TOURNAMENT HEADLINES

Old Wines and New Vintages

Antonin Teisseire Becomes Fourth French Champion at 2011 WSOP

Teisseire Wins First Gold Bracelet

French Poker Pro Wins $5,000 Buy-in Triple-Chance No-Limit Hold’em Title

New Champion Rakes-In $825,604 Pot

Full House at the 2011 WSOP -- Tournament Attendance on a Record Pace

2011 WSOP Total Prize Money Crosses $100 Million Mark – With Main Event Still to Come

50 Gold Bracelets Won – Eight More Events Still to Go

OVERVIEW

If Antonin Teisseire were a bottle of red wine, he’d be a Grand Cru -- vintage 1966.

Teisseire, a full-bodied 45-year-old professional poker player from Tassin-la-Demi-Lune, France won the most recent World Series of Poker competition, held at the Rio in Las Vegas.

Teisseire busted out 816 other poker players who entered the $5,000 buy-in Triple-Chance No-Limit Hold’em championship, which was the 50th of 58 gold bracelet events on this year's WSOP schedule.  First place paid a whopping $825,604 in prize money.  But the real prize that mattered most to Teisseire was a ten-inch cylinder of gold representing ultimate supremacy in the poker world.

Teisseire was born in a town which is located in the heart of France’s famous Rhone Valley.  He now resides in Cote d’Azur.  It’s a robust region best-known for cultivating powerful cabernets and zesty zinfandels. 

Indeed, when it comes to the finest things in life, Teisseire is a fruit bomb.  He’s proverbially packed with loads of cherries, raspberries, dark fruits and complex jam flavors.  There’s also a twist of oak.  This hearty grape resembles black tea, spice aromas, rose petals, anise, mixed with a hint of tar.  But things were not always this way when the poker vineyard was initially planted.  The hearty wine took considerable time to mature.  Alas, the young Teisseire was fiercely tannic and bitter to the taste.  But gradually with age, he became extraordinarily powerful with full flavors of apple, cherry and smoke that were supremely gratifying to the palate.  Attempts to cultivate and grow this grape outside of the tiny region of Southern France have all failed miserably.  He’s a product of the Cote d’Azur through and through.
 
“If eating, drinking and partying were my sport, I’d be the Phil Ivey of the game,” Teisseire barked out via an interpreter, moments after jumping into a crowd of supporters celebrating his victory.  “I love to eat!  I love to drink!  I love to live life!”

The three-day long tournament stretched into an unscheduled fourth day, due to some extraordinary play during the latter stages of the competition.  In the end, it was the oak barrel-waisted Teisseire who de-cantered everyone’s WSOP dreams.  Among the dinner guests who made it through the main course in this event were some of poker’s very best – including Eric Froehlich (4th), Ryan Young (21st), Barry Greenstein (27th), Vitaly Lunkin (28th), David Bakes Baker (32nd), Sam Stein (53rd), Ken Aldridge (60th), Pete Vilandos (63rd), Allen Bari (64th), Josh Arieh (69th) and Daniel Idema (70th).  But they all were finally eaten up for dessert. 

No doubt, if Wine Spectator were rating all the players who cashed in this event, there would be a lot of 96s and 97s, and a even few 98s and 99s. 

But there would be only one perfect score of 100, and it belonged to gold bracelet champion Antonin Teisseire.  He's aged to poker perfection.

For a comprehensive recap of Event #50, please visit the WSOP.com tournament portal page HERE.

EVENT #50 CHAMPION – ANTONIN TEISSEIRE

The 2011 World Series of Poker $5,000 buy-in Triple-Chance No-Limit Hold’em champion is Antonin Teisseire, from Cote d’Azur, France.

Teisseire is a 45-year-old professional poker player.

Teisseire mostly played in bars and private games.  He has been playing card games for 25 years, seriously for money during the last five years or so.  During most years, the game he played regularly was Five-Card Draw.

This is the first WSOP event Teisseire has played at this year’s WSOP.

This marked Teisseire’s first cash at the WSOP.

For this victory, Teisseire collected $825,604 for first place.

According to official records, Teisseire now has 1 win, 1 final table appearance and 1 in-the-money finish at the WSOP. 

Teisseire currently has $825,604 in career WSOP winnings.

Teisseire is to be classified as a professional poker player (in WSOP records and stats), since he has been a full-time player for about six years.

Teisseire becomes the fourth French winner this year at the WSOP. The three previous champions were Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier, Elie Payon and Fabrice Soulier.

Teisseire becomes the eighth French player in history to win a WSOP gold bracelet.  The previous winners were Patrick Bruel, Gilbert Gross, David Benyamine, Vanessa Hellebuyck, Bertrand Grospellier, Elie Payan and Fabrice Soulier.

Teisseire’s opinion is that the best French poker player in the world is Bertrand Grospellier.

WINNER INTERVIEW

On how he enjoys life to the fullest:

“I have a lot of friends.  I like to eat.  I like good food.  I like to party.  And, I don’t like to work.”

On how all the French supporters changing poker into a sporting atmosphere:

“We are Latin people.  We like to show our emotions.”

