German Moritz Kranich Takes EPT Deauville Title

German Moritz Kranich Takes EPT Deauville Title
0 0 votes
By Jennifer Newell After a three-year absence of Deauville from the list of cities on the PokerStars.com European Poker Tour, it was added again as the first stop in 2009. Players and media alike were excited to be back in France for the event, and the poker community came out in force to the Casino Barriere to express their gratitude. They knew it would be a massive tournament, and Day 1a was proof positive as 312 players settled in for the first of two starting days. Poker pros like Bertrand Grospellier, Isabelle Mercier, Alex Kravchenko, Vicky Coren, and Vanessa Rousso were there to support PokerStars, and others like Juha Helppi, Sebastian Ruthenberg, Jani Sointula, Ludovic Lacay, and Eric Haber were among the crowds as well. But by the end of the eight levels played that day, only about 125 remained, with Jonathan Abdellatif holding 105,000 and the top spot on the leaderboard. Another 343 players came out for Day 1b, making the total number of registrants for the tournament 645. The prize pool soared over the €3 million mark, and 64 players would take pieces of it in the end. Second starting day players included a plethora of recognizable names, like Peter Eastgate, Freddy Deeb, Max Pescatori, Gavin Griffin, Bruno Fitoussi, Noah Boeken, Luca Pagano, Dario Minieri, and David Ulliott. When the day ended, it looked as if Alessio Isaia’s 104,500 chip stack was in the lead, but upon a recount of Ulliott’s chips, he sat atop the leaderboard. Day 2 was the first day of all remaining players joining at the tables, and the 248 played down quite quickly to the money bubble. When that time came, it was Janek Schleicher who pushed all-in with pocket sevens against Arnaud Vicente and his pocket kings. Schleicher couldn’t improve, nor could he cash in the tournament as the money bubble player. Surinder Sunar was one of the first to finish the event in the money, and Isabelle Mercier soon joined him on the rail. Freddy Deeb also finished in a respectable 56th place. The day finally ended with 47 survivors, and German online qualifier Moritz Kranich sat far ahead of his competitors with 517,500 chips and the lead. Michael Abecassis was quite a bit behind with 310,000, followed by Arnaud Esquevin, Joep van den Bijgaart, and Bruno Haddad to round out the top five. Day 3 was the day to decide the final table participants, and again, the speed of the tournament on that day surprised many. The exits were fast and furious, with some of the notables being Eric Haber in 25th place, David Ulliott in 23rd, and Alessio Isaia in 13th. Ultimately, it was Jan Meinberg who looked to double up and stay alive, pushing all-in with ad kd. Andrea Benelli called with pocket threes, a hand that held up on the 7d 4h qs 6h 9s board. Meinberg was the final table bubble player, leaving in ninth place with €46,400. The final table was set for January 24th, the next day, with the following chip counts: Tristan Clemencon 1,731,000 Moritz Kranich 1,434,000 Andrea Benelli 1,195,000 Jorn Walthaus 539,000 Arnaud Esquevin 483,000 Jonathan Azoulay 426,000 Bruno Launais 402,000 Thomas Delatte 233,000 Play began with some caution but sped up with the first elimination. Short-stacked Thomas Delatte looked to gather chips by moving all-in on the first hand of the afternoon but got no callers. However, a short time later, when he did the same thing with A-T, Launais called with A-K. The flop of 9-Q-8 provided some hope, but the turn and river were blanks, sending Delatte out in eighth place with €77,400. Brunno Launais was the next to be at risk and chose to put his tournament life on the line with A-7. It was the former short stack, Esquevin, who called and had enough to cover Launais since recently doubling through Kranich. Esquevin showed the dominating A-K, and a king on the flop cemented the decision. Launais left in seventh place with a €108,300 prize. Jorn Walthaus looked for a double-up and moved all-in preflop with A-2, but again it was an A-K that called, this time held by Clemencon. The dealer gave them J-7-8 on the flop and a 9 on the turn. The river couldn’t help, and Walthaus was ousted in sixth place with €142,400. It was only a few minutes later that Jonathan Azoulay took his chance with J-8, and Benelli was the caller with an A-2 in his hand. There was a jack on the flop, but there was also an ace, which eliminated Azoulay in fifth place with €182,700 in cold, hard cash. Andrea Benelli then took his position as the chip leader during four-handed play, though Clemencon was close behind. Clemencon soon took that lead back through a 2.4 million-chip pot, and Benelli began to fall, finally allowing Esquevin to double through him and leave him with very few chips. Benelli pushed the last of it all-in with 8s 6c and was called by Clemencon and Esquevin. Both checked the flop of qh tc kd, but Esquevin bet the kh on the turn, prompting a fold from Clemencon. Esquevin showed K-6 for the set, and Benelli was shown the door in fourth place, which was worth €219,800. Three-handed action took a bit longer, but the one constant was the chipping down of Tristan Clemencon. Finally, with only 100K left, he pushed with J-2 on a 10-high flop. Kranich called with 10-8, and when the board bricked for Clemencon, he was gone in third place with €284,800. Heads-up began with the following counts: Moritz Kranich 5,550,000 Arnaud Esquevin 920,000 Action lasted for nearly an hour, but Esquevin was never able to gain much ground on his opponent. His chips finally went in with A-3, but Kranich called with A-7. The board ran out 9-T-6-5-A, and the last French player was knocked out in second place. Arnaud Esquevin was awarded €495,500 for the performance. Moritz Kranich, an online qualifier from Germany, won the EPT Deauville and the €851,400 corresponding prize money. (Thanks to PokerStars Blog for detailed tournament information.)