The Grand Prix de Paris at the Aviation Club de France was always one of the favorite stops on the World Poker Tour for players and fans. But when France changed its laws several years ago, the WPT canceled its arrangement and deleted the stop from its schedule. However, new laws are in place at this time, and the WPT recently announced its return to the Aviation Club in May of 2010, and a successful return it was.
The WPT Grand Prix de Paris was presented in conjunction with PartyPoker.fr, and the series offered a number of events, though the WPT was there for the €10,000 buy-in Main Event as well as the €20,000 buy-in high roller tournament, both of which were being filmed for television. The exclusive Aviation Club on the Champs-Elysees was prepared for the influx of players from around the world, and action got underway for the Main Event on May 8.
Day 1A was the first of two starting days and brought 106 players to the tables, with names like Ludovic Lacay, Olivier Busquet, Nicholas Levy, Roberto Romanello, Antoine Saout, Arnaud Mattern, Antony Lellouche, and Sorel Mizzi in the field. Play moved through the day with six 90-minute levels. And only 53 of the players made it to the end of the night, though, and reports concluded that Fabrice Touil was the chip leader with a little more than 200,000 chips.
Day 1B added another 141 players to the tables, making for a total field of 247 players and a prize pool of €2,347,797 million. The top 27 players were scheduled to be paid from that sum, and the winner looked to take home €633,902. Among the second starting day’s players were Theo Jorgensen, Isabelle Mercier, Freddy Deeb, Bertrand “ElkY” Grospellier, John Juanda, Casey Kastle, Alexander Kravchenko, Andrew Feldman, and Josh “JJProdigy” Field. According to numbers given in reports, there were 74 players still standing at the end of the day, and Iulien Iacob was the chip leader with approximately 180,000 chips.
Day 2 brought all 127 players back to the casino, and as the action progressed, there were a number of players who ended their tournament, such as Feldman, Deeb, Mizzi, Lacay, Jason Lester, Tommy Vedes, Praz Bansi, and Jeff Sarwer. Ultimately, only 48 players had the opportunity to bag their chips at the end of the day. And with official chip counts reported, Antoine Amourette was the day’s chip leader with 489,400 chips, followed closely by Iulian Iacob and his 474,700. Rounding out the top five were Jimmy Ostensson, Andrew Teng, and Arnaud Mattern.
Day 3 started with those 48 players, but among those early to exit were Mikhail Smirnov, Mathieu Bernard, Alain Roy, and Kevin Eyster. As the money bubble approached, Stephane Albertini and Nicolas Babel followed out the door. Just before hand-for-hand play began, Steven Van Zadelhoff eliminated Iulian Iacob with J-4 over A-K when the river brought a straight and flush for the former, and Iacob was gone in 29th place. Hand-for-hand then pushed on for quite awhile before a player was eliminated, but it was finally Stuart Rutter all-in preflop with against the of Theo Jorgensen, but the board came for the flopped flush. Rutter finished the tournament in 28th place.
Play continued as Olivier Chaignard became the first player to cash, taking home €11,740 for the 27th place finish, and Guillaume de la Gorce left in 26th place. With 25 players remaining and an end to Level 15, the tournament staff called the action for the day. Jimmy Ostensson was the chip leader with 719,000,
Day 4 saw the tournament play down quicker than anticipated, beginning with the almost immediate elimination of Thomas Nielsen in 25th place, which was worth a payout of €11,740. As the day continued, Antony Lellouche left in 23rd place, Christophe Benzimra was gone in 15th, Andrew Teng left in 14th, Alexander Kravchenko was ousted in 13th, Patrick Bruel was eliminated in 12th, and Steven van Zadelhoff busted in 11th. After Quinn Savage left in tenth, the final nine players were seated together and played until Ilan Boujenah put his tournament life at risk with against the pocket jacks of Theo Jorgensen. The board blanked with , sending Boujenah out in ninth place with €58,695. And with that, the final table was set, though it wasn’t scheduled to be played until Saturday. With a television production crew to consider, the players and media were given two days off to enjoy Paris before returning on Saturday, May 15 to finish the tournament.
