They say you always remember your first time, and for Aubin Cazals, a 21 year-old online poker pro from Malta, Event #6 at the WSOP was a first time experience he will never forget.
Making his first trip to Las Vegas, French-born Cazals not only collected his first gold bracelet and $480,564 in prize money at his first WSOP, but he did it in an event being introduced for the first time; the $5,000 Mixed Max event.
The format of the Mixed Max event was something different, with the number of players at the table decreasing from 9 to 6 players until Heads-Up play was reached. The first day 409 entrants played nine-handed matches with Cazals finishing with 63,600 chips. The second day play was six-handed, which continued through an unscheduled fifth day, and saw Cazals emerge with 340,000 in chips, putting put him 5th out of the final 32 players entering Heads-Up play.
Taking his place among the final 32, Cazals’ first match put him going head-to-head with last year’s fourth place finisher in the $25,000 Heads-Up event, Eric Froehlich. In spite of Froehlich’s experience, Cazals sent him to the rail after less than two levels of play before slaying Toby Lewis, Adam Geyer, and enduring an intense nine hour battle with Warwick Mirzikinian.
On Day 5, it was 2010 November Niner Joseph Cheong’s turn. After five hours of play, Cheong had to settle for runner-up status when Cazals’ pocket Kings beat his pocket fours, securing Cazals title as the first $5,000 Mixed Max WSOP Champion in history.
PokerNews' Sarah Grant captured a moment of Cazal's time:
The final 44 players finished in the money, with the top 10 earning the following:
Read the full tournament report at PokerNews Live Reporting.
Event #6 Trivia: The first Mixed Max event was offered at the 2011 WSOP Europe. The inaugural event was won by an American. The debut of the event in the USA at this year’s WSOP, was won by a Frenchman.