PokerStars Qualifier Razvan Belea Cruises to Victory in 2023 EPT Paris €5,300 Main Event (€1,170,000)
The sixth-largest PokerStars European Poker Tour Main Event in history has crowned a winner at the Hyatt Regency Paris Etoile. Out of a field of 1,606 entries in the 2023 EPT Paris €5,300 Main Event, PokerStars online qualifier Razvan Belea claimed the biggest portion of the €7,708,800 prize pool after defeating Sweden's Peter Jorgne in heads-up play.
Coming into the final day as the chip leader, the Romanian with $1.25 million in MTT cashes on PokerStars, Belea remained ahead of his final four opponents all the way to continue a remarkable run throughout the last couple of days. He held the top spot after Day 4 and 5, never surrendering the top spot on the leaderboard during an action-filled grand finale.
It was the first EPT Main Event title for a poker player from Romania, as Belea finished one spot higher than Dany Parlafes at 2015 EPT Deauville when the popular tour visited France for the last time. His trademark victory came with a payday of €1,170,000 while Jorgne had to settle for a consolation prize of €780,100, picking up by far his biggest cash on the live poker circuit.
The final day also featured the red-hot running Fabrice Bigot, Brian Delaney and Henri Kasper. Since July 2021, Bigot notched three victories in the French capital before coming up just short of the final table in the 2022 EPT Prague Main Event, finishing in 11th place for €74,950.
Final Table Results 2023 EPT Paris €5,300 Main Event
|Place||Winner||Country||Prize (in EUR)|
|4||Brian Delaney||United Kingdom||€412,200|
Belea started his poker journey grinding freerolls to build a bankroll and already participated in several EPT Main Events before earning his entry to this one via a $530 buy-in satellite on PokerStars.
"That this is unreal, that it couldn't happen like this. I mean, yeah, it's all I ever dreamed of since I started to play poker. I was watching all the time EPTs, have played a couple, and now I am here, it is an unbelievable feeling, I don't know what to say ... I am a bit emotional, but anyways, I follow my dream from the beginning and I studied a lot of hours behind the computers. Everything is possible!" Belea told commentator Joe Stapleton in the interview after all was done and dusted.
The Romanian wreaked havoc on the tables during the last two tournament days, sending several opponents to the payout desk and that directly correlates with one of the meanings of his last name translated into English: Trouble. He didn't really have any of that en route to victory.
Action of the Final Day
Only five players returned to their seats on the main feature table and there was a huge discrepancy between the top four on the leaderboard and Henri Kasper, as the Estonian had a mere 11 big blinds and change at his disposal. He got through with some preflop jams while chip leader Belea scooped a significant pot when flopping a full house as Bigot and Delaney clicked it back despite having missed entirely.
Kasper then eventually ran out of chips when his ace-six suited stood no chance against the ace-king of Jorgne. The Swede became the second-biggest stack by some margin only to double Delaney with tens versus kings in a preflop contest. Until the first break, Belea had increased his stack to more than half of the chips in play while Bigot was the shortest stack on a still comfortable 27 big blinds.
The Frenchman continued to get involved in the action and clashed eventually with Delaney when he flopped bottom pair and turned a flush draw. Delaney looked him up with top pair, top kicker, but another club on the river cut down his stack and shifted the momentum once again.
It was the first ever EPT Main Event cash for Delaney, which became a six-figure payday. Belea, in the meanwhile, had a near three-to-one lead over Bigot in second place while Jorgne was not far behind. The two bottom stacks got their chips in the middle soon after and Jorgne had the best of it.
Bigot was denied a victory on home soil when he ran out of chips in a duel of PokerStars online qualifiers but the third-place finish once more confirmed the hot run of the Frenchman in the past two and a half years. He qualified via PokerStars and collected €535,850 for his efforts.
That elimination set up a heads-up duel between Belea and Jorgne with a very comfortable lead for Belea. A rather timid affair unfolded in which Belea retained a two-to-one lead all the way without any major drama.
When the biggest pot of heads-up play suddenly emerged, Jorgne flopped top pair and turned a straight draw. The very same card completed a gutshot straight draw of Belea and Jorgne called his raise before jamming the blank river. There was no snap-call by Belea but the Romanian eventually did come along to emerge as the latest EPT Main Event champion.
This concludes the PokerNews coverage for this flagship tournament, but several other side events are still underway.