On Saturday evening in Paris, they played down to the final table of six in the €5,300 European Poker Tour main event – and then they kept going. In the process of finishing out the level in progress, German player Konstantin Held was eliminated in sixth place after losing a preflop battle of the blinds.
And so, at the close of Day 5 of the EPT Paris main event, five players remain in contention for the €1.17 million ($1.24 million) first place prize heading into Sunday’s finale. Among those five players, only one has a previous best live cash of over $100,000 – France’s Fabrice Bigot, who earned that result in the last few weeks as the winner of WPT Prime Paris. Henri Kasper, who is from Estonia, is the only player other than Bigot who is not guaranteed to eclipse the entirety of their lifetime live earnings in a single tournament; both will need to finish first or second to reach that mark.
While Kasper starts the day short-stacked, the other four players each carry deep stacks into Sunday’s action at the Hyatt Regency Paris Étoile. Here’s what you need to know about the five players who remain in contention for the EPT Paris Main Event title.
Seat 1: Fabrice Bigot
Chips: 9,625,000 (64 big blinds, 4/5)
28 years old
Lifetime Live Tournament Earnings: $717,263
Biggest Lifetime Live Cash: $193,291, 1st, 2023 €1,100 WPT Prime Paris Main Event
Other Prominent Results: 11th, 2022 €5,300 EPT Prague Main Event for $78,961
Bigot is in the midst of a tremendous few months in his poker career. In December, he made earned the biggest live cash of his career in the EPT Prague main event, where he ultimately finished 11th. Then, in January, Bigot won the biggest tournament of his career in the WPT Prime Paris main event. Now, after winning his way into the EPT Paris main event for just €250, Bigot is primed to once again set a new high water mark for the third time in as many months. In the final level of play on Saturday, Bigot increased his stack by 50 percent as he eliminated Held in sixth place, waking up with in the big blind after Held shoved the small blind with .
End of Day 1 chip count: 48,000 (392/549)
End of Day 2 chip count: 764,000 (5/174)
End of Day 3 chip count: 2,235,000 (2/47)
End of Day 4 chip count: 1,940,000 (11/15)
Seat 2: Henri Kasper
Chips: 1,725,000 (12 big blinds, 5/5)
50 years old
Lifetime Live Tournament Earnings: $626,221
Biggest Lifetime Live Cash: $46,594, 34th, 2010 €10,600 EPT Monte Carlo Grand Final Main Event
Other Prominent Results: 53rd, 2009 €10,600 EPT Monte Carlo Grand Final Main Event for $40,761; 38th, 2014 €10,600 EPT Monte Carlo Grand Final Main Event for $39,152
Outside of Bigot, Kasper is the only other player among the final five who has cleared $500,000 in lifetime live earnings. A significant chunk of that money was earned in three separate and similar cashes in three different runs in the EPT Grand Final over a six-year stretch. He enters Sunday’s action as the short stack, but Kasper managed to hang on for several significant pay jumps near the end of Day 5 and even grabbed a double up through Bigot just before the clock ran out for the day.
End of Day 1 chip count: 67,000 (301/549)
End of Day 2 chip count: 339,000 (49/174)
End of Day 3 chip count: 580,000 (35/47)
End of Day 4 chip count: 4,790,000 (5/15)
Seat 3: Brian Delaney
Chips: 10,425,000 (70 big blinds, 3/5)
28 years old
Lifetime Live Tournament Earnings: $2,598
Biggest Lifetime Live Cash: $2,598, 18th, 2023 €1,050 EPT Paris Hyper Turbo Freezeout
The English-born Delaney is on the run of a lifetime. Now residing in Mexico, all of Delaney’s lifetime tournament cashes leading up to the EPT Paris festival were online. Delaney told the PokerStars Blog that after a particularly successful online run Delaney and a couple of friends decided to take a European vacation, which included this stop. Delaney has certainly made the most of the experience, spending much of this tournament at or near the top of the chip counts.
End of Day 1 chip count: 52,500 (371/549)
End of Day 2 chip count: 551,000 (15/174)
End of Day 3 chip count: 2,180,000 (3/47)
End of Day 4 chip count: 2,355,000 (7/15)
Seat 4: Peter Jorgne
Chips: 10,775,000 (72 big blinds, 2/5)
50 years old
Lifetime Live Tournament Earnings: $16,291
Biggest Lifetime Live Cash: $9,305, 90th, 2022 €1,100 Estrellas Poker Tour Main Event
Other Prominent Results: 30th, 2022 €1,100 WPT Prime Madrid Main Event for $3,395
Jorgne is another player who stands to multiply his lifetime live earnings many times over no matter his result on Sunday. Now residing in Spain, Jorgne only began to pursue poker at a serious level after his retirement in recent years, and recorded a handful of cashes in his new home country. In the playdown to the final five, Jorgne and Delaney – two players with less than $20,000 in live cashes playing for over $1 million – clashed multiple times in big pots, but both ultimately ended Day 5 with almost identical.
End of Day 1 chip count: 192,500 (36/549)
End of Day 2 chip count: 253,000 (81/174)
End of Day 3 chip count: 1,240,000 (14/47)
End of Day 4 chip count: 4,815,000 (4/15)
Seat 5: Razvan Belea
Chips: 16,125,000 (108 big blinds, 1/5)
34 years old
Lifetime Live Tournament Earnings: $112,586
Biggest Lifetime Live Cash: $58,728, 1st, 2021 €888 888Live Bucharest Main Event
Other Prominent Results: 5th, 2022 €1,100 Eureka Poker Tour Bucharest Main Event for $33,059
The other four players in contention for the EPT Paris Main Event title are chasing Belea, who holds a significant lead at a deep-stacked final table. The Romanian pro, who won his first live title in his home country back in 2021, is objectively the most successful tournament player of the bunch thanks to his online results. According to the PokerStars Blog, Belea has logged over $1.25 million in online tournament cashes, including final table appearances in both the PokerStars Sunday Millions and a 2021 WCOOP event. After bagging the chip lead on both Day 4 and Day 5, Belea will look to close out with another dominant performance on Sunday.
End of Day 1 chip count: 54,000 (360/549)
End of Day 2 chip count: 178,000 (114/174)
End of Day 3 chip count: 975,000 (20/47)
End of Day 4 chip count: 7,285,000 (1/15)