20 events have played out at the 2013 World Series of Poker and Belgium's Davidi Kitai is the only non-North American to have taken down a gold bracelet.
The Team Winamax pro snagged his second WSOP title in Las Vegas Tuesday, winning the $5,000 Pot-Limit Hold'em event for $224,560.
Kitai was the first ever bracelet winner from Belgium and is now the only two-time Belgian winner.
“My first bracelet was getting pretty old so it's very nice to have a brand new shiny one,” laughed Kitai after his bracelet ceremony.
Kitai smashed his way through a final table that included Dario Minieri, ElkY Grospellier and Eugene Katchalov and met wealthy amateur Cary Katz heads-up.
In the final hand Kitai got it in with pocket jacks against pocket kings and flopped a jack to close out the victory.Kitai won his first bracelet in 2008 in another Pot-Limit Hold'em event, and since then he's taken down titles on both the EPT and WPT.
Some call him a Triple Crown winner, while others contest that accolade on the grounds that his World Poker Tour win was at the WPT Invitational, not an open event.
So far this summer he's the only winner that doesn't hail from the US or Canada but he's far from the only non-North American competing at the WSOP.
In fact Kitai is here with the entire Winamax team, a tight-knit group of primarily French poker pros who travel, play and party together.
Poker Team Provides Support, Encouragement
Staying successful on the live poker circuit is anything but easy and these days it's rare to find a live pro that doesn't have some sort of support network.
“Most of the time poker feels like a very individual sport but when you're part of a team or a group of friends you feel some solidarity and encouragement and it really helps especially if things aren't going well,” said Kitai.
In Kitai's case it's a group of very accomplished French pros that fly the Winamax flag and post big results all over the world.
The team includes players like Ludovic Lacay, Nicolas Levi and last year's WSOP Main Event last woman standing Gaëlle Baumann.
“We're all good friends in real life and it's a big help when you have people to travel with and people you can count on for support,” explained Kitai.
“We have a lot of fun together and it's really important to have fun when you're playing poker and when you're away from the table.”