Thursday, June 1, 2023 9:20 PM Local Time
A Swiss Star is Born: Alexandre Vuilleumier Captures Event #2: $25,000 High Roller 6-Handed No-Limit Hold'em
In a tournament filled with some of the biggest stars in poker, it was a player who is quickly establishing a reputation as one of them who came out on top.
Alexandre Vuilleumier of Switzerland, who dedicated himself to tournaments just over a year ago, conquered a field of 207 of the toughest opponents in the game to win Event #2: $25,000 High Roller 6-Handed No-Limit Hold'em, his first World Series of Poker bracelet, and $1,215,864 top prize.
"Obviously, the World Series is just fantastic," the newly-crowned champion said after defeating Chance Kornuth heads-up. "To win a bracelet is just the epitome of a poker career for sure."
Vuilleumier came into the WSOP on a bit of a hot streak. He was third at EPT London in November, which had been his best score before today. He won a $10,150 six-handed event in the Bahamas in February. And now he was the last man standing in one of the most talent-packed tournaments on the poker calendar. The last seven months have been a time when Vuilleumier established himself as one of the top players in the game.
"I wouldn't be as arrogant to say that, but for me, it is the year of my career for sure. I'm really happy with everything that's happened," he said. "I'm not one of the top players. Like in chess, you have to be here for years. I'm certainly growing and I'm excited to be part of these tournaments. I started playing tournaments in January 2022, so I certainly wouldn't make any bold assessments."
Chess is another game that Vuilleumier knows all too well. He's an International Master and has been rated as high as 2,400. His background in chess, with results dating back more than two decades, helped prepare him for the grueling nature of being a professional poker player.
"There are a lot of similarities. One of the best tricks that you learn in chess is to be able to concentrate for long periods. So after nine hours of concentration, I think I am still at 90 percent of my capabilities while everyone else is maybe at 60 percent, so that is certainly great," he said.
"And also backward analysis. We are able to think in the air, like abstractly in chess, and reconstruct the game. And in poker, it is important to jump from, okay, what did he do preflop and on the turn, and what does it mean? That mental gymnastics are certainly very akin to what is happening in chess."
Final Table results
Day 3 Action
Day 3 began at 1:30 p.m. local time with nine players chasing the prestigious WSOP gold bracelet. Jake Schindler and Elior Sion fell within the first few minutes of the day, bringing the field down to the unofficial final table of seven.
Vuilleumier was second in chips with 5,200,000, trailing only Frenchman Axel Hallay's 10,035,000. Sean Winter, one of the best players without a bracelet, put himself in a position to shed that distinction when he flopped quad nines to earn a massive double up off Chris Moore and knock Moore down to less than 1,000,000. A few hands later, Moore picked up jacks and was all in for 475,000 against Winter's ace-eight, but Winter spiked an ace on the river to set the official final table that gathered on the main feature table inside the Horseshoe and Paris Las Vegas.
Ren Lin doubled up set over set against Joey Weissman on the second hand of the final table. Vuilleumier then called Weissman's short-stack shove with jack-three and cracked kings after flopping trip threes, making the 2012 bracelet winner the first casualty of the final table.
Vuilleumier then began to take control of the tournament following a pivotal hand against Winter. Vuilleumier rivered two pair with king-queen and led out for 1,790,000. Winter then jammed his pair of queens and Vuilleumier called for 5,350,000 to take a massive chip lead with more than 16,000,000.
Winter was left with one big blind but doubled up repeatedly as the gregarious and joyful Lin finally succumbed in fifth place when Kornuth made quads with pocket kings. Hallay, who began the day as an overwhelming chip leader, was eliminated in fourth place after losing a race with sevens to Winter's king-ten, then calling off his last 855,000 with queen-three against Winter's dominating king-queen.
Now three-handed between the three-time bracelet winner Kornuth against Vuilleumier and Winter, two players still hoping to capture their first, Kornuth narrowed the gap a little when he avoided Vuilleumier's straight draw to double up to 9,630,000. Winter's hopes for a miraculous "chip and a chair" story were finally dashed when he and Vuilleumier both flopped top pair, Vuilleumier rivered two pair, and Winter called off his last 3,250,000.
Vuilleumier led 19,800,000 to Kornuth's 11,300,000 at the start of heads-up play, which was controlled by the Swiss pro. Kornuth was down to just 3,050,000 when he jammed king-three, Vuilleumier called with ace-queen, and the board gave Vuilleumier a straight on the turn to deny Kornuth his fourth bracelet and secure Vuilleumier the title.
Vuilleumier is proving himself to be a six-max savant, and it all goes back to his time grinding cash games. "I come from cash games, so we like to play post-flop and obviously in six-max there is more post-flop," he said.
