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Vadzim Kursevich Wins European Poker Tour Deauville Main Event

Main Event Title Goes To Belarus; Luca Pagano Breaks Own Record

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Credit: Neil StoddartAfter eleven-and-a-half-hours, the European Poker Tour Deauville €5,300 main event final found its champion. Vadzim Kursevich became the first Belarusian to win an event on the Tour and his victory over a total of 888 opponents saw him receive €875,000 for a valiant performance.

Kursevich, who finished fifth in last September’s World Championship of Online Poker main event, dominated play in the latter stages and eventually took out France’s last man standing, 19-year-old Paul Guichard. Guichard was one of 477 French players making up the field and the last of five French finalists. He had started the day as chip leader but Kursevich doubled through him early on when his A-K beat Guichard’s A-Q for more than 7 million in chips.

The next few hours saw a determined Kursevich moving up and down the chip counts as he actively pursued the title. In that time the player most eyes were on at the start of the day, Luca Pagano, met his end at the hands of Vuong Than Trong. Trong was also a strong challenger for the title and looked dangerous as he approached threehanded play. At this stage however, Kursevich was the new owner of all the 100,000 plaques in play and looked unstoppable.

Following Trong’s departure, Kursevich held 23 million in chips to Guichard’s 3 million, and it didn’t look like it was going to be too long before he totally cleaned up.

No one said it would be easy however – Guichard doubled up twice to bring the counts closer together as a French champion looked more and more possible. But Kursevich held on to his dream and made it a reality following an explosive final hand. Kursevich raised to 500,000 on the button and Guichard made it 1,250,000 from the big blind. Kursevich called and the flop fell JSpade Suit 7Heart Suit 5Diamond Suit. Guichard bet 625,000 and Kursevich called to see the 9Heart Suit turn. Guichard made it 1,325,000 this time and following some time to think, Kursevich moved all in. The Frenchman snap-called and turned over 5Heart Suit 5Spade Suit for a set. Kursevich tabled 6Heart Suit 3Heart Suit and didn’t have to wait too long before one of his outs hit the river, the 8Club Suit.

Kursevich, who finished third at EPT Berlin last season, 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.”

Here are the final table results and payouts:

1. Vadzim Kursevich (Belarus) €875,000 (1,824 Card Player POY Points)
2. Paul Guichard (France) €557,000 (1,520 POY Points)
3. Vuong Than Trong (France) €328,000 (1,216 POY Points)
4. Yorane Kerignard (France) €260,000 (912 POY Points)
5. Bruno Jais (France) €200,000 (760 POY Points)
6. Olivier Rogez (France) €155,000 (608 POY Points)
7. Luca Pagano (Italy) €110,000 (456 POY Points)
8. Mick Graydon (Ireland) €67,200 (304 POY Points)

Pagano’s seventh-place finish increases his record of EPT main event cashes to an astounding 20 and his final table appearances to 7 since the beginning of the EPT. He did this in the same place as his very first EPT final at the Tour’s debut in Deauville way back in season 1.

Side-event action saw Jose ‘Nacho’ Barbero take down the €1,000 pot-limit Omaha side event for €37,500, Matthias de Meulder receive the biggest live cash of his career in the €1,500 side event with €131,000 for first place, and Kevin MacPhee won the €5,000 High Roller Turbo, beating final opponent Shaun Deeb to the €50,000 top prize.

The European Poker Tour pulls into Casino Copenhagen at the Radisson SAS Scandinavia Hotel on Feb. 20 and the stop’s centerpiece is the 35,000 DKK main event. Last season it was Swedish pro Michael Tureniec who left Copenhagen victorious after earning €496,271 for topping a field of 449.