Records Fall as PokerStars Qualifier Razvan Belea Wins EPT Paris for €1.17 Million

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PokerStars qualifier Razvan Belea has won the EPT Paris main event and €1.17 million after a dominant display in Sunday’s historic finale.

Razvan Belea
Romania’s Razvan Belea came through the sixth biggest EPT main event in history to win more than €1.17 million at the Hyatt Regency Paris Etoile. (Image: Twitter/PokerStarsLIVE)

Belea is no stranger to victory having more than $1.25 million in tournament cashes on PokerStars. However, the Romanian wasn’t always on top of the poker world. He saw poker as a way to earn more than the average salary in Romania, so he started grinding $1 SNGs in 2011.

Fast-forward to 2021 and he was going deep in major MTTs as a member of the BBZ Staking team. Now, two years later, Belea has completed his rise from the bottom to the top of poker’s tournament hierarchy by beating Peter Jorgne heads-up to win his first EPT  title.

Momentous EPT Paris main event

PokerStars’ first EPT in Paris saw the masses descend on the Hyatt Regency Paris Etoile. That meant Belea had to come through the sixth biggest EPT main event in history (1,606 entries) to clinch the biggest win of his career.

EPT Paris main event result

  1. Razvan Belea – €1,170,000
  2. Peter Jorgne – €780,100
  3. Fabrice Bigot – €535,850
  4. Brian Delaney – €412,200
  5. Henri Kasper – €317,050

Despite the occasion, Belea barely put a foot wrong throughout the €5,300 tournament. He started Sunday’s finale session with the chip lead, which is a position he’d held since the end of Day 5. However, staying on top during the February 26 finale wasn’t going to be easy with the likes of Fabrice Bigot and Peter Jorgne trying to end the Romanian’s run.

Bigot in particular was a threat from the very start of play. The Frenchman has won three events in Paris since July 2021 and also went deep at EPT Prague last year.

With momentum and home advantage on his side, Bigot certainly had the potential to cause an upset. However, try as he might, Bigot couldn’t get it done. Although he outlasted Henri Kasper and Brian Delaney on the final table, Bigot eventually fell in third.

The Frenchman gave the majority of his stack to Jorgne but it was Belea who delivered the killer blow with 7♠ 5♠. With Bigot all-in holding A♣ Q♣, he could only watch as the board ran out K♥ K♦ 6♥ 8♦ 9♣ to give Belea a winning straight.

220,654% ROI for EPT champ Razvan Belea

Bigot’s elimination set up a showdown between Belea and Jorgne. Belea had a 2:1 chip lead at the start of play and, despite some resistance from Jorgne, he never lost his position. Gradually, Belea wore down Jorgne until he committed his stack with the board showing  5♠ 3♣ 10♠ 4♥ 4♣.

Jorgne had 10♥ 6♠ for a pair of tens, but Belea had turned a straight with 7♣ 6♠. Jorgne moved all-in on the river and, after admitting he couldn’t fold such a strong poker hand, Belea called. With that, Belea became the first Romanian to win an EPT main event.

Perhaps even more remarkable is the fact he qualified via a $530 satellite on PokerStars. This means he made a 220,654% return on his initial investment. That, plus the fact he’s the first Romanian to lift an EPT main event trophy, means Belea’s name will go down in history.

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