On why French players are performing so well at this year’s WSOP:

“It’s because of variance.  We did not do so well in previous years.  But we are supposed to win a lot this year.”

On what would happen if he won the WSOP Main Event Championship:

“The joy is so huge already for me now, that I can’t imagine that feeling.”

THE FINAL TABLE

The official final table was comprised of the top nine finishers. 

The final table contained just one former gold bracelet winner – Eric Froehlich (2 wins).

Three different nations were represented at the final table – France (1 player), Russia (1 player) and the United States (7 players). 

The runner up was Darryl Ronconi, a company executive from the suburbs of Chicago.  Ronconi was close to even with his final opponent late in the tournament, but ultimately went card dead when things mattered most.  Nonetheless, Ronconi could take great pride in his sixth WSOP cash, which paid $510,053 in prize money.

Final table play began Thursday evening at 9 pm.  Played concluded about 8 hours later (playing time wise) the following day at 5 pm.  Play was suspended when at four-handed due to the hard-stop rule (no more than ten levels of play, daily).

The final table was played in two parts, first on the secondary stage and then the following day on ESPN’s main stage.  The new final table set this year is getting raves in terms of design and appearance.  No stage in the history of poker has ever looked as spectacular.  Viewers will be able to see ESPN’s coverage again once the WSOP Main Event begins in July.

Action was 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 81 finishers collected prize money.

Among the players that cashed in this event were – Eric Froehlich (4th), Ryan Young (21st), Barry Greenstein (27th), Vitaly Lunkin (28th), David Bakes Baker (32nd), Sam Stein (53rd), Ken Aldridge (60th), Pete Vilandos (63rd), Allen Bari (64th), Josh Arieh (69th) and Daniel Idema (70th).

Three-time gold bracelet winner Barry Greenstein’s in-the-money finish gives him 51 cashes for his career, which ranks in a tie for 11th place on the all-time cashes list.

Two-Time gold bracelet winner Vitaly Lunkin has now cashed 15 times since the start of the 2009 WSOP, which is among the leaders within that time span.

Tournament results are to be included in all official WSOP records.  Results are also to be included in the 2011 WSOP “Player of the Year” race.

“WSOP Player of the Year” standings can be found at WSOP.com HERE.

ODDS AND ENDS

This tournament attracted 817 entries.

The average age of entrants was 30.1 years.

There were 12 females who played in this tournament, representing 2.5 percent of the field.

This is the 942nd 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 Championship.

The official 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 p.m.  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 media.

Teisseire’s gold bracelet ceremony is set to take place on Sunday, July 3rd.  The national anthem of the winner’s country, France, will be played in honor of his victory.  This will be the fourth time this year France’s anthem has been played.

2011 WSOP STATISTICS

Through the conclusion of Event #50 the 2011 WSOP has attracted 54,309 combined total entries.  $102,040,655 in prize money has been awarded to winners. 

With the conclusion of this tournament, the total prize pool for all events just crossed the $100 million mark.

Through the conclusion of this tournament, the breakdown of nationality of gold bracelet winners has been:

United States (30)

Canada (5)

Ukraine (4)

France (4)

Great Britain (3)

Russia (2)

Brazil (1)

Pakistan (1)

Through the conclusion of this tournament, the national origin (birthplace) of winners has been:

United States (26)

Canada (5)

Ukraine (4)

France (4)

Great Britain (3)

Russia (2)

Israel (1)

Honduras (1)

Indonesia (1)

Germany (1)

Brazil (1)

Pakistan (1)

Through the conclusion of this tournament, the home-states of (American) winners have been:

California (5)

Nevada (5)

New York (5)

Texas (3)

Illinois (2)

Florida (2)

Connecticut (2)

New Jersey (1)

Tennessee (1)

Indiana (1)

Maryland (1)

Virginia (1)

Michigan (1)

North Dakota (1)

Washington (1)

Ohio (1)

Through the conclusion of this tournament, the breakdown of professional poker players to semi-pros and amateurs who won gold bracelets has been:

Professional Players (39):  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, John Monnette, Elie Payon, Mark Radoja, Chris Viox, Dan Idema, Andy Frankenberger, Chris Lee, Sam Stein, Mark Schmid, Jason Mercier, Mikhail Lakhitov, Fabrice Soulier, Mitch Schock, Matt Jarvis, Justin Pechie, Ben Lamb, Rep Porter, Andre Akkari, Joe Ebanks, Lenny Martin, Athanasios Polychronopoulos, Antonin Teisseire

Semi-Pros (5):  Sean R. Drake, Amir Lehavot, Oleksii Kovalchuk, Eric Rosawig, Arkadiy Tsinis

Amateurs (6):  Geffrey Klein, Foster Hays, James Hess, Kirk Caldwell, Ken Griffin, Owais Ahmed

Since tracking first started in 2005, this year’s WSOP has the greatest disparity of professionals winning over semi-pros and amateurs than any year recorded, so far – with 44 out of 50 events being won by pros or semi-pros.

Through the conclusion of this tournament, the victories of 10 of the 50 winners (20 percent) marked the first time the new champion had ever cashed at the WSOP.

