The last eight players were back in the Casino Barrière on Monday to take their seats under the lights and TV cameras around the finale table of EPT Deauville. The lineup card was an impressive one, and it figured to be a great day of poker. Fortunately for all in attendance, it did not disappoint. Some time in the waning hours of the night, Teodor Caraba knocked off his final opponent and earned himself the title trophy and a handsome payday of €847,000.
Just less than an hour into the day, Team PokerStars Pro Peter Eastgate became the first man to be sent off the stage (eighth place, €70,000). First into the pot from the button, the Dane made his move with . Craig “HU4ROLLZ” Bergeron reraised and isolated himself against Eastgate, turning up . The board was unkind to the soft-spoken World Champ as it rolled out , and his day was done all too early.
The next knockout took closer to two hours with Michael Fratty's running smack into Jake “neverbluff67” Cody’s . There was a queen on the flop, but Fratty could not find any more help on board, and he was busto in seventh place (€92,000). A short while later, Cody open-shoved when the table folded around to his small blind. Stephane Albertini was in the big blind with a slightly shorter stack, and he called it off with . although his demeanor is not one of extremes, Cody must have been thrilled to find action as he tabled , and his rockets stood tall on a board full of blanks. For his sixth-place exit, Albertini collected the first six-figure check handed out at the Main Event (€129,000).
Just a few hands passed before the next big all-in confrontation. This time it was Claudius Secara and Mike “Timex” McDonald waging war with premium pairs. It was McDonald with the , the covering stack, and the upper hand against his opponent’s . The jacks found nothing to sweat on a dry board of . Secara was bolstered by a flock of fervently supportive railbirds today, but his bid for the title came to a close in fifth place (€165,000).
With the table playing four-handed poker, Bergeron did his best to play the role of table captain. It worked just fine for a while, but he took a wrong step a bit later in the evening and ended up stepping into a quagmire. With the blinds at 60,000/120,000, Bergeron opened the pot to 1,000,000 straight, committing about two-thirds of his remaining stack. The remainder went in when Cody shoved over the top with , and Bergeron tabled for his tournament life. The flop contained an ace, and a second one on the turn left the gregarious American drawing dead right there (fourth place, €221,000).
With more than 23 million chips in play, the three remaining players were separated by just over a half million — about five big blinds. You’d have to figure Timex was the odds-on favorite to win the battle, but he was the one having the most difficulty making progress. About an hour after returning from the dinner break, McDonald found in the hole and called all-in after a three-bet shove from Caraba. He tabled , and the Romanian's fans’ pleas for an ace were answered immediately. The dropped right in the window, and the board of was the last of McDonald’s day (€295,000).
That set the stage for the heads-up clash, Caraba enjoying about a two-to-one chip advantage. But Cody would not go without a serious brawl. Caraba — a high-stakes heads-up specialist — had his hands full with the 20-year-old Brit, and the match was soon dead level. Early in the duel, Cody cast aside his screen name, and “neverbluff67” set the tone with a dramatic three-barrel bluff, flashing seven-high as he bullied his opponent out of the pot. As the race went on, it was Caraba who stumbled, bluffing all in preflop with and getting snap-called by . The board was a huge sweat that brought the two halves of the crowd to life: . The eights held for Cody, and he needed a personal assistant to help collect all of the chips in that pot. On the flip side, Caraba was left with just under 3 million.
Caraba battled back swiftly, doulbing up twice to draw even once again. Then the final pot of the night unfolded in what was essentially your standard cooler with an EPT title hanging in the balance. Caraba opened to 800,000 before Cody three-bet to 1.76 million. The Romanian wasn’t going anywhere with his , but his four-bet shove was snapped off by his Cody’s . Waving their national flag, Caraba’s countrymen shouted at the dealer for a saving ace, but their cries went unheard. When the board ran out , Cody’s posse rushed the stage to congratulate the newest EPT winner.
While condolences are in order for everyone else, congratulations are due Jake Cody, champion of EPT Deuville!
That’s it for our Live Reporting Team in Europe this week. The next stop on the EPT tour will take us to scenic Copenhagen for the Nordic Open. There are still a couple weeks to try and qualify for a seat with satellites running right now on PokerStars.