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French businessman wins EPT Warsaw

26 October 2009

WARSAW, Poland -- (PRESS RELEASE) -- French businessman Christophe Benzimra beat Italian professional poker player Alfio Battisti heads-up today to win the EPT Warsaw champion's title and a first prize of 1,493,170 PLN (approx. €358,644), and a seat at the EPT Grand Final in Monte Carlo next year.

Benzima, 47, runs a Plexiglas factory in Bucharest, Romania, and only took up poker three years ago. He has competed at almost every EPT in the last two years but had yet to cash in a main event. He said: "I think I was lucky today. I am not a professional player, I play for fun. I really enjoyed it but I'm not giving up work! I play poker just for the pleasure of it."

The EPT Warsaw main event at Casinos Poland at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, was one of the biggest poker tournaments ever held in Poland attracting 203 players from around the world each paying 25,000 PLN to create a total prize pool of more than 4.7 million PLN (approx. €1,145,826). It was the fourth time the EPT has visited the Polish capital.

Runner-up Alfio "aLFiosNob" Battisti, a SuperNova Elite on PokerStars, takes 834,840 PLN (approx. €200,520) back home to Latina, near Rome in Italy.

Team PokerStars PRO Luca Pagano was eliminated in fourth place for 357,790 PLN (approx. €85,938). It was a bitter-sweet finish for the 31-year-old Italian who broke all his own records in Warsaw; reaching a fifth EPT final table and recording his 12th cash finish, but who was disappointed in defeat. Pagano has now overtaken fellow Team PokerStars PRO Bertrand "ElkY" Grospellier to top the EPT all-time Tournament Leader Board. His best result in terms of money remains his sixth place finish at the Season 4 Grand Final in Monte Carlo, worth €337,000.

Canadian PokerStars qualifier Clayton Mozdzen, 26, one of 33 players to win their main event seats on PokerStars, came sixth, earning 233,750 PLN (approx. €56,144). The other four finalists were Ruslan Prydryk from Ukraine, Russian players Anatoly Gurtovoy and Alexander Klimashin, and the chip leader at the start of the day Oleksandr Vaserfirer who finished third.

Among the 24 players to cash were PokerStars Passport winner Shaun Deeb and Polish PokerStars player Wojciech Polak. Team PokerStars PRO Dario Minieri won the EPT Warsaw high roller event earning €77,206 (approx. 322,375 PLN).

For blog reports, please see the PokerStars blog and video blogs on

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