In a dizzying display of poker, Romania’s Razvan Belea dominated the field of the European Poker Tour Paris Main Event on Sunday. Holding the lead from Day Four onward, Belea defeated Sweden’s Peter Jorgne in heads-up action to capture the million-plus Euro payday. For Belea, it was even more special because he had qualified for the tournament through an online tournament on PokerStars, the sponsor of the EPT.
Saturday of Domination Leads to Short Final Table
Belea came into Day Five on Saturday with the edge on the fifteen players left in the field. Behind the Romanian came Johan Schultz-Pedersen and Denzel Spekman, but they both would not be around by the end of the day’s play. Belea, meanwhile, was able to parlay a power poker style with his chip stack that was assisted by catching the cards at the right time.
In the first elimination of the day, Belea coolered Sven Stok after Stok ran his pocket Kings into Belea’s pocket Aces. Belea would then pull off the trick again in knocking out Schultz-Pedersen once the official EPT final table was determined (an eight-handed table). The action did not stop there, however, and neither did Belea.
Belea took down Spekman in seventh place in what was an extremely fortunate situation for Belea. After Spekman raised the pot with an A-J, Belea got a little adventurous with a Q-9 and a three-bet. Spekman made the call and hit on the A-4-2 flop.
Belea would push out another big bet after Spekman checked and, after Spekman called his bet, a Queen came on the turn. Still behind, this time Belea chose to check his option after Spekman checked over to him. The thunderbolt was the nine on the river, giving Belea Queens up and Spekman chose the wrong moment to get aggressive. He would shove his stack to the center, but Belea considered his spot carefully and made the call to knock out Spekman.
After Fabrice Bigot knocked off Day Three chip leader Konstantin Held in sixth place, the action was finally halted for Sunday’s Championship Day:
1. Razvan Belea (Romania), 16.125 million
2. Peter Jorgne (Sweden), 10.775 million
3. Brian Delaney (United Kingdom), 10.425 million
4. Fabrice Bigot (France), 9.625 million
5. Henri Kasper (Estonia), 1.725 million
Dominant Lead Leads to Championship
It never seemed as if Belea was ever threatened at the final table of the EPT Paris Main Event. He kept getting richer on Championship Day when, in a three-way battle with Bigot and Delaney, he was able to get paid off after flopping a full house. He was not able to take out Kasper in fifth place – that honor went to Jorgne – but Belea was able to amass over half the chips in play with action down to four hands.
The battle for the EPT Paris Main Event title came down to who would rise up to take on Belea. Bigot tried to power his way to the final twosome, but he came up short in fourth place. Delaney would also try to make his way to the heads-up fight, but that was squelched by Jorgne. When it came down to the battle of Belea and Jorgne, it seemed as if it were only a matter of time.
Because French law does not allow for a tournament host to facilitate a deal situation, Belea went to battle with his 33.3 million stack against Jorgne’s 14.875 million. The twosome fought it out for almost two hours, but Jorgne was never able to seriously put a dent into the stack of Belea. Just as he was able to claw his way up, Jorgne would slip back in what became somewhat of a Sisyphean situation.
On the final hand, Belea (holding a 7-6) raised the action to 800K and Jorgne (on a 10-6) called to see a 10-5-3 flop. After hitting top pair, Jorgne check-raised the open-ended straight draw of Belea, who made the call. Fate once again smiled on Belea as a four came on the turn to give him an unbeatable straight and the fireworks began.
On that turn four, Jorgne decided to open the action to 2.6 million, but that was not good enough for Belea. He popped it to 5.6 million and, after a call from Jorgne, the men saw a second four hit the river. Any thoughts of either man slowing down went right out the window as Jorgne moved all in on the river.
Despite the board pairing, Belea wasn’t truly concerned (even though he told Jorgne on the live stream “I don’t think I can fold this one”) and eventually would make the call. After the cards were tabled and the straight revealed, Razvan Belea was crowned the champion of the EPT Paris Main Event.
1. Razvan Belea (Romania), €1,170,000
2. Peter Jorgne (Sweden), €780,100
3. Fabrice Bigot (France), €535,850
4. Brian Delaney (United Kingdom), €412,200
5. Henri Kasper (Estonia), €317,050
6. Konstantin Held (Germany), €244,000*
7. Denzel Spekman (Netherlands), €187,650*
8. Johan Schultz-Pedersen (Denmark), €144,300*
(* – eliminated on Saturday, part of official EPT final table)