Alex Papazian Wins EPT Grand Final €25K High Roller for €1.1M


Alex Papazian won the EPT Grand Final €25K High Roller for €1.1 million. (photo: Danny Maxwell)

Just when you think it’s over, it’s probably not. Despite double up after double up, dramatic river after dramatic river, Alexandru Papazian won the EPT Grand Final €25K High Roller for €1.1 million. It was the third cash in Monaco for the Romanian, who defeated Alexandros Kolonias heads-up. It was the biggest live cash ever by a Romanian player.

Two days ago, the High Roller started with a massive field of 231 entries. The buy-in was €25,750 and a single entry was allowed. When Friday’s finale rolled around, there were a dozen players remaining.

Imad Derwiche was the first casualty of the official eight-handed final table. He jammed over the top of a raise of 100,000 by Anthony Zinno for 325,000 with JsJh and Zinno insta-called with AsQs. The flop of Td9s5s brought a little something for everyone – Zinno with the nut flush draw and Derwiche with an overpair. The turn was a red four, while the Ac on the river gave Zinno the win and ended Derwiche’s High Roller run in eighth place for €147,710.

Max Silver was the next to go. Silver was crippled in a coin flip with tens against Eddy Maksoud‘s AcKs, which bled his stack to just two-and-a-half big blinds. Then, it was all over, as Silver got it in with QdJd. It was a curious hand, as Silver raised to 100,000 before the flop. Zvi Stern, who was on the button, tanked for three minutes before having the clock called on him. He finally folded. Papazian put Silver all-in from the big blind.

Silver was in good shape against Papazian’s 6s4d and hit a jack on the flop, which also hit Papazian’s four. Papazian made two pair on the river when a six hit to deliver a bad beat to Silver, who was eliminated in seventh place for €202,050.

Zinno, Derwiche’s executioner, was eliminated in sixth. After losing a hand with A-10 against A-J about a half-hour earlier, he got it in with QdJh after open-shoving for his last 340,000 before the flop. Kolonias had him dominated with QcQs and the flop came Ad7d6c.

Zinno asked for a ten on fourth street and it appeared, but no king came on the river for a straight. The last surviving player from North America, Zinno, who was in the nine-seat throughout the final table, hit the rail €276,750 richer for his wear.

Eddy Maksoud was bounced in fifth place after running A-2 into A-10. Maksoud and Papazian got it in on a board of AdKd7cTd. No one held a diamond and the river was a blank, sending Maksoud out in fifth.

In a hand that ended with the Israeli casually getting up, shaking hands, and walking out a back door that leads to a patio overlooking the Mediterranean, Zvi Stern open-shoved for 930,000 and Papazian re-popped to a little over two million. Everyone else folded and Stern showed Ad7c, while Papazian tabled ladies. Neither player improved and Stern cashed out for €460,700 in fourth place.

Rafael Da Silva Moraes was the next to go. The Brazilian raised to 200,000 pre-flop and Papazian flat called. The flop was Qd3d7h and Papazian check-raised all-in for 1.3 million. Moraes called for his tournament life and flipped up Qc8c for top pair, while Papazian had him out-kicked with QsJd. The board filled out 6s2h and that was all she wrote for Moraes, who earned €568,200.

Moraes, who plays as ‘GM_VALTER‘ online, and Papazian, who plays as ‘tilt21sted‘, both finished top four in a TCOOP $2,100 No Limit Hold’em Turbo High Roller Event in January. Moraes took fourth for $117,000, while Papazian finished second for $209,000. Papazian also has a second place finish in the Sunday Million under his belt, while Moraes won the Sunday 500 three weeks ago.

Papazian was up almost 9:1 in chips when heads-up play began, but Kolonias, who plays as ‘mexican222‘ online, doubled twice in succession and then the two decided to take an hour-long dinner break that ended around 9:30pm. They also agreed to shorten the levels to 40 minutes and then 30 minutes in an effort not to repeat the fate of the Single-Day Super High Roller, which ended up lasting two days.

From there, the heads-up battle was back and forth until Papazian doubled with Ad6c against KsQd. Papazian spiked an ace on the flop and Kolonias was drawing dead by the river. That hand left Kolonias with less than five big blinds.

Shortly thereafter, Papazian shoved from the button with As4h and Kolonias committed his chips with pocket nines. What looked like a sure-fire double up was anything but, as the board ran out 3s4d2cJcAd, giving Papazian the win on the river in dramatic fashion.

The final table results:

  1. Alexandru Papazian – €1,197,000
  2. Alexandros Kolonias – €805,900
  3. Rafael Da Silva Moraes – €568,200
  4. Zvi Stern – €460,700
  5. Eddy Maksoud – €364,500
  6. Anthony Zinno – €276,750
  7. Max Silver – €202,050
  8. Imad Derwiche – €147,710