The final day of the 2015 bwin.be World Poker Tour National Brussels €1,200 Main Event saw 21 hopefuls return to the tables of the Grand Casino Brussels Viage, having already guaranteed €3,920 for their efforts. However, all eyes were set on the winner trophy and first-place payout of €88,000. It took just over seven and a half 60-minute levels to determine a champion, and Heinrich Pauker emerged victorious after defeating Frenchman Yehoram Houri in heads-up play.
Final Table Results
Mathieu Alciato was the first to fall, and the final two tables were set after Stephen Woodhead and Simon Steinberg headed to the rail in quick succession. The first level of Day 3 also saw the bustouts of Christian van der Haegen, who shoved the river with two pair into the straight of Mike Gerry, as well as Omar Dahmani in 17th place.
Pauker's rise started with the elimination of Nicolas Nicolopoulos after his flush draw cracked the over pair of the Belgian. Kamel Djemai departed in 15th place and start-of-the-day chip leader Kyne Elmouloua had to settle for 14th place after becoming a short stack early on. Florian Ravier ran into pocket aces and Jean Marie Vandeborne experienced the same fate shortly after. Eugenio Landi and Julien Brulet then fell in 11th and 10th place, respectively, to set the unofficial final table of the last nine.
Only one hand had occurred and Nico Lombaerts lost all but four big blinds to Houri with pocket queens versus pocket kings. Lombaerts' would run out of chips shortly after, and the official final table started with a bang. Day 1a chip leader Gerry put all his hopes on a king-high flush draw and Miroslav Alilovic called with middle pair and an open-ended straight flush draw to vault into the lead.
Mohamed Mamouni lost a flip against Pauker's pocket deuces, and Julien Duveau was unable to spin up his short stack to bow out in sixth place. The tides changed for Alilovic, who first lost a big pot against Pauker and then sent the remaining chips within two hands to Erwann Pecheux to finish in fifth place. The PMU Pro also took care of Jozsef Szabo and went from short stack to chip leader with three players left.
An enormous 10 million-chip pot with a roller-coaster runout left Pecheux crippled and the Frenchman never recovered from that, finishing in third place for €39,425. Subsequently, Pauker started the heads-up match with an overwhelming lead over Houri and the Frenchman stood no chance despite doubling up with pocket aces in the very first hand. In the final hand, Houri's ended up second-best to the of Pauker and the WPT National Brussels champion was crowned.
The Grand Casino Brussels Viage regular immediately hugged his wife on the rail and joked in the interview after his victory "Pauker, like Poker."
Originally from Germany, Pauker has been living in Belgium for more than 40 years and plays both tournaments and cash games. According to his Hendon Mob, Pauker has $92,661 in tournament earnings and the biggest cash came off a second-place finish in a high roller event at the Namur Poker Classics in 2013 for €23,742.