EPT Deauville: Swings and roundabouts in the Turbo Bounty
"Gentlemen, there is a microphone at the table, everything is being recorded. You cannot speak about a deal, I'm sorry guys."
Timothee Colcher, one of the four remaining players, did not understand too much English and the tournament director repeated his warning to him and fellow Frenchman Saber Harrazi, Along with the very Swedish-looking Jonatan Hellman and EPT9 San Remo finalist Amerigo Santoro, all were inquiring about the relative stack sizes of each player.
This was the final table of Event #19, the €500 + €500 bounty was just going four-handed as I arrived with Romanian Danut Chisu departing in fifth place after losing a three-way pot with A♠6♣ against Colcher's A♣J♦ and Harrazi's Q♥T♠.
Colcher and Santoro had been the short stacks but both had managed to double up to a point where the four remaining players were roughly even. Colcher was being railed by three friends, including Yohan Figueiras who had finished 7th in the FPS Main Event for €31,080. "We all play together in Paris and travel together," said another of Colcher's friends, "he's a great player on PokerStars.fr, he's incredibly good at Pot-limit Omaha."
Harrazi also had a small group of French friends, while Anton Wigg, who had busted from this event earlier came by to check on Hellman. Santoro also had backing, in the form of a silver-haired gentleman who stood filming on his phone for so long that I started to believe his arms were made of granite.
With the blinds going up every 15 minutes, the chip lead swung between all four players. Harrazi lost a huge pot with A♠T♠ to Santoro's K♦Q♥, attempted to battle back from the brink of elimination but eventually was knocked out in fourth place by Colcher. The latter then also dispatched Hellman with A♠J♣ against Q♦5♠ with the board coming Q♠2♠A♣A♦T♣.
"Voila!" cheered Colcher's rail, setting up the young Frenchman with a chip lead against Santoro.
"Good luck, good playing with you," said Hellman to the pair. The Swede left with the air of a man who'd clearly seen enough bad beats to know that a laid-back attitude was the only way to deal with it all.
After getting heads up, Colcher looked determinded. The headphones went back on. The hoodie came up. The Frenchman looked supremely motivated and had the chip advantage against Santoro, the Italian looked slightly tense but his body language was still more relaxed than that of Colcher.
The heads-up battle began. Both players came close to winning, first Santoro limp-called all in with A♥7♥ and doubled up against Colcher's Q♦7♣. Then the Frenchman called all in with Q♣J♥ and hit against Santoro's K♠9♠ and suddenly they were almost completely even. Both players were short and Colcher shoved once more, Santoro looked at one card and called instantly.
Colcher turned over 5♠5♣ but Santoro had K♠K♦, the Colcher's rail groaned while the silver-hared friend of the Italian player, who had stood filming everything on his phone for nearly two hours, let out the slightest of smiles.
A blank board later and Colcher was left with just three big blinds but with his chips gone, so did his enthusiasm and he sat, waiting, for the end. "I didn't even see the second card," offered Santoro, the words being a cold comfort to Colcher. The next hand saw Colcher all in with T♥T♦ against Santoro's J♦5♠ but the Italian spiked a jack and it was all over.
The two embraced and immediately Colcher's friends came to congratulate and commiserate, while Santoro went to his friends to celebrate. Afterwards, the Italian said how much he'd enjoyed the event, how friendly the atmosphere had been on the final table and obviously how great it was to win.
Thanks to a friend, it's something he'll now be able to relive again and again.
You can check out the results of all the side events of the EPT Deauville Poker Festival by just clicking here.