Wanted! French Poker Bandits Strike Again!
WSOP Victories for France
Frenchman Elie Payan Wins WSOP Gold Bracelet One Day Following ElkY’s Victory
Poker Pro Collects $292,825
Largest Live Pot-Limit Omaha Tournament in History!
Full House at
the 2011 WSOP-- Tournament Attendance Still up Double Digits over Last Year
22 Gold Bracelets
Won – 36 More Still to Go
French poker players have struck
again! They are looting Las Vegas of currency and treasure!
The poker bandits reportedly
landed at Las Vegas McCarran two weeks ago. Until yesterday, the band of
stealthy desperados remained inconspicuous. No one at the Rio in Las
Vegas seemed to notice or paid any attention to them. Tens of thousands
of poker players who gathered for the 2011 World Series of Poker didn’t see
Then yesterday, one of the
sneaky bandits won the Seven-Card Stud World Championship, thereby earning his
first-ever WSOP gold bracelet. During the raid, the ingrate (identified
as Bertrand Grospellier) demonstrated little respect toward his fellow
competitors. He avariciously devoured the chips of his tablemates, who
were mostly Americans. The thief even had the audacity to snatch a gold
bracelet from the 2011 WSOP collection and later show it off to hundreds of
witnesses. Reports surfaced that afterwards he boasted the gold bracelet as
his own. He was even seen wearing the spoils of his heist. The
impertinence was appalling.
Now, it turns out this crime
story is a double feature.
Elie Payan, won the $1,500
buy-in Pot-Limit Omaha championship. He has been identified as a
27-year-old man from Orleans, France. He claims to be a “Project
Manager.” According to data obtained from various poker websites, Payan
has plundered other tournament prize pools in the past. Most of his
earlier heists took place in Europe.
Payan is believed to have
removed the grand sum of $292,825 from the depleted bankrolls of 1,070 other
poker players. The weapons used by Payan to commit his gross misdeed
included several cards, chips, and an intimidating poker face.
audacious fellow-Frenchman the night before, Payan also paraded around with the
loot from his shameless act. He was last seen at midnight on the ESPN
main stage pumping his fists into the air and singing Le Marseillaise.
He was joined in unison by nearly two dozen unidentified French
bystanders. It was not immediately known whether the compatriots were
involved in the crime.
speculation that these two brazen acts are part of a much larger
conspiracy. With WSOP Europe coming to France for the first time later
this year, many believe French poker players are now determined to take as much
loot out of the U.S. as possible, in preparation for seven upcoming gold
bracelet events to be played in their home country. The 2011 edition of
WSOP Europe will be played in Cannes (France) in October.
Someone stop them! French
bandits are leaving the country with WSOP gold bracelets! They are
seizing the cash of thousands of hard-working poker players from more than 100
different nations! They must be stopped!
comprehensive recap of Event #22, please visit WSOP.com’s official tournament
portal page HERE.
EVENT #22 CHAMPION – ELIE PAYAN
World Series of Poker $1,500 buy-in Pot-Limit Omaha champion is Elie Payan,
from Orleans, France.
Payan is a
27-year-old project manager.
at a university and earned a B.A. in engineering.
Payan is fluent
in his native language, French. He has a
working-knowledge of English.
previously cashed six times in major tournaments held in Europe. However, he had never won a live tournament
until this point. This was his first
time to cash at the WSOP.
Payan plays a
lot of online poker. His player name is
this was the first WSOP tournament Payan had ever entered. He became the seventh player so far this year
to cash in what was their first-ever WSOP entry.
victory, Payan collected $292,825 for first place.
official records, Payan now has 1 win, 1 final table appearances, and 1
in-the-money finish at the WSOP.
currently has $292,825 in career WSOP winnings.
