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2013 WSOP Europe - Event 5

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Roger Hairabedian becomes First Frenchman to win 2 WSOPE Bracelets

Up until last year, France had never had anybody who'd won a World Series of Poker Europe bracelet. Now they've got a guy who's won two of them by himself.

It's only fitting that this man is Roger Hairabedian, who became the first Frenchman to capture a WSOPE gold bracelet after taking down a €5,300 Pot-Limit Omaha tournament (€142,590) last year.

As for his latest victory, Hairabedian beat out a 337-player field to win the 2013 WSOPE Event #5 €2,200 Nine-Handed NL Hold'em tourney. And what's particularly special about the win is that Hairabedian had to defeat a poker legend heads-up to secure his second WSOP Europe title. That said, let's take a look at whom he beat in addition to other players who fared well in this tourney.

Stopping a Legend

Plenty of big names turned out for Event #5 in hopes of winning a gold bracelet. Some of the popular pros who cashed include James "Flushy" Dempsey (35th, €3,345), Phil Hellmuth (29th, €4,206), Lee Markholt (25th, €4,801) and Jonathan Duhamel (16th, €7,719). With his 29th place finish, Hellmuth was a story in his own right since he became the first player in WSOP history to reach 100 cashes.

When the seven-player final table was formed, there were four bracelet winners in contention. They included Max Greenwood, Kevin Song, Erik Seidel and Hairabedian. Seidel was especially significant because he's won eight bracelets in his career and was chasing number nine.

It certainly looked like he was on his way towards another one after making it to heads-up play and holding a 2:1 chip lead over Hairabedian. However, this chip advantage wouldn't remain for long because the Frenchman quickly evened things up. From here, their heads-up match would become somewhat of a marathon as it lasted for 70 hands.

On the final hand, Hairabedian went all-in with pocket kings while Seidel called him with pocket 8's. This left Seidel praying for an 8 on the board, but it never came. The board was dealt 6-5-9-J-2, which finalized the big victory for Hairabedian.

I wanna be like Erik

After beating Seidel heads-up for the win, Roger Hairabedian had a lot of respect for the 8-time WSOP champion. "I want eight bracelets, like Erik. I have a big arm for them," he said. Given that Hairabedian has won a bracelet two years in a row, he's on a pretty good pace to reach this amount someday.

Besides discussing Seidel and his desire to win more WSOP titles, Hairabedian also talked about gaining respect. "It is a very good thing for me and all French players. In a poker player’s life, it is the most prestigious thing to win a bracelet." He added, "Many people criticize my play, but now I have proved that my play is good. It is play for winning, and I’ve proved that with my second bracelet."

Given that he now has $4,432,754 in live tournament earnings and two WSOP Europe victories, it's going to be especially hard for the critics to doubt Hairabedian.

2013 WSOPE Event #5 €2,200 Nine-Handed NL Hold'em Final Table

1st - Roger Hairabedian - €148,820
2nd - Erik Seidel - €92,003
3rd - Kevin Song - €67,118
4th - Matan Krakow - €49,784
5th - Erwann Pecheux - €37,502
6th - Mike Watson - €28,683
7th - Max Greenwood - €22,258

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