FPS Deauville: Anthony Apicella wins FPS Deauville and €197,000!

"It's a marathon, not a sprint."

The old adage proved true enough at the France Poker Series in Deauville as 1,355 players came to create the biggest ever event in the history of the FPS. A total of 260 more than were here in 2014. There were 199 places paid but three exits in one hand saw the number of payouts rounded up to the nice and neat figure of 200.

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FPS Deauville winner Anthony Apicella

Anthony Apicella began the day fifth in chips with 22 players still remaining but it took a total of 13 hours before he was able to get his hands on the title and the record €197,000 payout. Apicella was very emotional in victory, declaring, "This is a victory of love, love of my family, live of my friends, who all supported me throughout the event."

The day began with Ivan Luca leading the field and the Argentinian provided the first exit of the day after his A♠3♠ spiked against Dietrich Moritz' K♠K♦. However, it was eventual runner-up Felix Lambertz who made most of the early running, knocking out Romain Le Dantec with kings against ace-king, Pierre Hebert with aces against jacks and Lars Letmark Sundelius with queens versus king-ten.

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Ivan Luca - 4th

With the tournament reduced to two tables, Luca and Oleg Vasylchenko found themselves playing several aggressive pots against each other with the Ukrainian managing to win a couple of pots to put himself into the chip lead. This did not last long though as Nicolas Hamouni won the biggest pot of the tournament so far (7.5 million) when he rivered quads as Wei Hu made a king-high flush.

Lambertz then regained the chip lead from Vasylchenko when he flopped two pair with ace-ten against Vasylchenko's ace-king. The German pro finished off his foe with T♥T♦ against A♠8♣, putting the Ukrainian out in 10th place. The players moved to a single (unofficial) table but it wasn't long before Sacha Israel lost a coinflip with pocket sevens to Hamouni's ace-jack of clubs. Israel managed to flop a set but two clubs also came on the flop with a third on the turn and nothing paired on the river.

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The FPS Deauville final table

With the blinds at 60,000/120,000 with a 20,000 ante, the final table looked like this:

Seat 1: Abdelkader Medjahed - 3,800,000
Seat 2: Felix Lambertz - 11,150,000
Seat 3: Yohan Figueiras - 3,320,000
Seat 4: Anthony Apicella - 4,720,000
Seat 5: Ivan Luca - 1,350,000
Seat 6: Anthony Picault - 890,000
Seat 7: Vincent Garat - 1,150,000
Seat 8: Nicolas Hamouni - 7,865,000

The number of Anthonys at the final table was quickly reduced to one when Anthony Picault shoved his short stack into the middle with Q♦J♦ but ran into Vincent Garat's A♣A♠. After that, seven-handed play continued for several hours with no exit occurring until after the dinner break.

With the blinds having increased, many players were short and hoping just to make a pay jump or two. First a short-stacked Ivan Luca shoved and an even-shorter Yohan Figueiras called off with 9♥9♠. Luca showed K♦Q♠ and won the flip when the board came T♦Q♦T♠3♥2♣. The very next hand saw the Argentinian player also dispatch Abdelkader Medjahed with ace-king against ace-queen, going from a short-stack to a contender in just two hands.

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Vincent Garat - 5th

Vincent Garat was removed in 5th place, down to his final five big blinds, he moved in with 7♣6♥ and Lambertz gave him a spin with K♣T♥. Despite flopping a straight draw, the board bricked out for Garat when it came A♠8♥5♣5♥3♥.

Lambertz still held the chip lead but Anthony Apicella was the one who had been gradually chipping up quietly without much trouble or fuss. Nicolas Hamouni got lucky with a big double up, cracking Luca's J♦J♣ with 6♥6♦ after turning a six. The Argentinian was left with less than three big blinds and was predictably eliminated in the very next hand.

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Nicolas Hamouni - 3rd

Apicella seized the chip lead soon after when he made a massive multi-street bluff. He had three-bet preflop, continuation bet on a 9♣4♦2♥ flop before making a minimum check-raise on the 6♦ turn against Hamouni. The latter called but folded to a small 'value' bet on the T♥ river. Apicella turned over Q♦J♥ for absolutely nothing, the pot crippled Hamouni and gave Apicella a huge chip lead.

Hamouni could not recover and soon lost a flip with 9♥9♦ to Apicella's A♦J♥. This left the Frenchman heads-up with Lambertz, the man who had dominated the chip lead for large parts of the day. The German started heads-up with roughly 11 million to Apicella's 22 million and it did not take long for everything to end up in the middle.

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Felix Lambertz - 2nd

Lambertz limped in the small blind for 400,000 and Apicella made it 1,500,000 from the big blind. Lambertz shoved and Apicella called, jumping out his chair and threw down two kings. Lambertz turned over deuces and an excited French crowd gathered. Lambertz managed to spike a third deuce on the flop but then a king came on the turn and Lambertz was unable to make quads on a blank river.

For his part, Lambertz picked up €125,500 as a consolation for his second place while Apicella made sure that the France Poker Series title stayed in its homeland this year. Congratulations go to all the final table players and everyone who managed to make it into the money. As well as their cash prizes, all today's finalists received a gift bag from luxury poker clothing brand JAQK. JAQK have had a stand just outside the tournament area for all five days of the FPS Main Event. For all of the FPS reports click here and you can follow the EPT here.

Event #1, €1K FPS Deauville Main Event
Players: 1,355
Prizepool: €1,355,000
Places paid: 200

1. Anthony Apicella (France) € 197,000
2. Felix Lambertz (Germany) PokerStars qualifier € 125,500
3. Nicolas Hamouni (France) PokerStars qualifier € 88,500

4. Ivan Luca (Argentina) € 68,500
5. Vincent Garat (France) € 53,550
6. Abdelkader Medjahed (France) € 40,110
7. Yohan Figueiras (France) PokerStars player € 31,080
8. Anthony Picault (France) € 22,460

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FPS Deauville winner Anthony Apicella and friends

Chris Hall
@PokerStars in European Poker Tour