Kool Shen, 2012 EFOP Poker Championship: French Rapper Wins
French rap pioneer Kool Shen has been declared the winner of the 2012 European Finals of Poker Diamond Championship, beating out 108 competitors over four days to take home the €100,000 ($127,514) first place prize.
The 44-year-old founding member of French rap group Suprême NTM has been releasing rap albums for over two decades, but only recently began competing in live poker tournaments.
The €5,000 buy-in Diamond Championship resulted in a duel between Shen, born Bruno Lopes, and recent Irish Poker Champion Aubin Cazals, who ultimately settled for runner-up, striking a deal for €94,760 ($120,832) after two hours of one-on-one play with Lopes, who took home his biggest prize to date.
"Bruno is a person who thirsts for knowledge. He speaks, learns and assimilates knowledge much faster than average," explained fellow Leaders Poker teammate Stéphane Albertini. "We knew that Bruno could tame words, the world now knows that he can tame the cards...The new [poker] scene suits him very much. It is smaller and green, but he feels very comfortable on it."
Despite being a sponsored member of Leaders Poker for two years, and taking home over $300,000 in tournament winnings, Lopes was quick to point out that he is not technically a poker pro, as he earns his living from music. After his victory at the 2012 EFOP however, the rapper is sure to be in other pros' sights.
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