After another marathon session of more than 15 hours at the Hyatt Regency Paris Etoile, the latest marquee event of the inaugural 2023 PokerStars European Poker Tour Paris stop in the heart of the French capital has crowned a winner. Out of a field of 910 entries, two locals battled for the biggest slice of the €1,747,200 prize pool in the France Poker Series (FPS) Paris €2,200 High Roller.
It was a short-lived heads-up duel between Mohamed Mokrani and Antony Marchetti, as the former needed just ten hands to claim a marquee victory worth €305,300. Mokrani knocked out seven of his last nine opponents much to the delight of Marchetti, who earned pay jumps to a consolation prize of €190,450.
Also featured on the nine-handed final table were Norway's Jon Kyte, and Italian poker veteran Francesco Delfoco while Brazil was represented by Wagner Ripper and Luis Celso.
Final Table Result €2,200 FPS High Roller
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When the action resumed at noon local time, there were 134 players remaining and they were culled down in dramatic fashion during a frantic opening stage. Among those to bow out during that period were the WSOP bracelet winners Ori Hasson and Alexandre Reard, the latter of which saw his pocket queens cracked by the pocket sixes of Lex Veldhuis.
There would be no happy end for the PokerStars ambassador either as he was eliminated shortly after in a three-way all-in. This time, it was Veldhuis with the queens and Mehdi Chaoui held eights, while both were covered by Maxime Bevers with pocket kings. An eight on the river ensured the triple up of Chaoui, who would rise towards the top of the leaderboard soon after.
The onslaught continued relentlessly with notables such as Sylvain Loosli, Anton Suarez, and Ken Okada all out in quick succession. Woojong Ha then came from behind with a dominated pair to eliminate Mauricio Ferreira Pais as well as Nariman Yaghmai only to see his fortune falter on the final five tables, too.
Gaelle Baumann and Emil Bise missed out on the final three tables, after which Bart Lybaert became the next casualty once the seat assignments were shuffled. For Baumann, the end came in a flip with ace-queen against the pocket nines of Delfoco. Stoyan Obreshkov and Marton Czuczor were the next two big names of the international poker scene who ran out of chips thereafter.
The fall from grace of Chaoui commenced when his pocket aces were cracked by the eight-five suited of Hugo Machado and the young Moroccan had to settle for 20th place. Day 1 chip leader Manuel Labous narrowly missed put on the final two tables, as did Ho Tien Cheung,
WSOP bracelet winner Alexandru Papazian and 2007 EPT Prague Main Event champion Arnaud Mattern followed to the payout desk as the late stages of the tournament became more tense. Ladislao Dalfo Batlle and Mark Buckley were ousted by Jeremie Zouari. The roller coaster ride of Michael Ferrer ended just shy of the final table, which was set after the eliminations of the two Frenchmen Luc Bindel and Zouari.
With an average of just 15 big blinds, the restart thereafter became a cagey affair without any flop for some 20 minutes. Chip leader Mokrani was responsible for the knockouts of Machado and Celso as he cemented the top spot right away. The domination of the Frenchman continued when his turned flush dented Delfoco as Mokrani before he also claimed the rest and suddenly held three times as many chips as the nearest follower.
The streak of Mokrani broke as Cedric Massaro fell to Simeon Spasov and Kyte flopped best only to get one-outered by eventual runner-up Marchetti. Brazil's final hope Ripper earned two double-ups and left Spasov short. The Bulgarian doubled once but then bowed out to Mokrani, who applied a lot of pressure with his overwhelming lead.
Once Ripper sent his chips over to Mokrani much to the delight of the mostly French rail in the early morning hours, it took just ten hands of heads-up play to determine a winner.
This concludes the PokerNews coverage of the 2023 FPS Paris €2,200 High Roller but several other marquee events are still part of the exclusive live reporting schedule