the first to depart. The 21-year-old medical student from Zurich ran into Shcherbatskiy's pocket aces and was followed to the rail by Lacay.
The 23-year-old from Toulouse had already improved on his 11th place at EPT Dublin last season when he went All-In post-flop with pocket aces only to be called by Behling who had a full house.
Italian pro Benelli went out in seventh as his good friend Minieri conjured up a flush that sent the former computer sales rep from Prato to the rail with €45,746.
Shcherbatskiy earned his trip to Warsaw for a mere $7.50 after working his way up through satellites and ended in sixth at the hands of Barbosa before Mattern, who won EPT Prague last season and finished 51st in London last month, had his bid to become the first ever player to win two EPT titles ended.
Mattern found himself All-In with pocket tens against Barbosa's pocket eights who then landed the trips on the turn.
Gueorguiev, at 38 the oldest man at the final table by some nine years, was fourth after chief executioner Barbosa rivered a queen to down the former taxi driver.
Roman Minieri had been hoping to better his third place finishes at Baden and San Remo in each of the past two seasons but his pair of sevens were betterd by Barbosa's pocket nines and he had to leave albeit with his career EPT earnings now up to €553,342.
The long heads-up came to an end when Barbosa called Behling's All-In. The young German turned over suited Jack, seven while Barbosa had suited Ace, ten and then was handed another Ace on the flop for the victory.
Barbosa, who finished 48th in Barcelona for €14,900 and 26th in London for £13,052, said: “Things worked perfectly for me. For three hours, I was trying not to think about anything but winning. It's the best birthday present I've ever had. It was great to win.
"I started the final table kind of short stacked, not very, but shorter than the average. When I started as the short stack, I played very, very tight. They didn't realise that I was capable of changing styles and that's what I did. Once I got to the last four, I became the chip leader and didn't lose it."
Behling said: "If someone would have told me before the tournament that I would finish second, I would have signed up for that immediately. Now of course, I am a little disappointed that the trophy was so close."
The European Poker Tour now heads to Prague with the €5,250 buy-in tournament culminating on December 13.
1st Place: João Barbosa (Portugal), €367,140
2nd Place: Nico Behling (Germany), €205,270
3rd Place: Dario Minieri (Italy), €123,162
4th Place: Atanas Gueorguiev (Bulgaria), €87,973
5th Place: Arnaud Mattern (France), €72,724
6th Place: Sergey Shcherbatskiy (Russia), €57,476
7th Place: Andrea Benelli (Italy), €45,745
8th Place: Ludovic Lacay (France), €32,843
9th Place: Michael Muheim (Switzerland), €21,114
10th Place: Uffe Holm (Denmark), €21,114
11th Place: Eduard Kapitonov (Russia), €16,422
12th Place: Brian Jensen (Denmark), €16,422
13th Place: Roland de Wolfe (UK), €14,076
14th Place: Moises Parrilla (Spain), €14,076
15th Place: Patric Martensson (Sweden), €10,557
16th Place: Isabelle Mercier (Canada), €10,557
17th Place: Juan Manuel Pastor (Spain), €7,038
18th Place: Mika Puro (Finland), €7,038
19th Place: Kevin Macphee (USA), €7,038
20th Place: Christoffer Egemo (Denmark), €7,038
21st Place: Stefan Rotach (Switzerland), €7,038
22nd Place: Julien Lang Van (France), €7,038
23rd Place: Marty Smyth (Ireland), €7,038
24th Place: Josh Gould (UK), €7,038
Hussain reigns in Luton
19/12/2008 AT 11:44
Foltyn takes Grand Final
08/12/2008 AT 09:50