EPT10 Deauville: Van Leeuwen upsets the French party and takes crown back to the Netherlands

Beyond the early eliminations, it is difficult to find really significant action during Day 1. Age old poker cliche alert: you can't win the tournament in the opening stages, you can only lose it.

Thankfully, EPT festivals these days never start and end with the Main Event and there will likely be at least two other tournaments playing through a more significant phase on any given day.

Here in Deauville, the two flagship events of the France Poker Series (FPS) have both reached their business end - the £2,000 FPS High Roller event and £1,000 Main Event were both due to finish today.

That's fine for one and difficult for the other. The Main Event has just wrapped, with the Dutch player Niels Van Leeuwen emerging triumphant. But the High Roller still has 11 players across two tables, and many of them with some mighty stacks. It could easily last another ten hours.


Niels Van Leeuwen, FPS Main Event champion

The "problem" is how popular these events have now become. They are the victims of their own success. High Roller tournaments will always attract fewer entrants than Main Events, but when 303 people turn up for a tournament scheduled to last two days, you'll always run into trouble.

Such was the case for this High Roller: plenty of top names arrived early to EPT Deauville and played the FPS High Roller as though it was a particularly juicy side event. After a lengthy opening day, there were still 56 of them involved when it resumed today, including ElkY, Bruno Fitoussi, Michael Tureniec and Dario Sammartino.

We will likely have to wait until tomorrow to discover who emerged triumphant and took the €131,000 first prize. And even then, the strong chances are that there will have been a deal.

Back, though, to the FPS Main Event, which also boasted an enormous field. Indeed, it was more than three times the size of the High Roller, with 1,095 players and a first prize of €175,000.

It was a largely local affair, befitting a local series, and the final table boasted seven Frenchmen surrounding Van Leeuwen. The two chip leaders were from within about 20 miles of Deauville: Christophe Leroux from neighbouring Trouville and Jean-Paul Vasseur from a town called Louviers.

Leroux went out in fifth, earning €45,000, but Vasseur was the final French hope when he went heads up with Van Leeuwen. However despite a rail of more than 40 people cheering him on (that is about ten times the number that watched the final stages of the PCA), Van Leeuwen prevailed and took the title back to the Netherlands.

A full wrap, in French, will appear on PokerStars Blog's French wing. But here's the result:

FPS Main Event
Buy-in: €1,100
Players: 1,095

1 - Niels van Leeuwen - €175,000
2 - Jean-Paul Vasseur - €115,000
3 - Yehoram Houri - €82,100
4 - Corentin Ropert - €60,100
5 - Christophe Leroux - €45,000
6 - Erwann pecheux - €33,000
7 - Mathieu Mariani - €25,000
8 - Fahd Kaabat - €21,580

Follow our coverage from EPT Deauville by heading to the main EPT Deauville page. There's hand-by-hand coverage in the top panel, plus chip counts, and feature pieces below.

Howard Swains
@howardswains in European Poker Tour