Remi Castaignon will go into Saturday's final table at the 2013 PokerStars.fr European Poker Tour Deauville Main Event as the overwhelming chip leader after he tore through his opponents in the last couple of levels on Day 5. Castaignon finished with 9,900,000 in chips, which is around 42% those in play. No one else has even half of that amount. As it stands, it's going to be a tough job for anyone to get close to the Frenchman. Castaignon knocked out eight of the 15 players eliminated Friday, including the last three, so everyone left is well aware of his capabilities.
Final Table Seating Assignments
|1||Joseph El Khoury||Lebanon||1,710,000|
|6||Walid Bou Habib||Lebanon||3,835,000|
Just 23 players started play on Friday after the elimination of Sam Grafton in the last hand on Day 4, and it wasn't long before Eric Sfez became the first player eliminated on Day 5. He went all in on the turn holding top pair against Castaignon's two pair and couldn't catch up. This exit was an all-too-rare example of a player heading to the payout desk as the day began very slowly, taking nearly five hours to eliminate just six players.
Along the way, the chip lead was juggled between Castaignon and the man who began the day as leader, Cyril Andre. Castaignon knocked out Joe Mouawad in 17th place to reduce the tournament down to just two tables of eight, while simultaneously boosting his own stack over the 3-million mark.
The last remaining Scandinavian, Eilert Eilertsen, was knocked out in 16th place after his was no good against Castaignon's . Meanwhile on the other table, the chips were being passed around with a great deal of regularity as Walid Bou Habib, Noel Gaens and Jeffrey Hakim all had stints as the top stack on the feature table.
A late dinner break seemed to spice everything up with the rock-solid Pascal Aznar, former Irish Open winner James Mitchell and the aforementioned Andre all departing in quick succession. Andre's exit was perhaps the most surprising, but the high-stakes pot-limit Omaha professional came off worse in a tussle with Castaignon, which left him with only a few chips and little room to maneuver.
Castaignon later eliminated Jean Pierre Petroli in 10th place with his holding up against Petroli's on a board to reduce the event to just a single table. Then, with the exit of Glen Cymbaluk following quickly, the final table was set.
Castaignon's dominance recalls that of Nicolas Chouity at the EPT Grand Final in Season 6 where Chouity began the final table with a huge lead, and it will be all eyes on Castaignon to see if he can match Chouity's performance.
Join PokerNews at noon local time (CET) when the final table will begin as we find out who among the 782 players who entered the event will be claiming the €770,000 first prize and title of EPT Champion.
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