Vadzim Kursevich Wins 2012 EPT Deauville

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Paul Guichard and Vadzim Kursevich began final table play in the European Poker Tour (EPT) Deauville Main Event very close in chips – Guichard had a 5.955 million to 5.670 million chip lead – and fittingly, it was these same two players who ended up battling it out at the end. After a short but wild heads-up match, it was Vadzim Kursevich who emerged victorious in what was the second largest EPT Deauville in history.

While Guichard and Kursevich started the final table almost neck-and-neck, the story was much different going into heads-up play. Kursevich had a gigantic chip advantage entering the one-on-one match. With a fortress of 23.145 million chips, it looked like Kursevich would make short work of Guichard and his 3.365 million chip mud hut.

While their battle was not long-lived by any means, Kursevich did not come about his title as easily as he might have hoped or expected. Almost right off the bat, Guichard found a bit of luck to double-up. Down to 3.175 million, he moved all-in on the button pre-flop holding just Jc-3c, likely figuring both his cards might be live in addition to having a flush possibility. He was right, as Kursevich called him with Kh-7d; all of the Frenchman’s outs were in play. He nailed one immediately on the flop, as the dealer laid out 3h-9s-5d. The Jd on the turn wrapped it up for him, as his two pair could not be beaten. A meaningless 6s landed on the river and Guichard now had 6.41 million chips versus Kursevich’s 20.1 million. Still a sizeable deficit, but it was a start.

Just ten minutes or so later, Guichard made another big move. Again on the button, he raised pre-flop to 500,000 and Kursevich called. Kursevich checked the 4h-2h-2d flop, Guichard bet 475,000, and Kursevich again called. Same action on the 2s turn, though this time it was for 650,000. It looked like the pattern would repeat itself with the Jh on the river, but Guichard’s 1.5 million chip bet was too rich for Kursevich and the Belarusian laid down his hand. He was still in control of the tournament, but now Kursevich’s chip lead was down to 2-to-1.

Guichard wasn’t done. He wanted to make it all the way back. A few minutes later, Kursevich raised pre-flop to 500,000 and Guichard followed with a re-raise to 1.25 million. Kursevich then four-bet to 2.5 million, but Guichard wasn’t playing around, forcing Kursevich to fold his cards with a shove. With that, Guichard was close to even, trailing just 14.115 million to 12.395 million.

But as quickly as Guichard was feeling great about his chances, it all crumbled to pieces. The action started the same as the last hand we detailed, but rather than tempting fate with another four-bet, Kursevich just called Guichard’s pre-flop three-bet of 1.25 million. The first three community cards came down Js-7h-5d, prompting Guichard to throw out a 625,000 chip bet. Kursevich made the call and the two saw a turn of 9h. Guichard led out once more for 1.325 million, but this time, rather than simply calling, Kursevich shipped his entire stack to the center of the table. Guichard didn’t need to ponder his action at all – he insta-called for around 10 million chips and was all-in for his tournament life. It was an easy call, as he was holding pocket 5’s for bottom set, but he had to a fade a truckload of cards, as Kursevich had 3h-6h, giving him a flush draw and a double belly buster straight draw. Any Heart, 4, or 8 would win it for Kursevich. And it was that 8 that he got on the river, completing his straight and quashing what was amounting to an amazing comeback by Paul Guichard.

For the win, Vadzim Kursevich took home €875,000. This is the first live tournament win of his career, though he has flirted with a major title in the past. Last year, he placed 3rd in the EPT Berlin Main Event, cashing for €300,000. Accounting for currency conversion, Kursevich has now won just shy of $1.75 million on the live tournament circuit.

EPT Deauville – Final Table Standings

  1. Vadzim Kursevich – €875,000
  2. Paul Guichard – €557,000
  3. Vuong Than Trong – €328,000
  4. Yorane Kerignard – €260,000
  5. Bruno Jais – €200,000
  6. Olivier Rogez – €155,000
  7. Luca Pagano – €110,000
  8. Mick Graydon – €67,200

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