After a week’s worth of poker at the Casino Barrière the 2013 PokerStars.fr European Poker Tour Deauville Main Event came to a conclusion on Saturday afternoon with Frenchman Remi Castaignon ending a rapidly paced, drama-packed final table as the winner. Castaignon earned a €770,000 first prize for topping the field of 782, outlasting Walid Bou Habib of Lebanon heads up to take the title.
Final Table Results
|2||Walid Bou Habib||Lebanon||€475,000|
|6||Joseph El Khoury||Lebanon||€125,000|
A couple of story lines were in play at the start of Saturday’s final table, one being how no less than three of the final eight players hailed from Lebanon. One of those players, Jeffrey Hakim, came in on a short stack and, unfortunately for him, ran the into the of the German Enrico Rudelitz to go out in eighth on just the second hand of play.
Meanwhile, another big plot line early on concerned Castaignon having entered the final day of play with a massive chip lead over his seven opponents — his stack of 9.9 million to start the day was nearly three times that of second-place Bou Habib and over 42 percent of the chips in play.
The combination of Castaignon’s big stack and a number of short-stacked players caused some to anticipate a short final table. As it happened, play did conclude relatively quickly with the final table finishing in just about five hours. It was anything but total domination by Castaignon, though, thanks to a huge hand early on between the Frenchman and Rudelitz.
It was just minutes after Hakim’s exit when Castaignon called a Rudelitz three-bet before the flop,and then called the German’s bets again after the flop and turn. The pot had ballooned up around 4 million by then, and when the river brought the , Rudelitz pushed in his last 2 million to increase it even further. Castaignon tanked for over five minutes, talking himself into a hero call with the , but Rudelitz had for top set, and suddenly Castaignon had lost that huge chip lead.
Castaignon kept his composure, however, as more short stacks began to fall. Noel Gaens, one of two Belgian players at the final table, went out in seventh when his failed to improve versus Bou Habib’s . Then, the third Lebanese player, Joseph El Khoury, went out in sixth after getting his last chips in the middle holding the on a board and finding himself up against Rudelitz’s . The river brought no help for El Khoury, and the field was down to five with Rudelitz seemingly in command.
But Castaignon had begun to build his stack back, knocking out fellow Frenchman Franck Kalfon in fifth place along the way. That hand saw Kalfon all in with the on a flop versus Castaignon’s . The turn provided some excitement as it gave Kalfon two pair, but the landed on the river to counterfeit Kalfon's hand and reduce the field to four.
Meanwhile, Rudelitz saw his stack slide, and eventually he became short and had to commit with the against Castaignon’s . The board didn't help Rudelitz, and with three players left, Castaignon had pushed back in front.
Robert Romeo — like Gaens from Belgium — persevered with a short stack all afternoon to move up in the payouts, finally committing with the and finding himself up against yet another player with the in Castaignon. Five community cards later, they were down to two.
Castaignon enjoyed the advantage to start heads-up play with 14.765 million versus Bou Habib’s 8.620 million, and he immediately began to chip up further, soon whittling Bou Habib down below 7 million chips. The latter then four-bet pushed a stack of about 38 big blinds with the and Castaignon found a call with the . The flop meant the pair were still essentially flipping, but the turn and river sealed it for Castaignon.
With his victory, Castaignon became only the second Frenchman to win EPT Deauville, following in the footsteps of Lucien Cohen, who took the Main Event title at the French coastal town during Season 7.
Next up for the European Poker Tour is the London festival of events where PokerNews will be bringing you live coverage of the £5,300 Main Event (March 10-16) and the £10,300 High Roller (March 14-16).
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