Insurance broker Remi Castaignon entered the final table as a huge chip leader but early on it looked as though things were going to fall apart after a huge hero call went wrong. However, the Frenchman hunkered down and redoubled his efforts, managing to arrest his slide down the chip counts and become only the second Frenchman to win an EPT in Deauville after Lucien Cohen completed the same feat in season 7.
After a grueling penultimate day, the players returned to the final table with relatively short stacks leading to setups that no amount of skill would be able to stop. Jeffrey Hakim, one of three Lebanese players to make the final, was eliminated in just the second hand - a victim of a cooler against Enrico Rudelitz.
Hakim's exit wasn't the early talking point surprisingly, instead all the attention was on a hand between Castaignon and Rudelitz where the two tangled in an 8 million-chip pot which saw the chip lead change hands after the Frenchman made a huge call on the river.
Noel Gaens was the next player out. Short-stacked his tens ran into the aces of the emerging Walid Bou Habib - the latter overtaking Castaignon and moving into second place. Joseph El Khoury followed Gaens out the door in sixth place while Franck Kalfon was eliminated in fifth place barely five minutes later.
By this point, Castaignon had recovered his stack from a low point of 3 million and, alongside Rudelitz and Bou Habib, was once again well stacked. Robert Romeo was the lone short stack and fought on manfully, managing to double up several times.
Meanwhile Rudelitz lost several critical pots to both Castaignon and Bou Habib, eventually exiting in fourth position. After this Romeo suffered the same fate as Jeff Hakim at the start of the day running ace-king into aces to bust out in third.
Castaignon started the heads up battle with a decent chip lead and gradually began to grind away at Bou Habib, managing to take a 3:1 chip advantage before the crucial hand that decided the fate of the title.
The next EPT for the PokerNews Live Reporting Team will be in London next month. Always one of the biggest events of the year, it'll no doubt be another cracker from the capital of the United Kingdom.
We'll see you there!
|2||Walid Bou Habib||Lebanon||€475,000|
|6||Joseph El Khoury||Lebanon||€125,000|