Baptiste Chavaillaz Wins Main Event Championship
Music Industry Professional Enjoys Biggest Victory at Bicycle Casino
Chavillaz Outlasts Record-Setting 732-Player Field in Los Angeles
Bell Gardens, CA (January 14, 2013) – Baptiste Chavaillaz is accustomed to living life in the fast lane. He works in the music business and travels all over the world with famous bands and recording artists. But he produced a major hit of his own tonight, by winning the latest World Series of Poker Main Event Championship, held at The Bicycle Casino in Los Angeles.
Chavaillaz pulled off what must be classified as a major surprise, defeating a formidable final day lineup which featured several accomplished rivals, including multiple players with millions in career tournament winnings. But it was Chavaillaz who performed like the consummate pro, beating some of the world's best players at their own game. Indeed, in Chavaillaz's parlance, it was the equivalent of an amateur musician taking the stage and out-jamming Eric Clapton, out-singing Alicia Keys, or out-rapping Jay-Z.
This day was music to Chavaillaz's ears. The royalty for his winning tune amounted to a whopping $216,275. He was also presented with his first WSOP Circuit gold ring. Moreover, Chavaillaz earned an automatic qualification into the WSOP National Championship presented by Southern Comfort 100 Proof, which takes place in May.
“How much did I win?” Chavaillaz asked nonchalantly following his surprise victory. When told the exact amount and the tax bite upon the figure, he added, “I'm paying more in taxes on this tournament than anything I've ever won in my life!”
All joking aside, Chavaillaz has absolutely no complaints.
“It's all still sinking in,” he said. “I've been playing poker for 12 years. But I've never had anything like this happen before. I had not even played in a major tournament like this, ever.”
Chavaillaz is a 30-year-old music industry professional. He was born in Fribourg, Switzerland and arrived in the United States at the age of ten. His family settled down in Florida. Later, Chavaillaz graduated from the University of Central Florida. He got into the music business, moved to New York City, and began enjoying success.
Chavaillaz now calls Portland, OR his home. Currently, he works with several major acts, handling their logistics and travel. He often tours the world and visits many exciting places. “I get on 350 planes a year,” Chavaillaz said.
But this poker table may very well have been his most exciting tour stop, given the personal satisfaction and amount of prize money winnings.
The odds of realizing this victorious moment were stacked against Chavaillaz from the very start. Given little experience at this level, just making the money would have been an accomplishment. Making the final table would have been a dream. And winning would have seemed unthinkable. But it happened.
“I decided to come to The Bike and play as many events as I could,” Chavaillaz said. “I blanked everything this week. I did one final super satellite into the Main, and I blanked that, too. So, I decided since I was here to go ahead and buy-in.”
Chavaillaz made quite a return for his investment, but he also had at least one stroke of incredible luck along the way. When 12 players remained, Chavaillaz was getting short on chips., but rival Doug Lee was shorter. The two players got into a confrontation that would prove critical to the tournament's outcome as Chavaillaz spiked a three-outer to scoop a monster-sized pot. That win set the pace for the remainder of the tournament.
The latest WSOP Circuit champion plans to return to the music business and go back to the road shortly.
“I don't have a nine to five job,” he said. “I’m on-call 24 hours a day. I work long days and short nights. Come to think of it, what I do is a lot like a poker tournament. It's a grind.”
Here are the final table results from The Bicycle Casino Circuit Main Event:
1st: Baptiste Chavillaz - $216,275
2nd: Zhang Chen - $133,350
3rd: Eric Varela - $98,310
4th: Jared Ingles - $73,270
5th: Huicun (George) Qiao - $55,340
6th: Jesus Gastelum - $42,340
7th: David Malka - $32,800
8th: Nathan Bjerno - $25,370
9th: Erik Roussakis - $20,430