Every 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 this year, no player has yet won two gold bracelets.

The streak of consecutive male WSOP gold bracelet winners has now reached 207 consecutive events.  Aside from the annual Ladies Poker 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.

The highest finish by any female (open events) at this year’s WSOP was by two players.  Maria Ho finished second ($5,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em).  Kim Nguyen also finished as the runner up ($1,500 buy-in Six-Handed Limit Hold’em).

The highest finish by any defending champion at this year’s WSOP was by David Baker, who after winning the previous $10,000 buy-in No-Limit Deuce-to-Seven Draw Lowball World Championship finished in sixth place in defense of his title.

Reigning world poker champions rarely perform well the following year after their victory.  Chris “Jesus” Ferguson was the last world champion to win a gold bracelet the next year, which happened in 2001.  Perhaps it’s due to the increasing size of the fields.  But there’s also great pressure on the champions to do well.  What follows is a list of the only world champions in history to win a gold bracelet after winning the championship during the previous year:

Johnny Moss (1975)

Doyle Brunson (1977)

Bobby Baldwin (1979)

Stu Ungar (1981)

Johnny Chan (1988)

Hamid Dastmalchi (1993)

Chris “Jesus” Ferguson (2001)

By contrast, players who make it to the final table of the Main Event Championship (November Nine) one year tend to do quite well in subsequent WSOP years.  Consider that last year, three former Main Event finalists won gold bracelets – Eric Buchman, Tex Barch, and Scott Montgomery.  This year, Matt Jarvis won his first gold bracelet one year after making it to the November Nine in 2010.

New tournament records set at the 2011 WSOP (to date):

Biggest Heads-Up tournament prize pool in history ($3,040,000) – Event #2

Largest live Omaha High-Low Split Tournament in history (925 entries) – Event #3

Largest live Six-Handed tournament in poker history (1,920 entries) – Event #10

Biggest Deuce-to-Seven tournament prize pool in history ($1,184,400) – Event #16

Largest live $1,500 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em tournament in history with single day start (3157 entries) – Event #18

Largest live $1,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em tournament in history with single day start (3175 entries) – Event #20

Largest consecutive-days starting field sizes in poker history (combined 6,332 entries) – Event #18 and Event #20

Largest live Pot-Limit Omaha tournament in poker history (1,071 entries) – Event #22

Largest Mixed-Game (Eight-Game Mix) in poker history (489 entries) – Event #23

Largest Seniors tournament in poker history (3,752 entries) – Event #30

Biggest Seniors No-Limit Hold’em championship prize pool in history ($3,376,800) – Event #30

Largest single-day live tournament start in poker history (3,752 entries) – Event #30

Largest consecutive-days starting field sizes in poker history (combined 6,580 entries) – Event #30/Event #32 (broke Event #18/Event #20 record from earlier in 2011 WSOP)

Largest four-consecutive days field sizes in poker history (2,500+3,752+2,828+3,144 =12,224 entries) -- Events 28, 30, 32, 34, June 16-19, 2011

Largest Mixed Pot-Limit tournament in history (606 entries) – Event #39

Biggest Pot-Limit Omaha prize pool in live poker history ($3,393,400) – Event #42

New player records set at the 2011 WSOP (to date):

The 35-year span between Artie Cobb’s first cash in this event (1976) and most recent cash in the same event (2011) represents the longest time span in WSOP history.  He accomplished this in Seven-Card Stud High-Low Split (Event #25).

Phil Hellmuth added to his record as the individual all-time leader in cashes (83) and final table appearances (42).

Howard “Tahoe” Andrew added to his record as the player with the longest consecutive streak of WSOP appearances (entering at least one event), currently at 38 years and counting (1974 to present).

RAISING AWARENESS:  BAD BEAT ON CANCER AND THE WSOP

Bad Beat on Cancer was created in 2003 by Phil Gordon and Rafe Furst as an easy and fun way for poker players to donate to the Prevent Cancer Foundation.  It all began when Chris Moneymaker pledged 1 percent of his 2003 Main Event winnings and went on to capture the championship, contributing $25,000 when he was awarded the $2.500,000 first- place prize.  By taking the pledge, wearing the patch, and joining ‘Team 1%’, players can feel good supporting a cause that only benefits when they win.  As the official charity of the WSOP, pledges simply indicate to the payouts staff that they are donating 1 percent of their winnings, and the funds are automatically withheld.  A tax receipt is generated and sent to their mailing address.  Several high profile professionals have made ‘life pledges’ of 1 percent of all their winnings -- including Annie Duke, Phil Hellmuth Jr., Lee Childs, Paul Wasicka, Andy Bloch, Dennis Phillips, and others.  Since 2003, the initiative has raised over $3,500,000 for cancer prevention research, education, and community outreach programs.  Players can pick up a patch and join Team 1% by stopping by the Bad Beat on Cancer booth, located at the 2011 WSOP opposite the Amazon Room in the concourse.  The Nevada Cancer Institute based in Las Vegas is a benefiting charity from the Bad Beat on Cancer.