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Thursday, September 27, 2012
Hairabedian finally gets his bracelet

By Andrew Feldman
ESPN.com

Roger Hairabedian
Roger Hairabedian won his first WSOP bracelet in Event 3 of the 2012 WSOP Europe.

There are few poker players who have tournament résumés as long as Roger Hairabedian. The poker regular since 1985 has found a career on the felt that includes incredible results and a consistency that is simply admirable. Hairabedian is one of France's poker icons and now, he owns the honor of capturing the first bracelet for the country on home soil during the 2012 World Series of Poker Europe held in Cannes, France.

The 60-year-old professional poker player outlasted a tough final table in the 5,300 pot-limit Omaha event to win his first WSOP bracelet and 142,590 euros. Hairabedian now has more than $3.5 million in career tournament earnings and $403,735 from the WSOP felt.

"I am very happy to represent France in this WSOP because Barriere is making this a big event," said Hairabedian. "Now it's the biggest event in Europe and it is good that a French man won a bracelet. … It's the best thing we've ever done in poker in France. WSOP Europe is a big, big event. In two or three years it will be like Las Vegas, not the biggest, but maybe a quarter of the size."

Among the star-studded final table was Michael Mizrachi, one player who Hairabedian shares a significant amount of history. In 2011 during the first mixed-max event in WSOP history, Hairabedian finished third and watched as Mizrachi captured gold. This time around, the roles were reversed and after Hairabedian eliminated Mizrachi with a tournament-saving river card, he would go on to win.

"For one year I thought everyday about how I lost the bracelet last year," said Hairabedian of that event. "I didn't want to make the same mistake. Last year I made a mistake, I gave a big pot to Michael. If I played like this last year I could have won."

Mizrachi wasn't the only former bracelet winner at the Event 3 final table. Hairabedian also had to contend with 2005 WSOP main event champion Joseph Hachem and Jason Mercier who finished sixth and ninth, respectively.

Hairabedian battled Ville Mattila heads-up for more than three hours before coming away with the win. Mattila put up a fight, but he was truly never in contention was Hairabedian continued to chip away at his stack. According to the WSOP, on the final hand with Hairabedian holding a dominant 13:1 chip lead, Hairabedian raised and Mattila called. The flop came 9c-7h-6c, Mattila bet and Hairabedian called. The turn Kc enticed Mattila to put his remaining chips in the center and with the call, his tournament life was at risk with his two pair (Ah-Kh-6s-2d) trailing the flush of Hairabedian (Ks-5c-3h-2c). The French celebrated as a seven hit the river and Mattila was eliminated in second. Mattila now owns a second and third place finish ($10,000 pot-limit Omaha event in 2010) on the WSOP felt.

Other notable finishers included Michael Schwartz (eighth), Bruno Fitoussi (10th) and Vanessa Selbst (12th).

Below are the complete results of WSOPE Event 3:

Event 3: Pot-limit Omaha
Buy-in: 5,300 euros
Entries: 97
Prize pool: 475,300 euros
Players in the money:12

1. Roger Hairabedian (142,590 euros)
2. Ville Mattila (88,130)
3. Michael Mizrachi (62,749)
4. Jussi Ryynanen (45,581)
5. Jussi Nevanlinna (33,765)
6. Joe Hachem (25,490)
7. Michel Abecassis (19,606)
8. Michael Schwartz (15,357)
9. Jason Mercier (12,245)
10. Bruno Fitoussi (9,929)
11. Douglas Corning (9,929)
12. Vanessa Selbst (9,929)