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Davidi Kitai Completes Poker Triple Crown With EPT Berlin Win

Davidi Kitai Becomes First Belgian European Poker Tour Champ And Latest Member Of Triple Crown Club


Credit: Neil StoddartAfter meeting coincidentally at the airport in Berlin and sharing a cab ride to get to the Hyatt Hotel for the European Poker Tour main event, Belgian pro Davidi Kitai and Canadian EPT regular Andrew Chen found themselves sharing the same space once more when they reached heads up for the top prize of $941,488 (€712,000).

Previously the two shared the same best finish on the Tour, third place, and were obviously hungry for more. Kitai had started the final table in the lead, but when it got to heads up it was Chen who had the chip advantage. This didn’t really mean anything as of yet as the fight between two hungry and dangerous pros was set to be a fantastic demonstration of skill, courage, and observation that could really go either way.

A key hand turned everything around when Kitai, holding KClub Suit 5Club Suit, opened for 350,000 and Chen three-bet to 900,000 with K-J off-suit. Kitai called and the flop was dealt Q-8-2. Chen bet 615,000 and Kitai called. A 4 came on the turn and Chen fired out 1,480,000 and Kitai came along for the two to see a 5 on the river. Chen then moved all in, putting Kitai firmly in the tank. Kitai amazingly made the call however and Chen’s downfall would follow soon after.

Speaking after Chen said, “I guess he owned me. He said that he was going to call a lot of rivers which seems insane. It’s really hard to say much about a hand like that. I was certainly going to shove a lot of rivers and it’s just a shame he hit a five. In a way he three-outed me. I hope that it’s presented on TV that way rather than him just catching me bluffing.”

The final hand of the event came when Kitai moved all in from the button with KDiamond Suit 7Heart Suit and Chen made the call for his last 2.4 million with ADiamond Suit QHeart Suit. The board was dealt KHeart Suit 6Diamond Suit 6Spade Suit 3Spade Suit KSpade Suit to firmly seal the deal for the Belgian. Chen walked away with $810,579 (€613,000) for his best finish on the Tour to date, bringing his total live tournament winnings to nearly $3 million. He earns 1,520 Card Player Player Of The Year Points for his runner-up finish, and added to the 592 points he already has, the total comes to 2,112. This puts Chen in sixth place on the POY leader board, just ahead of Sean Jazayeri.

In topping the field of 745 Kitai is the latest to achieve poker’s triple crown; he is the only Belgian to win a WSOP and WPT title, and has now gone a step further with the EPT title now under his belt. Not only that, the 32-year-old has also become the EPT’s first Belgian champion. He takes home $941,488, a Shamballa Jewels bracelet worth more than €10,000, and a seat in the EPT Tournament of Champions event, taking place on May 1.

Kitai, who adds 1,824 Card Player POY Points to a mere 50, now sits in ninth place overall on the leader board with 1,874 points. He said, “It’s amazing to win! I’m feeling great. I didn’t expect to beat that field and it was a very tough final table. I’m going to celebrate with all my friends in Belgium, and in France, and we’re going to celebrate in Monte Carlo for sure.”

Here are the final table results, payouts, and Card Player POY Points:

1. Davidi Kitai (Belgium) $941,488 (1,824 POY Points)
2. Andrew Chen (Canada) $810,579 (1,520 POY Points)
3. Andre Morath (Germany) $383,471 (1,216 POY Points)
4. Mario Puccini (Germany) $290,909 (912 POY Points)
5. Bahadir Kilickeser (Germany) $227,438 (760 POY Points)
6. César García (Spain) $175,868 (608 POY Points)
7. Marc Wright (UK) $128,264 (456 POY Points)
8. Pratyush Buddiga (USA) $95,207 (304 POY Points)