Natalia Nikitina Wins WPT National Series Paris

Natalia NikitinaThe 2011 World Poker Tour (WPT), National Series, Euro Finals Of Poker (EFOP) Diamond Championship (or WPT Paris for short) has drawn to a conclusion with Natalia Nikitina proving victorious to win €243,830.

The event had a buy-in of €5,000 and attracted 188 players, creating a prize pool of €940,000. Despite not having a ‘star-studded field’, there was one familiar player who made it to the final table – Titan Poker pro Sam Trickett. All eyes were on Trickett because he has enjoyed exceptional success at the poker tables lately. In 2010 he finished the year with live poker tournament earnings of just over $1million, and already in 2011 he has earned a staggering $2.9million, however the young UK pro from Nottingham could only manage a 6th place finish this time around.

Entering the final table as chip leader was Benjamin Pollak with 1,251,000 chip, with Nicolo Calia entering as the short stack with 176,000 chips. Many thought that Calia would quickly be eliminated but he and fellow short stacks Alexandre Brivot and Jean-Louis Tepper all doubled-up early and it ended up taking fours hours and thirty minutes before there was an elimination from the final table. Despite doing well to accumulate more chips, it was Nicola Calia who was eliminated after running his AJ into Benjamin Pollak’s AK, with the 8th place finish earning him €26,120.

Ingo Paulus who qualified for the event on PartyPoker was the next player to be eliminated after losing a pot to Tepper, earning €34,835 for the 7th place finish. Shortly after Paulus was eliminated, Alexandre Bivot hit a flush on the turn as Pollack hit his straight in the same hand and Bivot ended up doubling-up which sent him into the chip lead.

Next to go was the most high-profile player of the final table – Sam Trickett. Trickett moved all-in with his short stack holding pocket fives and was called by Tepper who had him dominated with pocket nines. With no help on the board Trickett was out in 6th place for €43,545 and Tepper was now beginning to dominate.

There was then two eliminations in the space of a few minutes as. Tobias Wagner was eliminated in 5th place for €52,250 at the hands of Brivot, and then Tepper eliminated Pollak in 4th place for €69,670.

Tepper was looking untouchable as play was reduced to three-handed however he lost a crucial pot to Natalia Nikitina. Tepper held 75 and was beaten by Nikitina’s K9 and Tepper went from being chip leader to the short stack, and just a few hands later he was out in 3rd place for €113,210.

Natalia Nikitina and Alexandre Brivot were now left to battle it out heads-up to claim victory. Nikitina entered heads-up play with slightly more chips than Brivot but the first all-in of heads-up play went against her. She held K9 and Brivot held A9, and losing the pot had reduced her to just 850,000 chips. Brivot was now the overwhelming favourite to win the event but Nikitina’s luck turned around in just a few hands to come back to claim victory. Firstly she made two pair holding A10 to beat Brivot’s 55, then she hit a 2 on the flop while holding A2 to beat Brivot’s AQ. These hands left Brivot crippled and he moved all-in for the rest of his chips holding KJ but with no help on the board Nikitina’s hand of A3 held up and gave her victory for €243,830.

2011 World Poker Tour Paris Final Table Results

1st was Natalia Nikitina winning €243,830
2nd was Alexandre Brivot winning €174,170
3rd was Jean-Louis Tepper winning €113,210
4th was Benjamin Pollak winning €69,670
5th was Tobias Wagner winning €52,250
6th was Sam Trickett winning €43,545
7th was Ingo Paulus winning €34,835
8th was Nicolo Calia winning €26,120