Vadzim Kursevich is sitting front and centre of the EPT Deauville final table, arms resting around his stack. Just a few yards away sits Russian Andrey Pateychuk, who won EPT San Remo earlier this season for €680,000, railing the Belarusian who has been the most active player at this final table.
After starting the day in second place with 5,670,000, Kursevich has been up and down more than the Belarusian Ruble (currently 8,372 to the dollar) and is currently languishing in third place out of five with 3,565,000 – but that’s not a result of simply blinding out. Play started badly with a four million flip gone wrong to Vuong Than Trong and another big pot lost to Bruno Jais, but ‘VadziMoney’ pulled himself back into the action with a series of bluffs and value bets – notably stealing a chunky pot after barrelling queen-high into Than Trong across two streets. Then he doubled Yorane Kerignard calling the Frenchman’s shove light with A♥4♥. Kerignard’s pocket sixes held up. Then he doubled him up again, this time calling with ace-queen into queens.
At no point has Kursevich slowed, stalled or taken a rest. If we’d sat marking off the number of pots Kursevich had played (we haven’t) we could tell you his VPIP (we can’t). What we can say is that he’s been playing. A lot. It’s as if he thinks he’s the best player at the table, which if he does he’d have good reason to.
Kursevich was part of a five-way chop in the WCOOP main event last year as well as claiming a third-place finish at EPT Berlin for €300,000. We saw a different Kursevich there; a tighter, more conservative performance where Kursevich was a fringe character hiding beneath a large hood in the shadow of the likes of Ben Wilinofsky, Max Heinzelman, Martin Jacobson and Joep van den Bijgaart. Here in Deauville the hood is down and Kursevich is carrying himself as if he feels he should win. Would it be fair to say the EPT Berlin final table was stronger than the final eight here in Deauville? I’d say so and I’m guessing that Kursevich would agree which may be why he’s been pursing pots so aggressively. Should Kursevich have won any of those all-ins thing could be very different here. Than Trong, for one, wouldn’t have his 9,320,000 chip lead, he’d be out.
Moments after this post went up Kursevich opened to 525,000 from the small blind into Paul Guichard and snap-called when Guichard shoved his big blind. Kursevich held A♥K♠, Guichard A♣Q♦. That held to win Kursevich the 7,640,000 pot putting him back into second place and Guichard out of the top two for the first time today.