France’s Lucien “Ratman” Cohen won the €1,100 Estrellas Poker Tour Main Event on Monday, putting him in the unique position as the victor of the largest live tournament in PokerStars history.
The 7,398-entry field at Casino Barcelona generated a €7,102,080 prize pool and a €676,230 first prize for Cohen. It was so large that an extra day became necessary, as the original plan was to end the tournament on Sunday.
A creature of superstition like many gamblers, Cohen wore the same coffee-stained shirt throughout the Main Event. He didn’t go into the tournament with a dirty shirt; another player accidentally spilled coffee on him early on, but Cohen was doing well, so that shirt became his good luck charm.
And his nickname? Fortunately, it’s not because he is known for “ratholing.” No, it’s a term of affection, as he owns a pest control business. Hey, if Cosmo Kramer could be proud of being known as the Assman just because of a license plate, Cohen can be proud to be called Ratman, right?
Cohen dominated the six-handed final table. He went into Monday’s action with 65.5 million chips, well ahead of Petros Karadimos, who had 42.2 million and Danilo Velasevic, who had 40.9 million. Ankit Ahuja and Ferdinando D’Alessio both had over 30 million and Avihai Smadga was the short stack with 11 million. So while Cohen had a sizeable advantage, most of the table was still within reach and could do damage with one big hand.
Smadga, as expected was the first one to hit the rail, eliminated by D’Alessio on the third hand of the final table. Cohen then ran roughshod, knocking out Ahuja, Velasevic, and Karadimos in that order to setup head-up play against D’Alessio.
It looked academic as Cohen had a 4-to-1 chip lead on D’Alessio going into their one-on-one match, but players come from way behind all the time, so why not, right? Wrong. D’Alessio was all-in on the very first hand and did double up, but that was about all he could accomplish.
On the clinching hand, Cohen raised to 5 million chips pre-flop and D’Alessio called. D’Alessio checked the K-J-T flop, prompting Cohen to bet 10 million. D’Alessio then check-raised all-in for 77.5 million. Cohen thought about it for a bit, but finally made the call – if he lost, he would have surrendered the chip lead.
D’Alessio showed K-4 for top pair, but Cohen had K-8, giving him top pair with a better kicker. Another 8 on the turn guaranteed at least a chopped pot for Cohen – D’Alessio needed the Jack or Ten to pair to counterfeit Cohen’s second pair. The river was a brick, though, and Cohen had his championship.
€1,100 Estrellas Poker Tour Main Event – Final Table Results
- Lucien Cohen – €676,230
- Ferdinando D’Alessio – €415,320
- Petros Karadimos – €294,620
- Danilo Velasevic – €232,090
- Ankit Ahuja – €177,810
- Avihai Smadga – €136,850