When the players returned on that date, their starting chip counts were as follows:
|Seat 1: ||Mickael Guenni ||538,000 |
|Seat 2:||Theo Jorgensen||2,693,000 |
|Seat 3: ||Antoine Amourette||489,000|
|Seat 4: ||Per Linde||584,000 |
|Seat 5: ||Jimmy Ostensson ||436,000|
|Seat 6: ||Nourredine Aitaleb|| 810,000 |
|Seat 7:||Fabrice Touil||1,183,000|
|Seat 8: ||Arnaud Mattern||678,000 |
In the midst of Level 22, with blinds at 10,000/20,000 and a 3,000 ante, action got underway.
Several of the short stacks were ready to move from the start, and one who received a caller was Linde, who got it all-in with pocket deuces against the pocket kings of Touil, and with Jorgensen having folded a deuce, the one-outer did hit on the river to give Linde the double-up. But Touil came back a short time later to double through Guenni with A-J over pocket kings when an ace came on the flop. Amourette also doubled through Jorgensen.
It was on the 26th hand of the table that Ostensson made his attempt. With only 354K chips, he pushed all-in from the button with -, and Touil called with - from the small blind. The board came , and the two pair of Touil was good enough to take the pot. Jimmy Ostensson was the first to leave the final table, exiting in eighth place with €70,435.
The next at risk was well-known pro Mattern, who had been unable to gain much momentum at the table. He pushed all-in from the big blind with his short stack holding , but original raiser Amourette didn’t hesitate to call with . The board blanked with , and Arnaud Mattern left in seventh place with €82,175.
Guenni had taken control of the table, making consistent raises and using sheer aggression to climb the leaderboard.
Aitaleb wasn’t having the same success. After a raise from Linds, Aitaleb pushed all-in from the small blind, and Linde called with , which was ahead of the of Aitaleb. The dealer brought them a board of , and that eliminated Nourredine Aitaleb in sixth place, which was worth a payout of €93,910.
Amourette was the next to climb, especially after winning the largest pot of the table against Jorgensen, which put Amourette just under the 2 million mark. Guenni then took the reins again, this time doubling through Linde, but Jorgensen put a stop to Guenni’s aggression by making moves back and slowing things down.
Players then left for a 90-minute dinner break, at which point Jorgensen boasted of 2.2 million and the chip lead, followed by Amourette and 1.94 million, Linde with 1.5 million, Guenni at 940K, and Touil holding on to 856K.
Amourette had made it into the chip lead when play resumed by quite a few chips, but Jorgensen soon tangled with him, and the biggest pot of the tournament developed with Jorgensen and his pocket kings doubling through Amourette’s pocket sevens for the 3.3 million-chip pot.
The short-stacked Amourette doubled through Touil to stay alive, and Guenni then doubled through Jorgensen to do the same.
Touil doubled again, this time through Linde, but he still had only 10 big blinds. Soon after, Touil pushed once more, this time with . Jorgensen made the call with , and it looked like another double-up until the board completed with to give Jorgensen two pair. Fabrice Touil was eliminated in fifth place with €140,870.
Guenni then went on a run, doubling through Linde, then through Amourette, but he still couldn’t seem to rise about the 600K mark at that point in the game. He finally moved again, this time with . But Jorgensen made the call with , and he was going to need to improve for another chance to stay in it. But the board came , and Mikhael Guenni was gone in fourth place with €187,825.
Amourette had been whittled down to only 325K, and he made his attempt with against the of Linde. It worked for the double, and Linde was left with about 300K.
Linde then pushed all-in soon after with , but Jorgensen called with a dominating . The flop came , which gave Jorgensen the straight, and the on the turn left no other cards necessary. Per Linde was out of the tournament in third place with €234,780.
Heads-up play began with the following approximate chip counts:
|Theo Jorgensen ||6,000,000 |
|Antoine Amourette||600,000 |
And the battle only lasted three hands. Amourette pushed all-in once, but Jorgensen didn’t make the call. On the third hand, Amourette did it again, this time with . Jorgensen made the call with and had the significant advantage. The flop came , which gave Amourette the lead with the pair of sixes, but the dropped on the turn to give Jorgensen top pair. A was dealt on the river, which ended the tournament with Antoine Amourette taking home €328,690 for the second place finish.
Theo Jorgensen became the WPT Grand Prix de Paris winner. He was awarded a whopping €633,902 in first place prize money, a trophy, and WPT title for the accomplishment.