He's now conquered one of the toughest six-max fields of the year. If he was overshadowed by some of the legendary names at the start of the tournament, he won't be overlooked anymore.
That concludes PokerNews' coverage of Event #2: $25,000 High Roller 6-Handed No-Limit Hold'em. Stay tuned for more action throughout the 2023 WSOP.
Thursday, June 1, 2023 8:23 PM Local Time
Chance Kornuth Eliminated in 2nd Place ($751,463)
Alexandre Vuilleumier limped in on the button and snap-called when Chance Kornuth jammed for 3,050,000 from the big blind.
The flop kept Vuilleumier ahead, and then he made a straight on the turn. Kornuth had just three outs to improve to a superior straight, but the river confirmed the victory for Vuilleumier.
Kornuth picked up the $751,463 runners-up prize and was denied his fourth bracelet, while Vuilleumier scored the biggest cash of his career and his first piece of WSOP hardware.
Thursday, June 1, 2023 8:21 PM Local Time
Kornuth Gets Tricky, Falls Into Danger Zone
Alexandre Vuilleumier limped in with as Chance Kornuth looked down at and decided to raise to 850,000.
Vuilleumier called as they saw a flop. Kornuth, left with six-high, slowed down and checked, then quickly folded to a bet of 650,000.
Kornuth has now dropped down to just over 10 big blinds as Vuilleumier now has a nearly 10-1 chip lead.
Thursday, June 1, 2023 8:15 PM Local Time
Kornuth Pays Off Vuilleumier in Crucial Pot
Alexandre Vuilleumier raised to 500,000 from the button with , and Chance Kornuth defended the big blind with .
On the flop, Kornuth check-raised to 925,000 after Vuilleumier continued for 325,000. The latter called.
The turn, Kornuth took his foot off the gas pedal and checked. Vuilleumier bet 1,000,000 and was called.
Vuilleumier improved to two pair on the river to seal the checkmark. Kornuth checked and Vuilleumier bet 4,350,000, which sent Kornuth into the tank. After using some time bank cards, Kornuth called and saw the bad news.
Vuilleumier now has a commanding chip lead, with Kornuth down to his last 16 big blinds.
Thursday, June 1, 2023 8:08 PM Local Time
Slow Start to Heads-Up
Both players have been swapping chips, with neither making a dent in each other's stack. Alexandre Vuilleumier has just under a two-to-one chip lead, but play is still deep.
Thursday, June 1, 2023 7:59 PM Local Time
Sean Winter Eliminated in 3rd Place ($518,106)
Sean Winter limped in with and Alexandre Vuilleumier checked his .
Both players hit top pair on the and Winter check-called a bet of 250,000. The turn came the and Vuilleummier bet another 425,000.
Winter now came back with a raise to 1,100,000 and Vuilleumier called. The on the river improved Vuilleumier to two pair as Winter put in 1,700,000.
Vuilleumier then raised enough to put Winter all in as Winter took off his sunglasses and grimaced before calling for his last 3,250,000.
Winter came up a few spots short of his first WSOP bracelet, while Vuilleumier and Chance Kornuth are now taking a short break before the start of heads-up play.
Thursday, June 1, 2023 7:46 PM Local Time
Kornuth Turns a King
Chance Kornuth opened to 850,000 from the small blind with and Sean Winter defended his big blind with .
Kornuth bet 600,000 on the flop, and Winter called. Kornuth then improved to top pair on the turn and fired a second barrel of 1,450,000 which folded out Winter.
Thursday, June 1, 2023 7:41 PM Local Time
Dim the Lights
Thursday, June 1, 2023 7:25 PM Local Time
Level 23 started
Thursday, June 1, 2023 7:08 PM Local Time
The remaining three players are now headed off on a 15-minute break.
Thursday, June 1, 2023 7:04 PM Local Time
Kornuth Dodges the River to Double
Alexandre Vuilleumier limped in with before Chance Kornuth raised to 660,000 holding . Vuilleumier called to see the flop.
He checked over to Kornuth, who continued for 200,000. Vuilleumier called as the fell on the turn.
Vuilleumier now led out for 500,000 and Kornuth raised to 1,600,000 with his pair of aces. Vuilleumier then moved all in with a straight draw and Kornuth leaned back in his chair and waited for a count before calling off his last 2,260,000.
The river brought the and Vuilleumier missed his draw as Kornuth doubled up.
Thursday, June 1, 2023 6:52 PM Local Time
Axel Hallay Eliminated in 4th Place ($363,326)
Action folded to Sean Winter in the small blind who raised enough to put big blind Axel Hallay all in. Hallay took a look at his cards and called for his last 855,000.
