Matt Waxman Becomes First American to Win WPT Paris
Elizabeth | United Kingdom | Tuesday 13th September 2011, 20:10 | 0 Comment
Since the World Poker Tour first went to Paris during its inaugural year, an American has never won the title there-- until this year, when US-born Matt Waxman made WPT history by snagging the title and the €518,750 prize for first place. Waxman managed to get a healthy chip lead and eliminate his competition, including Martin Jacobson, who was the most experienced poker player at the final table but busted early after coming into the game extremely short-stacked.
Jacobson was the first player eliminated from the six-handed final table when, feeling the pressure as his short stack was eaten away by blinds, went all-in on AJ against Mikko Sundell, who held pocket Jacks. The cards didn't hold anything to help Jacobson out, and he went home with €88,900. Despite the gain in chips, Sundell lost most of them shortly thereafter to Waxman, who left Kaverman to finish up the job. Sundell went all-in with K6 against Kaverman's AJ with 5d5c8h showing on the board. A J on the turn and a 2 on the river meant that Sundell was the fifth place finisher with €133,330. Kaverman would be the next to go, this time at the hands of Fred Magen, who called Kaverman's all-in bet and managed to pull a straight out of his hat. Kaverman went home with €155,550.
Spectators and players were beginning to notice a trend. Sundell had eliminated Jacobson. Kaverman then eliminated Sundell. Next, Magen eliminated Kaverman. One has to imagine that Magen, even if he's not a superstitious kind of guy, had to feel a little nervous as the play went on, down to three players-- if the trend continued, he would surely be the next one out. Magen, Lemaire, and Waxman played for quite some time before Magan tried to steal the pot by bidding too much, and Waxman went all in. He would take the pot with Ace high, and Magan would leave in third place with €211,100.
Finally, the game had come to heads up competition. Neither Matt Waxman or Hugo Lemaire had a record of substantial wins before, and it may well have been anyone's game, had Waxman not had a substantial chip lead. The American held 7,863,000 chips, while the Frenchman had a mere 1,550,000, and Waxman would use this to his advantage to bait Lemaire and force his hand. When Lemaire was forced into a call on the third hand of heads up play, Waxman made the flush draw that he needed and sent Lemaire home with €311,100 and an entry to WPT Amneville (€3,500 value). Meanwhile, Waxman collected a new title, a moment in poker history, €518,750, and a seat in the WPT World Championship Event for 2012.
Past winners of the World Poker Tour Paris events have been Christer Johansson of Sweden (Season 1), Frenchman David Benyamine (Season 2), Brits Surinder Sunar and Roland de Wolfe (Seasons 3 and 4, respectively), Christian Grundtvig of Denmark (Season 5), and Theo Jorgensen of Norway (Season 9—the WPT bowed out of Paris in Seasons 6-8). Not only has no American won before Maxman, but the final table in this event has never been dominated by Americans, as often happens in so many other locales in this and other poker tours. The vast majority of the final table seats since the beginning of the tournament have gone to the French, the British, and the Scandinavians, with very few exceptions (noteworthy Americans who have made final tables at the WPT Paris in the past include Allen Cunningham, Erick Lindgren, and Alan Goehring). In last year's WPT Paris, the final table saw representation from only three countries-- Denmark (1 players), Sweden (2 players), and France (5 players), making Waxman's victory this year just that much more remarkable.
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