Europe finally held its first major live poker tournament since the coronavirus lockdown, a €2,500 buy-in Pot-Limit Omaha High Roller, which attracted some of the best players in the region. King’s Resort in Rozvadov, Czech Republic played host to the two-day action which saw French poker player Roger Hairabedian walk away with the top prize worth €40,401 ($45,249), after outclassing a 60-entry field.
Hairabedian, a two-time World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelet winner, defeated Germany’s Christian Stratmeyer heads-up to claim the title, with the German pro settling for second place with €29,176 in winnings.
The event exceeded expectations after generating €128,250 in total prize pool, smashing its initial €100,000 guarantee.
Throughout the final table, Hairabedian was the dominant player, eliminating five of his final six opponents. The first casualty was German player Ossama Khamis who ran with queens into Hairabedian’s kings, ending up in seventh place for €6,733. The 64-year-old went on to send Austrian Jonas Kronwitter to the rail in sixth place for €8,336.
The next player to go was Andreas Bremer who lost his top two against Stratmeyer’s top set. The German walked away with €10,901 for finishing fifth. He was followed to the payout desk by Harry Casagrande who fell in fourth place for €14,107 after a bout with Hairabedian. The eventual winner also finished off Belgian poker pro Eric Lescot who ended up settling for third with €18,596 in winnings.
Lescot’s elimination set up a short-lived heads-up battle between Hairabedian and Stratmeyer, the latter scoring a double at the start to take the lead, only to be taken over by Hairabedian with a rivered full house. Just a few hands later, the French player picked up kings and eventually turned the nut straight to finish the game.
Hairabedian’s latest victory pushed his total live tournament earnings to $5,087,538. The French pro is currently 9th in his home country’s All-Time Money List. His biggest live cash came 12 years ago, when he took down the €10,000 Grand Prix De Paris for €419,520 ($653,163).
More Live Action Coming To King’s
Live poker action is officially back at King’s Resort after almost three months of implementing stringent restrictions due to COVID-19.
On July 1, it will host another big event, the Balkan Poker Circuit which carries a guaranteed prize pool of €200,000. It will be followed by other exciting events, including the Bounty Hunter Days, Benelux Classics, German Poker Tour and Deutsche Poker Tour.