WCOOP finalist Vadzim Kursevich, from Belarus, has won EPT Deauville and a first prize of €875,000 after defeating an 889-strong field.
Kursevich, who turns 25 on Wednesday, beat young French pro Paul Guichard heads-up to take down the €5,300 event in Normandy, France. Kursevich, who came fifth in last September’s WCOOP Main Event and has been proudly wearing his WCOOP final table jacket throughout the tournament, is the first ever EPT champion from Belarus. His biggest live result before today was third place at EPT Berlin last season for €300,000.
Kursevich, who also wins a bracelet worth more than €10,000 from Shamballa Jewels, said: “I can’t really believe it. It’s like a dream. A lot of times, you finish 28th, fifth, even second – and you think ‘What do I have to do to be the champion’ but when you are, it’s the best feeling in the world.”
PokerStars.fr qualifier Guichard, 19, from Nice, took €557,000 for his runner-up finish. Fellow Frenchman Yorane Kerignard, who came fourth for €260,000, was making his third EPT final table appearance. The 26-year-old from Aix-en-Provence also finished fourth at EPT Copenhagen Season 6 earning DKr 1,050,000 (around €120,000) and sixth at this season’s EPT San Remo for €130,000.
Team PokerStars Pro Luca Pagano, who finished seventh for €110,000, broke his own record in Deauville with a 20th EPT Main Event cash and seventh final table appearance. His first EPT final was also here – at the very first EPT Deauville in Season 1.
Nearly 200 players won their seats to the event on PokerStars, including more than 80 who qualified on PokerStars.fr. More than 20 members of Team PokerStars Pro also took part including Jonathan Duhamel, Arnaud Mattern, Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier, Julien Brecard, Vanessa Rousso, Richard Toth, Jude Ainsworth, Dario Minieri, Liv Boeree, Vicky Coren, Eugene Katchalov and Vanessa Selbst,
With 477 players, France had more than 50% of the field in Deauville, and five players at the final table. Bruno Jais, who finished fifth for €200,000, won his seat thanks to a mis-click. The 49-year-old advertising executive was planning to compete in a €10 tournament on PokerStars.fr but accidentally registered for a €500 Deauville satellite instead.
It was also a good week for Team PokerStars Pros. Two-time LAPT winner Nacho Barbero won the EPT Deauville €1,000 pot-limit Omaha side event for €37,500. It was his second tournament title in France – and seventh overall, taking his total live tournament winnings close to €2 million. Belgian Team PokerStars Pro Matthias de Meulder scored the biggest live cash of his career by taking down the EPT Deauville €1,500 side event for a €131,000 first prize. De Meulder, 23, from Antwerp, beat French player Michel Kirchner heads-up to win the two-day event. Team PokerStars Pro Viktor “Isildur1” Blom was runner-up in the €3,200 heads-up event after losing in the final to PCA $5,000 no-limit hold’em turbo winner Kunimaro Kojo from Japan.
EPT Berlin champion Kevin MacPhee won the €5,000 High Roller Turbo for €50,000 after beating fellow American Shaun Deeb heads-up.
Anne Le Clainche won the €330 Ladies Event for €7,850 after fighting off competition from a 78-strong field.
The next stop on the PokerStars European Poker Tour is the 35,000 DKK buy-in EPT Copenhagen event running from February 20-25, 2012 at Casino Copenhagen in the Radisson SAS Scandinavia Hotel. Satellites are running now on PokerStars. For more information, please visit http://www.ept.com.