Payan is to
be classified as an amateur poker player (in WSOP records and stats), since he has
a full-time job and plays poker recreationally.
the second consecutive player from France to win a WSOP gold bracelet. Approximately 22 hours earlier, Bertrand
Grospellier won his first WSOP title on the same ESPN stage. Many of the same supporters were in the crowd
during both nights, cheering on the French players.
only the fifth French player to win a WSOP gold bracelet. The previous winners were Patrick Bruel,
David Benyamine, Vanessa Hellebuyck, and Bertrand Grospellier.
WINNER QUOTES (Note:
The winner was interviewed at tableside moments after the victory)
like to win your very first WSOP gold bracelet?
It’s unspeakable. I do not know how to explain it. I am very, very happy.
How do you
feel being the second player from France to win this year?
For me personally, it is not that
special as far as my nationality. But
for poker in France – and for the game to grow there – I am very happy for
that. I am very, very happy to win back
to back, after ElkY (Bertrand Grospellier).
final table was comprised of the top nine finishers.
table contained no former gold bracelet winners.
were represented at the final table – Finland (2 players), France (1 player), and
the United States (6 players).
battle between Elie Payan and Rafe Kibrit lasted about two hours. Kibrit took the lead for a while and had Payan
all-in a few times, but was never able to finish off his last rival.
runner up was Rafe Kibrit, from Buffalo Grove, IL. He previously worked as a floor trader before
playing poker professionally. He is a
25-year-old alum of Indiana University.
He has several online poker wins.
This was his best showing at the WSOP, which paid $181,222.
Sands (Las Vegas, NV) finished in third place.
At one time, he was the top-ranked online tournament player in the world
(source: PocketFives.com). Sands has a Masters Degree and works as an
Internet marketing analyst when he’s not playing poker.
Vilkki (Espoo, Finland) came in as the fourth-place finisher. This marked his first time to cash in a WSOP
Wolfe (Dallas, TX) ended up in fifth place.
He is a software consultant.
Wolfe has a lot of previous online cashes, but this was his first live
cash in a WSOP event.
Patel (New York, NY) finished in sixth place.
He is a former NYU student with a degree in statistics and finance, who
is now a poker pro. Patel had two
previous high cashes at the WSOP (8th and 14th) in
2008. He improved on those performances
in his tournament.
Munger (Jacksonville, FL) finished in seventh place. He jokingly called himself a “former”
professional poker player, in reference to the events of Black Friday.
Sarwer (Helsinki, Finland) finished in eighth place. He had performed very well in Europe in the
past, racking up more than $500,000 in winnings. This marked his best WSOP finish, by far.
Israelashvili (Forest Hills, NY) finished in ninth place. This was his best WSOP finish to date and
third time to cash this year. Israelashvili
is a two-time WSOP Circuit gold ring winner.
Final table play
began at 2:30 pm on a Wednesday afternoon.
Play ended at midnight. The
finale went for about 9 hours, 30 minutes.
table was played on ESPN’s Main Stage. The
new final table set is getting raves in terms of design and appearance. No stage in the history of poker has ever
looked as spectacular.
streamed live over WSOP.com. Viewers can
tune in and watch most of this year’s final tables. Although hole cards are not shown, viewers
can follow an overhead camera as well as a pan-shot of the table. The floor announcer provides an official
account of the action.
OTHER IN-THE-MONEY FINISHERS
The top 117 finishers
collected prize money.
former gold bracelet winners who cashed in this tournament were – Ryan Welch
(14), Quinn Do (15), Rob Hollink (70), “Captain” Tom Franklin (84), David Chiu
(100), and Peter Smurfit (117).
(Henderson, NV) won his title last year playing Triple-Chance No-Limit Hold’em.
interesting occurrence: Nick Binger
finished in 32nd place. His
brother Michael Binger went out a few minutes later in 30th place.
results are to be included in the WSOP official records. Results are also to be included in the 2011
WSOP “Player of the Year” race.
of the Year” standings can be found at WSOP.com HERE.
