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Jake Cody Wins European Poker Tour Deauville

Young Brit Overcomes Adversity to Win Title at His First EPT


Jake CodyThe PokerStars European Poker Tour now moves on from the Casino Barrière in Deauville to Casino Copenhagen in the Radisson SAS Scandinavia Hotel. But not before a successful and exciting event is celebrated. The EPT Deauville attracted 768 players, most of whom were French, but in the end, a 21-year-old first-time EPT-er, Jake “neverbluff67” Cody [pictured right] from the UK, never backed down, despite many setbacks along the way, and stole the show on the Normandy coast. He takes home €847,000 after beating Romanian Teodor Caraba in a two-hour heads up battle, but his story alone is not the only interesting tale to tell.

The field consisted of huge poker stars, two former world champions, online up-and-comers, and 13 EPT champions. Team PokerStars Pro player Luca Pagano achieved his 14th EPT cash (his third this season). He went out in 72nd place for €10,900. As the event reached the heady heights of the business end of the €3,686,400 prize pool, two former EPT champions remained — Mike “Timex” McDonald, who won EPT Dortmund in season 4, and Team PokerStars Pro member and PCA champion Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier (when the PCA was still part of the EPT). ElkY unfortunately busted on the final-table bubble, but McDonald continued the hopes for a double title.

Team PokerStars Pro player Peter Eastgate made his second EPT final table appearance but went into it short-stacked. From the get-go, however, he was willing to put all his chips in the middle, but it was Mike McDonald who received the first double-up.

Stephane Albertini raised to 180,000 from the cutoff, and McDonald moved all in for 1,570,000. It folded back around to Albertini, who called, revealing pocket kings, while McDonald tabled ADiamond Suit QHeart Suit. The flop kept the Canadian alive with an ace, and he moved on up to 3,270,000, while Albertini slipped back to around 1,550,000.

Peter Eastgate On Peter Eastgate’s [pictured left] third all-in attempt, he got a caller. He moved all in for 820,000, and Craig Bergeron reraised to isolate. Eastgate had pocket tens, and Bergeron showed KClub Suit 9Spade Suit. A king came on the flop, and it was all over for the former world champ. He left the event in eight place for a payday of €70,000.

Romanian Teodor Caraba, who maintained a good chip lead in the latter stages of the event, then moved way out into the lead when he squeezed a chunk of chips out of Craig Bergeron with a flopped set. At this stage, he neared the 10-million mark.

The other Romanian at the table had a stack that wasn’t so healthy.

Claudiu SecaraClaudiu Secara [pictured right] moved his short stack into the middle with pocket sixes, and Albertini called with AClub Suit JClub Suit. The sixes held, and Albertini took another knock to his stack, putting his tournament life greatly at risk, but he soon found some hope in Bergeron. Bergeron raised to 300,000 from the small blind, prompting an all in from Albertini on the big blind. Bergeron called and showed QClub Suit 3Club Suit, and Albertini revealed ADiamond Suit 4Heart Suit. Two clubs and an ace were dealt on the flop, but with no further sightings of any clubs, Albertini managed to double-up.

At this point, the division between the big and small stacks became clear, and those fighting to reserve a space higher up on the payout list were Bergeron, Albertini, Secara, and Michael Fratty. Caraba, McDonald, and Jake Cody were, however, sitting more comfortably — at least to the point where they were able to get involved without having to commit. Secara was the player most at risk, but he soon managed to double up to 765,000 in chips through McDonald.

The next final table casualty was Michael Fratty. He left in seventh place for €92,000. Fratty moved all in for 1,240,000 with AHeart Suit QDiamond Suit, and Jake Cody called with pocket kings. The board fell QSpade Suit 10Heart Suit 7Club Suit JClub Suit 9Diamond Suit, and as Cody made an unneeded straight, Frenchman Fratty hit the rail.

Mike McDonaldThe action was all about the short-stacks at this stage as they each attempted to avoid the chopping block. For the second time, Secara doubled up through McDonald [pictured left] and moved to just over the one-million mark. Bergeron doubled his stack through Caraba with K-Q versus 6-6, and then McDonald and Cody took over the action. The two battled to and fro but the pivotal pot came when:

McDonald raised to 220,000, and Jake Cody reraised to 490,000. McDonald popped it up to 1.1 million, and then Cody moved all in for 4.21 million. McDonald called.

McDonald: ADiamond Suit KDiamond Suit
Cody: 10Club Suit 10Heart Suit
Board: KSpade Suit QClub Suit 2Diamond Suit ASpade Suit 6Spade Suit.

Cody’s stack dwindled to 1.5 million, while McDonald’s was pumped up to 8.5 million.

