JEAN “PRINCE” GASPARD WINS $10K DEALERS CHOICE (SIX-HANDED)

Haitian-born poker pro collects $306,621 top prize in Event #11

On day of Muhammad Ali’s funeral, Gaspard cites “the Greatest” as his inspiration

John Monnette makes another deep run – 2nd in 2-7, now 3rd in Dealers Choice

Las Vegan Billy O’Neil finishes as runner up

 
MEET THE LATEST WSOP GOLD BRACELET CHAMPION

 Name:  Jean Gaspard, a.k.a. Prince
Birthplace:  Haiti
Age:  44
Current Residence:   Chicago, IL (USA)
Marital Status:  Single
Children:  3
Profession:  Poker Player and Gambler
Number of WSOP Cashes:  19
Number of WSOP Final Table Appearances:  3
Number of WSOP Gold Bracelet Victories (with this tournament):  1
Best Previous WSOP Finish:  7th (2014)
Total WSOP Earnings:  $543,748
Personal Facts:  Former professional basketball player, played summer league

 

Quote of the Day:

“I only play for first place.  When I walk into the tournament, I just see what first place pays.  I don’t even look at anything else.  I reach for the sky.”
-- Jean Gaspard (winner of the $10K Dealers Choice Six-Handed WSOP gold bracelet)

 

On the day of Muhammad Ali’s funeral, Jean Gaspard took his inspiration from “the Greatest.”

The 44-year-old longtime poker player and gambler who once played professional basketball and attended a training camp with the NBA’s Chicago Bulls won one of the 2016 World Series’ most thrilling victories.  He won the $10,000 buy-in Dealers Choice (Six-Handed) tournament, which was played over three days and nights at the Rio in Las Vegas. 
Gaspard collected $306,621 in prize money along with the coveted gold bracelet, making this one of the most satisfying wins of his career.

“I came into this week with a lot of things on my mind,” Gaspard said afterward in his post-victory interview.  “This was the first tournament I circled and said I was going to play.  I told myself – I was going to play my best in this tournament.  Then, earlier this week when Muhammad Ali died – he was one of the people I respect so much.  I learned from him that to be great, you have to dig in deep and be yourself.  So, coming into this, I was really ready to win it.”

Gaspard was born in Haiti.  He now lives in Chicago, IL.  However, Gaspard seems most at home on the green felt, where he concentrated much of his attention and energy since playing regularly on the tournament circuit starting back in 2008.  Like any poker pro, he’s experienced quite a few ups and downs, more than his fair share, in fact.  However, Gaspard has also demonstrated both his skill and dedication, which was finally rewarded on this night in the biggest way possible – a victory at the WSOP.

"I’ve done a lot of things in poker.  I’ve gone deep many times.  But in the past I have been my own enemy.  This time, my mind is where it needs to be.  It’s almost like I am seeing through their hands.  I was in the zone this entire three days.”

Gaspard won his victory by prevailing at a tough final table which included three previous gold bracelet winners and several well-rounded pros also seeking their first WSOP victory.  The moment of triumph came when Gaspard scooped the final pot of the tournament holding 2-4 offsuit, which rivered a second pair against Billy O’Neil’s overpair.  Hence, O’Neil finished as the runner up.  The second-place consolation prize amounted to $189,505.

“I changed up gears a lot in this tournament,” Gaspard said when asked about strategy.  “Everything I did was calculated in advance.  I was thinking ten moves ahead.  My opponents didn’t know that.  But that’s what I was doing.  I was locked in the whole time…..I tend to play the tournament out in my head in advance so I can be ready to make my moves.  Any situation that comes up, I’m already ready for it.”

This tourney attracted 118 entrants, which created a prize pool totaling $1,109,200.  The top 18 finishers collected prize money.  The field size was up nearly 10 percent over last year’s number of entries in this event, won by Quinn Do.
Aside from the winner, here’s a brief report of the other top finishers who made the final table:

Second Place:  Bill O’Neil took a tough beat on the final hand of the tournament.  Otherwise, he might have been the winner.  Instead, the small business owner from Las Vegas had to settle for second place, which paid $189,505.  This marked his second time to cash at the series.  Last year, O’Neil cashed in the WSOP Main Event.

Third Place:  John Monnette, the combustible poker pro from Palmdale, CA is currently the player with the two deepest runs at the 2016 series, with a second and now a third-place showing.  Just days after coming in as the runner up in the 2-7 tourney, Monnette outlasted another tough crowd and came within a rush of wining what could have been a third gold bracelet victory.  Instead, “Angry John” had to settle for a $135,061 payout.

Fourth Place:  Randy Ohel, from Las Vegas, finished in fourth place, which paid $96,876.  This marked his 22nd time to cash at the series, including a gold bracelet win in 2012 playing 2-7 Triple Draw.

Fifth Place:  Mikhail Semin, from Moscow, Russia was one of two Russians at the final table.  He started off the 2016 series with his first cash, after five in-the-money finishes in 2015, along with a seventh-place finish.  This was Semin’s highest payout, to date, amounting to $69,937.

Sixth Place:  Viacheslav Zhukov, from Stary Oskol, Russia busted out in sixth place.  He owns two gold rings, win in 2011 and 2012.  Zhukov also finished as runner up in an event last year.  Zhukov collected $50,818 which now puts him at over $1.4 million in WSOP earnings.

This was the 11th event on this year’s schedule.  This leaves 57 tourneys still to go in what promises to be the biggest and most exciting WSOP ever.

 

OTHER NOTABLE IN-THE MONEY FINISHERS: 

Andrew Brown, who won his gold bracelet at the 2008 WSOP, barely missed making what would have been his fifth series final table, by finishing in eighth place.

Dan Smith, with 22 cashes and nearly $1.5 million in WSOP earnings, cashed for this first time at this year’s series, by coming in ninth.

Richard Ashby, a gold bracelet winner, came in 11th place.

Jennifer Harman, a two-time gold bracelet winner and inductee into the Poker Hall of Fame, cashed for the second time in 2016 – with two 13th place finishes.

Brian Hastings, a three-time gold bracelet winner, took 16th place.

David Chiu, a five-time gold bracelet winner, finished in 17th place.

 

FUN FACTS:

Out of 118 entries, 86 players were from the United States, and 32 from elsewhere.  Ten countries were represented.

The top five countries represented included the United States, Russia, Great Britain, Canada, and France.

Ages of players ranged from 21 up to 74.

 

EVENT DIRECT LINKS:

 For this event’s official final results (listing all players who finished in-the-money), please visit:
http://www.wsop.com/tournaments/results.asp?grid=1232&tid=14911

For Jean Gaspard’s official player profile page, please visit:
http://www.wsop.com/players/playerprofile.asp?playerID=1092

For the live reporting logs for this event, please visit:
http://www.wsop.com/tournaments/updates.asp?grid=1232&tid=14911

To access licensed images from this all other 2016 WSOP gold bracelet events, please visit:
www.pokerphotoarchive.com