TOURNAMENT HEADLINES

A Fairy Tale Ending: Simon Charette Wins $3,000 No-Limit Hold’em Six-Handed Event

Unfamiliar Territory: ELKY Grospellier Finishes Sixth. Bracelet Number Two Gets Put on Hold

2008 November Nine Participant Scott Montgomery is Final Table Bubble Boy

Former Gold Bracelet Champion Foster Hays Comes Dressed to Impress. Fifth Place Awards $98,756.

TOURNAMENT OVERVIEW
 
Las Vegas, NV (June 14, 2012)—“Second place last year hurt. I cried for about an hour. Now I’ve won and I’m still going to probably cry for about an hour. It’s interesting how it doesn’t change, yet it’s completely different.”
This was the epiphany of Simon Charette after his victory in Event #23 at the 2012 World Series of Poker.
The 25-year-old poker pro has experienced the ups and downs of the poker seesaw. He beat out 2,711 players last year in Event #48 and had the 2,712th player all-in and needing to catch a card for his tournament life twice. Lady luck reared her ugly head toward Charette’s opponent and she eventually closed the door on Charette’s hopes of a gold bracelet.
Charette finished second for $404,235. But that wasn’t enough.
He came to the final table of Event #23: $3,000 No-Limit Hold’em Six-Handed at the 43rd Annual World Series of Poker knowing he was good enough to win -- knowing he should have won a year ago.
When the last river card was dealt late Wednesday night, Charette did what he knew he could do all along. The emotions were apparent as he laid his head on the table, much as one might do in defeat, but this was in the aftermath of victory.
It’s interesting how it doesn’t change, yet it’s completely different.
Tournament poker is a marathon requiring mental toughness and emotions that can withstand being pulled in all directions -- often times at the flip of a card. When the time comes, it’s important for players to bask in the glory of their victory. Charette, wise beyond his years, realizes just how special it is to be in the winner’s circle on the biggest stage in poker.
“The best player in the world could easily play a lot of tournaments and never win a big one,” Charette said. “To come second and then first… this is the best moment of my life. I’m finally validated as a poker player.”
Charette, a professional poker player, says his true passion lies in film and screenwriting.
“Now that I’ve got the bracelet I’m hoping that my mind can just settle on poker. I don’t need to win a tournament right now. I can spend time writing and doing creative stuff. I think that’s really what I was put on this earth to do,” Charette said after his victory.
 
THE FINAL HAND
The tournament’s second place finisher, Artem Metalidi met his demise only two hands into the final heads-up battle.
Holding about 5,300,000 chips to Metalidi’s 2,900,000, Charette made a 125,000 chip raise -- a bet he intended to be worth only 100,000. Metalidi likely picked up on that miscalculation and re-raised to 350,000. Charette wasted little time four-betting to 600,000 and Metalidi moved all-in. Charette called and the hands were tabled.
Metalidi:   
Charette:   
The flop brought the    and  , leaving Charette out in front. The   on the turn improved neither player and Charette only had to dodge the three remaining aces in the deck on the river. The river brought the meaningless   and Metalidi was eliminated in second place, earning $350,806.

MEET THE LATEST WSOP CHAMPION – SIMON CHARETTE
 
Name: Simon Charette

Birthplace: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Age: 25

Current Residence: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Marital Status: Single

Children: None

Education: Studied Film at York University in Toronto

Profession: Professional Poker Player

Number of WSOP Cashes: 11

Number of WSOP final table appearances: 2

Number of WSOP gold bracelet victories (with this tournament): 1

Best Previous WSOP finish: 2nd 2011 WSOP Event #48 $1,500 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em ($404,235).

Total WSOP Earnings: $1,034,166

THE FINAL TABLE
Day 3 began with 18 remaining players. Foster Hays, sat in third place, Bertrand “ELKY” Grospellier in fifth, Freddy Deeb in seventh, Craig Bergeron in 11th, Scott Montgomery in 12th, Andrew Lichtenberger in 14th and Eugene Katchalov in 18th. Together, these seven players account for six WSOP gold bracelets.
Artem Metalidi began the day as the chip leader. Charette began the final table as the chip leader.
The final table was comprised of the top six finishers. Among them were two previous gold bracelet champions -- Grospellier and Hays.
Grospellier won his bracelet last year in the $10,000 Seven Card Stud Championship. He earned $331,639 for his performance. Two weeks after donning bracelet number one, Grospellier placed third in the $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em Six-Handed Championship and was awarded $447,074. He began the final table of Event #23 short stacked and was unable to make a run at bracelet number two.
Sixth place awarded $68,738.
Hays’ WSOP championship performance came last year when he parlayed his $1,500 buy-in into a $735,400 payday in a No-Limit Hold’em event. He beat out 3,157 entrants for the lion’s share of the $4,261,950 prizepool. Hays’ shot at bracelet number two came up short, finishing fifth for $98,756.
Montgomery, 2010 WSOP $1,000 No-Limit Hold’em champion and member of the 2008 November Nine, was the final table bubble boy, finishing seventh for $49,214.
A full list of players who cashed in Event #23 can be seen on WSOP.com.
 