Cody then had to fight back, and when the small blind came his way, he moved all in for 955,000. Stephane Albertini called for his tournament life and was disappointed to see his KClub Suit 9Club Suit up against Cody’s pocket aces. With this hand, the event lost its last-standing Frenchman. Cody was back alive with two million, and Albertini made his way to collect €129,000 for sixth place.

The next to hit the rail was Claudiu Secara. His fifth-place finish earned him €165,000, and his chips went to McDonald, who had kings versus Secara’s jacks.

Cody then doubled through Bergeron, putting him back in the limelight, but he wasn’t to enjoy it for too long, as Bergeron was out for revenge. Once again, those fateful pocket tens came along, and after Cody raised, Bergeron moved all in for the best part of 2 million with AHeart Suit KClub Suit. Although he now had Bergeron covered, the board brought an ace, and Cody had to face a short-stack once again. He did, however, manage to double up soon after through McDonald with A-7 versus pocket jacks. He was the one looking for the ace this time, and he didn’t have to wait too long, as it fell on the flop.

Craig BergeronThe hand that truly put him back in the action was one which started off quietly. Bergeron [pictured right] limped in from the button, and Cody checked his big blind. The flop was dealt KHeart Suit 9Diamond Suit 4Diamond Suit, and Cody checked. Bergeron bet 120,000, and Cody raised to 330,000. All hell then broke loose, as Bergeron doubled that bet to 660,000, and Cody then gave it some thought while counting his stack. He then made another raise of 990,000, and when Bergeron moved all in, he made the call. Bergeron showed 9Spade Suit 6Spade Suit for a pair of nines, and Cody showed 9Club Suit 4Heart Suit for two pair. The 10Club Suit came on the turn and the 3Diamond Suit on the river, and Cody moved up to more than 7 million in chips, making Bergeron the short stack with 1 million.

No one was going to go easy as Bergeron was soon back in action moving all in and then doubling through McDonald. However, when he faced Cody again, it was going to be for the last time. Bergeron bet 1 million, Cody moved all in, covering him, and Bergeron called. Bergeron had JHeart Suit 10Club Suit, and Cody revealed ADiamond Suit 7Diamond Suit. The flop brought an ace, and then another fell on the river, and Bergeron made his exit in fourth place for €221,000.

After his reign of terror in earlier levels, McDonald did not do as well when three-handed. Caraba had been pretty quiet, but at this point he became the most-active player. At one point, he handed the chip lead over to Cody, but took it back shortly thereafter. He then reraised McDonald out of an important pot and became the first to reach 10 million in chips.

After dinner break, McDonald made some attempts to get ahead, but it wasn’t to be for the hopeful Canadian. Caraba bet 480,000, and McDonald raised it to 1,180,000. Caraba moved all in, and McDonald called, flipping over pocket jacks. Caraba showed A-10 and out came an ace on the flop. A 10 on the river made sure McDonald would have to wait for his second EPT title, and he went home in third place with €295,000 for his efforts.

Heads-up Chip Counts:

Teodor Caraba: 12,580,000
Jake Cody: 10,160,000

Within an hour of heads-up play, everything changed, thanks to one enormous hand. Caraba opened for 800,000, and Cody reraised it up to 2,100,000. Caraba then shoved with 6Club Suit 5Club Suit, and Cody called with pocket eights. The eights held, and then the chip stacks looked like this:

Cody: 19,780,000
Caraba: 2,960,000

Caraba then shoved twice and managed to double up on both occasions. The first time was with Q-6 versus A-4, and he hit a 6, and the second time with A-K versus K-6, and both hit a king on the flop, but Caraba’s kicker took down the pot — and suddenly the chip counts were:

Cody: 12,100,000
Caraba: 10,600,000

Teodor CarabaThe final hand of the night, and indeed the entire event, came when Caraba [pictured right] raised to 800,000, and Cody reraised it up to 1,760,000. Caraba shoved, and Cody called. Caraba flipped over ADiamond Suit KHeart Suit, and Cody showed KDiamond Suit KClub Suit — but would his pocket pair fail once more against the ace?

An aceless board transferred all of the chips to the young gun, and he became the seventh British player to enter the EPT winners’ circle. After being presented with the trophy, €847,000, and a seat in Monte Carlo’s Grand Final, Cody said, “I feel like I should be asleep, as I can’t believe this is happening.”

Caraba’s strategic and well-timed play got him to second place for €516,000.

The final table payouts were:

First Jake Cody — €847,000 + EPT Grand Final seat
Second Teodor Caraba — €516,000
Third Mike McDonald — €295,000
Fourth Craig Bergeron — €221,000
Fifth Claudiu Secara — €165,000
Sixth Stephane Albertini — €129,000
Seventh Michael Fratty — €92,000
Eighth Peter Eastgate — €70,000

The next stop on the European Poker Tour is EPT Copenhagen on Feb 16. Card Player will be bringing you daily updates on this event also, with many photos courtesy of Neil Stoddart and our friends at PokerStars.