Bertrand Grospellier Wins EPT Poker Stars Caribbean Adventure

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The 2007 Card Player Player of the Year David “The Dragon” Pham took the chip lead into the final table at the 2008 European Poker Tour Poker Stars Caribbean Adventure, but “The Dragon” fell short as Frenchman Bertrand Grospellier slew the dragon and rode on to become the champion.

Final table play began with David Pham holding over 7 million chips, while Grospellier was in second with just over 3 million. However, the Frenchman got off to a fast start by eliminating two opponents in quick succession, knocking out Richard Fohrenbach in eighth place when Grospellier’s A-K beat Fohrenbach’s pocket jacks. A few hands later Grospellier would eliminate Christian Harder in seventh place while holding a dominating hand, pocket jacks over pocket sevens. No seven came for Harder, who walked away from the tournament $200,000 richer.

The lightning start to the final table died out, and the tournament settled down for a while. The players had to wait a while for the next elimination to take place, but when it did Grospellier was again the villain, taking out Joe Elpayaa’s K-J suited with his own A-Q, sending Elpayaa home in sixth place.

The Frenchman was definitely on the rise, but he would just be watching the next elimination, as David “The Dragon” Pham called Craig Hopkins’s all-in bet with pocket tens. Hopkins’s K-8 suited did not improve, and he was gone in fifth place.

Once the tournament was down to four players, the pace fell off considerably, with small pots and very little confrontation. Grospellier was using his chip lead to bully the other players, and he was accumulating more chips as the rest of the table conceded the pots to his big bets.

David Pham’s day would end when Grospellier eliminated him in fourth place. David check-raised all-in on the turn with a board of Kh-Qh-5d-Jd. Grospellier called and David revealed Q-5 for two pair, while Grospellier had Ad-2d. A diamond fell on the river, and David’s two pair fell to Grospellier’s flush. David won $600,000, and started his quest to win back-to-back Player of the Year Awards.

Bertrand Grospellier, Hafiz Khan, and Kris Kuykendall were the three remaining players. Kuykendall would finish in third place after Khan decimated Kuykendall’s stack with pocket kings, then Khan raised when Kuykendall had most of his chips in with his blind and was forced to call. Khan’s A-7 held up against Kuykendall’s K-Q and the tournament was down to heads-up play.

Going into heads-up play, Grospellier held a more than 2-to-1 chip advantage over Khan, and he put it to good use. After taking a small chunk out of Khan’s stack, the Frenchman called Khan’s preflop all-in reraise with pocket eights. Khan had been trying a major bluff, holding only 9-3 unsuited. No help came for Khan on the board, and he was eliminated as the second place finisher, leaving Bertrand Grospellier to take the EPT title and the $2 million first prize.

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