ODDS AND ENDS
This is the 914th
gold bracelet awarded in World Series of Poker history. This figure includes every official WSOP
event ever played, including tournaments during the early years when there were
no actual gold bracelets awarded. It
also includes the 16 gold bracelets awarded to date at WSOP Europe (2007-2010). Moreover for the first time ever, one gold
bracelet was awarded for this year’s winner of the WSOP Circuit National
table (Day Three) was played on the same day (and same time) as the decisive
Game 7 of the National Hockey League (NHL) finals between Vancouver and
Boston. Each WSOP overlaps major
sporting events. Therefore, many poker
players tend to watch games and are tuned into what’s going on elsewhere. When the WSOP was played in May (1970-2004),
the biggest side-attraction was the Kentucky Derby. When the WSOP moved into the summer months,
the NBA finals became the most popular topic of discussion at many tables,
aside from what was happening in the tournaments. Perhaps the most exciting WSOP side action occurs
every four years when the World Cup (soccer) is played and games are televised
inside the tournament rooms. Since the
WSOP now attracts players from all over the world, many have watched their
home-country teams play, as the tournaments are continuing. The last World Cup
took place last year. The next time the
World Cup will overlap the WSOP will be in 2014.
WSOP gold bracelet ceremony takes place on the day following the winner’s
victory (or some hours later when the tournament ends very late). The ceremony takes place inside The Pavilion,
which is the expansive main tournament room hosting all noon starts this
year. The ceremony begins at the
conclusion of the first break of the noon tournament. The ceremony usually starts around 2:20
pm. The national anthem of the winner’s
nation is played. The entire
presentation is open to the public and media.
Video and photography is permitted by both the public and members of the
bracelet ceremony is set to take place on Thursday, June 16th. The national anthem of France will be played
in honor of his victory.
For the first
time in history, World Series of Poker gold bracelets will be awarded in
France, when WSOP Europe debuts in Cannes this coming October. Seven gold bracelet events are
scheduled. Now, at least two French
players are expected to be among the stars of that event – with a lot more
poker still to be played.
This was the
largest live Pot-Limit Omaha tournament in history. There were 1,071 entries, which topped the
previous mark (885) set in this event last year. So, the old record was shattered by 186
players, representing a 21 percent increase.
widespread popularity in Europe, Pot-Limit Omaha tournament attendance at the
WSOP continues to grow. Since the WSOP
has been played at the Rio, here are the attendance figures for this event over
the past seven years:
2005 – 291
2006 -- 526
2007 – 578
2008 – 758
2009 – 809 players
2010 – 885
2011 – 1,071
Omaha made its WSOP debut in 1984. The
previous year, a Limit Omaha (High) event was held. The format changed to Pot-Limit the next year
and has been part of the WSOP ever since.
first Pot-Limit Omaha champion was William Bennett, who won the $84,000 top
cash prize in 1984.
Pot-Limit Omaha champions (some years included multiple events – all winners
(1984) William Bennett
(1985) “Amarillo Slim” Preston; Zoran Smijanic
(1986) David Baxter
(1987) Hat “Deadman” Kant
(1988) Gilbert Gross
(1989) Blackie Blackburn
(1990) “Amarillo Slim” Preston, Shawqui Shunnarah
(1991) Jay Heimowitz, An Tran
(1992) Hoyt Corkins; Billy Thomas
(1993) Buddy Bonnecaze
(1994) O’Neil Longson; Huck Seed
(1995) Phil “Doc” Earle
(1996) Sammy Farha; Jim Huntley
(1997) Chris Bjorin
(1998) T.J. Cloutier
(1999) Donn O’Dea; Hassan Komoei
(2000) Johnny Chan
(2001) Hassan Komoei; Galen Kester
(2002) Robert Williamson III; Jan Hansen; Jack
(2003) John Juanda; Johnny Chan; Erik Seidel
(2004) Ted Lawson; Chau Giang
(2005) Josh Arieh; Barry Greenstein; Phil Ivey; Rafi
(2006) Lee Watkinson; Ralph Perry
(2007) Burt Boutin; Scott Clements; Alan
(2008) Dario Alioto; Vanessa Selbst; Phil Galfond;
(2009) Matthew Graham; Jason Mercier; J.C. Tran;
(2010) John Barch, Miguel Proulx, Chance Kornuth
(2011) Elie Payan
the most WSOP gold bracelets in Omaha-related events (all variations) are –
T.J. Cloutier, Scotty Nguyen, and Phil Ivey, currently with three wins each.