Hallay was dominated and fell further behind on the flop as Winter made a pair of kings.
"Take off the mic. Ten of hearts on the turn," Chance Kornuth said. "Nah, that's too many outs. Deuce of hearts on the turn."
Sure enough, the fell on the turn. "It works every time. It's so sick," Winter said as Hallay picked up a flush draw.
The river, though, came the and Hallay, who began the day as an overwhelming chip leader, was eliminated in fourth place.
Thursday, June 1, 2023 6:48 PM Local Time
Winter Finds Another Double
Sean Winter raised to 975,000 from the cutoff, leaving 1,130,000 behind. Axel Hally then jammed for 3,355,000 from the button. Action folded back to Winter who called for his tournament life.
Winter was at risk once more, but he found another way to survive again as he paired up on the runout. Winter now has a stack of 4,700,000, which is quite the spin up from the 300,000 he had just moments ago.
Thursday, June 1, 2023 6:36 PM Local Time
Ren Lin Eliminated in 5th Place ($259,220)
Chance Kornuth opened to 400,000 from the cutoff and called when Ren Lin jammed for 1,910,000 from the button.
Kornuth, who failed to eliminate Lin several times late last night, had the best of it. And he managed to finally down his opponent after making quads on the runout.
Thursday, June 1, 2023 6:35 PM Local Time
Winter Goes Runner-Runner for a Double, Then Doubles Again
Sean Winter limped in, leaving himself just 100,000 behind, then called all in when Axel Hallay on the button raised to 300,000.
The flop was a disaster for Winter as Hallay made top pair. Winter was already tapping the felt and getting up from his seat as the on the turn gave him a small glimmer of hope to avoid elimination.
The fell on the river and Winter made his miracle runner-runner straight to stay alive.
The next hand, Winter raised to 700,000 from under the gun, then called off his last 400,000 when Chance Kornuth reraised.
Winter was ahead this time and took an almost insurmountable lead in the hand as the flop gave him top set. The fell on the turn and Kornuth now picked up a straight draw.
"It was nice playing with you. Lady Gaga," Kornuth said as Winter walked over to shake his hand.
"I forgot you could win," Winter said in disbelief.
The river, though, came the and Winter doubled up yet again.
Thursday, June 1, 2023 6:25 PM Local Time
Vuilleumier Leaves Winter with 1.5 Big Blinds
Sean Winter raised to 435,000 from the button with , and Alexandre Vuilleumier defended his big blind with .
Vuilleumier made top pair on the flop and check-called for 725,000.
On the turn, the action checked through to the river. Vuilleumier improved to top two pair while Winter rivered a pair of queens.
Vuilleumier led for 1,790,000, swelling the pot to 4,410,000. Winter thought over his options, and then fireworks began to ignite as he jammed as the bigger stack.
Vuilleumier, with 5,350,000 behind, called for his tournament life after some thinking time and scooped in the biggest pot of the tournament so far.
Thursday, June 1, 2023 6:18 PM Local Time
Kornuth Hero-Calls Lin's Triple Barrel Bluff
Chance Kornuth limped in with and Ren Lin checked with .
"Seven-three miss everything," Lin said as the flop came .
"Can you beat seven-three," Kornuth asked after checking over to Lin.
"You have seven-high, right? I think I have the best hand right now," Lin replied as he bet 160,000. Kornuth called with king-high to see the turn.
Both players laughed at the sight of the seven and Kornuth checked again. Lin fired out another 375,000 and Kornuth called yet again.
The river came the and Lin put in a third stab at the pot, this time for 950,000. Kornuth went through several time banks before he grabbed a stack of chips and slammed them in the middle.
"You really called me with king-high? I know you have king-high," Lin said as he ran over to Kornuth and began patting him on the back after the incredible hero-call.
Thursday, June 1, 2023 6:14 PM Local Time
Level 22 started
Thursday, June 1, 2023 6:08 PM Local Time
Vuilleumier Flops the Nuts
Sean Winter opened to 320,000 from the cutoff with and was called Alexandre Vuilleumier from the small blind who had . Chance Kornuth also called from the big blind with .
Vuilleumier had the nut straight following the the flop and action checked to Winter, who bet 680,000. Vuilleumier raised to 1,700,000 and both players quickly folded.
Thursday, June 1, 2023 6:02 PM Local Time
Winter and Hallay Battle Again
Sean Winter opened to 450,000 from the small blind with and Axel Hallay defended the big blind with .
Winter sized up to 900,000 on the flop and Hallay called to boost the pot to 2,860,000.
The turn paired the board and action checked through to the river, which also checked through to showdown and Hallay received a small rebate.