Julien Sitbon has won the Unibet Open in Cannes after beating the Swede Karl Stark in heads-up action at the Casino Barriere.
Julien Sitbon is the winner of Unibet Open Cannes.The Frenchman defeated the Swede, Karl Stark, in a heads-up battle of Lazarus of Bethany style proportions, after coming back from a 15-1 chip deficit.
The Casino Barriere in the adult’s playground of Cannes is a familiar home for the Unibet Open. It’s the third time this wonderful little poker tour has dropped anchor in these waters, and it was the third of five events in the 2015 season.
Sitbon joins Theis Vad Hennebjerre (Copenhagen) and Daniel Chutrov (Glasgow) as a 2015 Unibet Open champion after his remarkable victory over Stark and the rest of the final table.
411 players competed in the €1,100 buy-in event, over a three day period, and the experienced Fred Weiss was the chip leader with 16-players returning for the final day of action. Weiss, who once won a €2k Turbo event at the European Poker Tour (EPT) Barcelona, overcoming a final table containing the likes of Tobias Garp, David Vamplew, Ami Barer, Lukas Berglund and Adrian Mateos, eventually finished ninth.
Weiss was the most experienced player on that final table. Pierre Antona had a consistent year on the Parisian tour bus, back in 2013, but nothing since, and Joachim Kleiven finished 16th at Unibet Glasgow recently, but those snippets apart, it was Weiss and the eventual winner Sitbon who had passed the acid test more often than their inexperienced counterparts.
There was only one tale to be told at this final table though, and that was the extraordinary comeback of Sitbon during that incredible heads-up phase. After Stark had eliminated Florian Ferroni, in third place, the chip counts read 11.6m for Stark and 750k for Sitbon.
Sitbon needed a double up fast; he found two in the first three hands. That reduced the deficit to a 3-1 lead for Stark, but that changed dramatically when Sitbon rivered a flush, to turn the tables on his Swedish opponent, and go on to finish the job when the pair got it in on a [Kd] [4s] [3d] flop with Sitbon holding [Kh] [3h], and Stark holding the inferior [Kc] [2h].
Sitbon picks up €80,000 for his victory, easily the largest score of his career.
Final Table Results
1st. Julien Sitbon – €80,000
2nd. Karl Stark – €60,000
3rd. Florian Ferroni – €37,500
4th. David Hefner – €27,700
5th. Joachim Kleiven – €20,800
6th. Jussi Heikela – €16,600
7th. Loic Francois – €13,800
8th. Pierre Antona – €11,100
9th. Fred Weiss – €8,650
Other notables that cashed included Ian Simpson (45th), Quentin Lecomte (40th) and Vyacheslav Igin (13th).
The Unibet Open will now to move to Aspers Casino Stratford for Unibet Open London (16-18 Oct), and will end at the Casino Blankenberge for Unibet Open Antwerp (26-29 Oct).