with the most career WSOP cashes in Omaha-related events (all variations) is
Brent Carter, currently with 21.
the most WSOP gold bracelets (wins) in Pot-Limit Omaha are – “Amarillo Slim”
Preston, Johnny Chan, and Phil Ivey, each currently with two.
with the most career WSOP cashes in Pot-Limit Omaha is Chau Giang, currently at
was played over three consecutive days.
officially began on Monday, June 13th at noon. The tournament officially ended on Wednesday,
June 15th, at midnight.
2011 WSOP STATISTICS
conclusion of Event #22, the 2011 WSOP has attracted 23,578 entries. $40,825,960 in prize money has been awarded
to winners, so far.
Through the conclusion
of this tournament, the breakdown of nationality of gold bracelet winners has
conclusion of this tournament, the national origin (birthplace) of winners has
conclusion of this event, the home-states of (American) winners have been:
New York (2)
conclusion of this tournament, the breakdown of professional poker players to
semi-pros and amateurs who won gold bracelets has been:
(17): Jake Cody, Cheech Barbaro, Eugene
Katchalov, Allen Bari, Harrison Wilder, Matt Perrins, Sean Getzwiller,
Viacheslav Zhukov, David Diaz, Andrew Badecker, Tyler Bonkowski, Brian Rast,
John Juanda, Aaron Steury, Darren Woods, Jason Somerville, Bertrand Grospellier
(2): Sean R. Drake, Amir Lehavot
Amateurs (3): Geffrey Klein, Foster Hays, Elie Payan
conclusion of this tournament, the victories of seven of the 22 winners (32
percent) marked the first time the new champion had ever cashed at the WSOP.
held over the past 11 years has included at least one multiple gold bracelet
champion (meaning two or more wins within the same year). The last year the WSOP was comprised
exclusively of single-event winners was back in 1999. The record for most multiple gold bracelet
winners within a single year was in 2009, when five players managed to win two
or more titles. So far, no player has
yet won two gold bracelets (this year).
The streak of
male WSOP gold bracelet winners has now reached 183 consecutive events. Aside from the annual Ladies Championship,
the last female player to win a WSOP tournament open to both sexes was Vanessa
Selbst, in 2008. The longest “cold”
streak for female players occurred between years 1982 and 1996, when 221
consecutive open events passed without a female champion.
finishes by any female (open events) at this year’s WSOP was by two players -- Maria
Ho, who finished second ($5,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em),
and Kim Nguyen, who also finished as the runner up ($1,500 buy-in Six-Handed
the three top money-winners from the 2011 WSOP are:
Allen Bari --
Jake Cody -- $851,192
set at this year’s WSOP (to date):
Heads-Up tournament prize pool in history ($3,040,000) – Event #2
Omaha High-Low Split Tournament in history (925 entries) – Event #3
Six-Handed tournament in poker history (1,920 entries) – Event #10
Deuce-to-Seven tournament prize pool in history ($1,184,400) – Event #16
$1,500 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em tournament in history with single starting day
(3,157 entries) – Event #18
consecutive-days starting field sizes in poker history (combined 6,238 entries)
– Event #18 and Event #20
Pot-Limit Omaha tournament in poker history (1,071 entries) – Event #22
Various categories and statistics will be updated with each gold
bracelet event as they are completed.