POST-TOURNAMENT INTERVIEW

Charette begins:
I was really happy with how I played. Really, really happy. Honestly after every day I always try and go through and count my mistakes and I go through them and analyze them pretty in depth. With a six-max you’re playing so many hands and there’s so many dynamics so there’s so many different variables that come into play and I felt like I was just nailing it. I was earning it. I feel great about how I played and I certainly ran very well. Second place last year hurt. I cried for about an hour. Now I’ve won and I’m still going to probably cry for about an hour. It’s interesting how it doesn’t change, yet it’s completely different.

Q: What did you take away from your second place finish in 2011 that helped you tonight?
I honestly couldn’t tell you because this was a six-max tournament and the other was ten-handed. The dynamics are so much different. You’re doing so much three-betting pre-flop that’s bluffing or not bluffing, re-raising small amounts in position, whereas ten-handed it’s more flatting, calling and playing tight. Last year at the final table I was really happy with my play as well. Heads up I got into two coin flips where I had him covered and I lost them both. I ended up losing, but I was really happy with my play. Again, I feel like I play great, like I’m one of the most solid tournament regulars on the circuit when I can get out there. Nobody cares, but I’m hoping now that I have a bracelet people will care. Respect means a little something.

Q: Does this validate yourself as a poker player?
Absolutely. That’s exactly why I’m so happy right now. We’re playing tournament poker. The best player in the world could easily play a lot of tournaments and never win a big one. To come second and then first… I couldn’t be any happier. This is the best moment of my life. I’m finally validated as a poker player. I’ve been working so hard on this. People do not think I’m that good, but who cares. I have a bracelet.

Q: What did it mean to have the support of your friends on the rail?
It was great. That moment where the river bricked and I got to just jump into them. It meant a lot because these guys (points to his friends) respect me. I don’t need to prove anything to them, they know I’m good. It’s the rest of the poker community I wanted to convince. Hopefully this will go a long way toward that.

Q: The late stages of play had a lot of talented players. What did you think your chances of winning were?
I told everyone I knew that I would win starting (Day 3). I said I would win. I always say that as a positive kind of thing going into a tournament even though most of the time you’re not going to win. I thought my chances were excellent because people are really bad at poker. I see mistakes that I would never make. A lot of people explode. Just EXPLODE. I see a lot of button clicking, and not so much good live poker. I like to consider myself a live player. I think I’m really good, and I thought I was better than the rest of the field.

I think people just aren’t able to stay in a mental spot to maximize their equity. It’s all about maximizing your equity. Sometimes trying to win the tournament isn’t the best strategy -- payout structures matter everything matters. This one I wanted the bracelet so I needed to win.

Q: What sets you apart from other players that you’re able to do the things they aren’t?
I think a big part is that I play my ‘A’ game much more than other players. I don’t blow up my stack. I really understand the equity of my chips. In any given tournament situation I look at how many are left, how many pay. As far as tournament poker goes, I think I’ve got a lot of it figured it pretty well. Obviously there are many players better than me, but I just want to be known as one of the good tournament regulars out there. That’s it. Nothing extra ordinary, because I’m not extra ordinary at all. I’m no Jason Mercier or anything like that. I just want to be known as a good player. That would make me happy.

Q: Your bio sheet says you are a filmmaker. How did you get into that?
I’m an aspiring filmmaker. I went to film school at York University and got a degree there. Screenwriting is my real passion. I’ve been working on poker so long all through school -- I paid for school with poker. Now that I’ve got the bracelet I’m hoping that my mind can just settle on poker. I don’t NEED to win a tournament right now. I can spend time writing and doing creative stuff. I think that’s really what I was put on this earth to do. Some kind of art form, I haven’t been able to figure it out yet because poker has been taking too much of my time. I’m hoping this (bracelet win) will lift a little bit of that weight off.