Alex Bilokur Wins PCA $25,000 High Roller, Jonathan Duhamel Second

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The European Poker Tour (EPT) PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (PCA) wrapped up over the weekend, but before the chips were packed away and players jetted off to their next poker destination, there was still the matter of the $25,000 No-Limit Hold’em 8-Max High Roller event to settle.  It was a strong final table with each of the eight players guaranteed a six-figure payday, but of course only one could win.  Emerging victorious was Ukranian Alex Bilokur, winner of not only the prestigious title, but also $1,134,930.

After coming back from a 2-to-1 chip deficit against 2010 World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event champion Jonathan Duhamel, Bilokur claimed by far the largest score of his live tournament career.  His previous high mark was his first recorded tournament cash, a win in the €2,000 No-Limit Hold’em event at EPT Germany in 2010 for €174,000 ($236,019).  None of his other cashes between then and now eclipsed $40,000.  He has two other cashes on the European Poker Tour: a 68th place finish in last month’s EPT Prague Main Event (€11,000/$14,728) and a 36th place finish in the 2011 EPT San Remo Main Event (€20,000/$29,150).

What really had the place buzzing, however, was Duhamel’s run.  His runner-up finish in the $25,000 High Roller event was just the topper on one heck of a PCA.  In the span of a week, he recording the following finishes:

$100,000 No-Limit Hold’em Super High Roller – 4th place – $313,600
$5,000 No-Limit Hold’em 8-Max Turbo – 5th place – $17,990
$5,000 No-Limit Hold’em 8-Max – 1st place – $239,830
$25,000 No-Limit Hold’em 8-Max High Roller – 2nd place – $634,550

That’s four final tables for a total of $1,205,970.

It was some sorely needed and well deserved success for Duhamel after the trying times he has had to weather for the past month.  As readers of this site may recall, the former WSOP champion the victim of a violent home invasion just before Christmas.  As Duhamel wrote on his PokerStars blog:

“…two persons forced my entrance and beat me up and robbed me. After they threatened to kill me I gave them all I had. They then tied me up and beat me, hitting me in the face and all over my body before leaving my house. I’m glad to tell you that I did not sustain any major injuries. I spent yesterday at the hospital and I’m black and blue all over but no broken bones, no blood clots, nothing to worry about.”

The thieves made away with cash and two possessions Duhamel values more than money: his 2010 WSOP Main Event bracelet and a $5,000 Rolex Submariner watch given to him by PokerStars for his landmark victory.  The watch has been found, but the bracelet has yet to be recovered.

Fortunately, the culprits have been apprehended.  At the center of the robbery was Bianca Rojas-Latraverse, an ex-girlfriend of Duhamel’s.  At a bail hearing on January 4th, two witnesses said that Rojas-Latraverse told them she wanted to rob Duhamel three weeks prior to the incident.  Then early in the morning of December 21st, the day the robbery occurred, one of the witnesses alleged that Rojas-Latraverse sent a text message which read, “Everything is planned. We even have a driver if I choke.”

When she was apprehended two days later, Rojas-Latraverse allegedly admitted to sending the text and named John Stephan Clark Lemay and Anthony Bourque as the two men who actually robbed and beat Duhamel.

A fourth suspect, Anthony Bourque, was also arrested, but is still under investigation as law enforcement officials while they determine his exact role in the robbery.

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