EPT8 Deauville: Past winners suggest thrilling finale on the way
Deauville has been the site of some memorable final tables in the five previous incarnations.
Starting in Season 1, Brandon Schaeffer became the first of many fascinating stories to emerge from the tour. Schaeffer's friend Carl Olsen qualified on PokerStars to play Deauville and suggested Brandon try to do the same. Schaeffer then used FPPs to enter the very last satellite and won it.
The pair then took their seats in the main event, eventually facing off against each other heads-up, Schaeffer coming out best to collect the €140,000 first prize before going on to finish second in the Grand Final in Monaco a few weeks later.
In season two, two hundred more players bumped up the first prize to €480,000, won by Mats Iremark after final table dominated by exquisite performances. Aside from Iremark's masterful display, third placed Kirill Gerasimov put on a display of short stack dexterity that astounded everyone, never getting more than average but putting what he had to superlative use.
The EPT bypassed Deauville in seasons three and four, owing to changes in the French gaming situation but returned in season five in fine style, 645 players topping up a prize pool worth more than €3 million which awarded eventual winner Moritz Kranich a first prize of €851,400. An energised crowd watched Kranich finesse his way to the title, leaving local hero Tristian Clemencon in third place.
In Season 6 it was Jake Cody who conquered the biggest field ever in Deauville, featuring 748 players. Yet again the final table produced a exhilarating finish, featuring former winner Mike McDonald and former World Series winner Peter Eastgate. Cody got the better of them to win the €847,000 first prize.
Then there was last year's winner Lucien Cohen.
Season 7 winner: Lucien Cohen
Cohen broke the mould when he took France's premier poker crown 12 months ago, almost as surprised at his own extravagant performance as everyone else was. Armed with a mascot rat, relating to his extermination business, Cohen cheered himself to emphatic victory. Unusual, but spectacular; forcing Martin Jacobson into second.
Regardless of what happens today, tomorrow will likely produce something of equal note. With 13 players left we should know soon what form that will take.