Pagano was one of the very first members of Team PokerStars Pro, joining shortly after the very first EPT Deauville event in season 1 of the PokerStars.com European Poker Tour. Before taking up poker, Pagano studied computer programming and also dabbled in the stock market. After discovering PokerStars, Luca began playing at the free money tables. He swiftly progressed to real money games and hasn’t looked back since. He’s clocked up numerous cashes in PokerStars’ biggest tournaments and also won countless amounts of money at the high stakes cash tables.
But it’s live tournaments where Pagano has really made his name. He has a record 20 cashes in EPT Main Events and this is his seventh EPT final table appearance. His first was also here – at the very first EPT Deauville in Season 1.
Pagano and fellow Team PokerStars Pro Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier have been juggling first and second place in the EPT All-Time Tournament Leaderboard for years (although Pagano’s performance here in Deauville will certainly put him back on top.)
Pagano’s best live result was sixth place at the EPT4 Grand Final for €337,000; he also came sixth at EPT Dortmund (€153,000) and sixth again at EPT Prague (€100,000) as well as numerous other deep runs. But it was on home soil that the popular Italian finally snagged a major tournament title when he took down the PokerStars Italian Poker Tour event in San Remo last July for €210,000. Pagano has nearly $2 million in overall live tournament earnings and currently lies sixth on Italy's all-time money list. Pagano is being supported in Deauville by his fiancée Elena.
Yorane started playing poker after watching a documentary on television in 2007 featuring French singer and film star Patrick Bruel playing against online qualifiers. The 26-year-old industrial design graduate plays on PokerStars under the username "viirusss".
Favouring MTT events, Kerignard’s first live cash came in 2009 when he finished fifth in a small buy-in event in Cyprus. But just five months later, he hit the big time, finishing fourth in the Season 6 EPT Copenhagen Main Event for DKr 1,050,000 (around €120,000). The biggest cash of his career however came last October when he finished fourth at EPT San Remo for €130,000. He’s also had a number of good EPT side event results including third in the Season 6 EPT Grand Final €1k NL event and fourth in the €2k event the following season. Kerignard spends most of the year in Marrakech, Morocco, which allows him to play on PokerStars.com. Online, his best result was runner-up in the PokerStars Sunday 500 for $78,500; he also won the PokerStars Super Tuesday for $70,000 in 2009.
Welcome back to PokerNews' coverage of the 2012 PokerStars.fr EPT Deauville from the Casino Barriere at The Deauville International Centre.
After six days of poker, the starting field of 889 is down to its final eight players, each with the goal of capturing the €875,000 first-place prize, a beautiful Shamballa bracelet, and a piece of EPT glory. Leading the way by a slim margin is Paul Guichard with 5,955,000.
The chip lead changed multiple times on Day 5 as Vadim Kursevich (second in chips with 5,670,000), Olivier Rogez (third in chips with 4,415,000), and Bruno Jais (fourth in chips with 3,450,000) each spent time atop the chip counts. Don't count out the shorter stacks, though, as EPT cashing wizard Luca Pagano (sixth in chips with 2,010,000) is in search of his first EPT Main Event victory.
Play is expected to begin at about half past noon local time, about an hour from now, so keep it here throughout the day for live updates on all of the final table developments.