The World Poker Tour’s arrival in Paris for the WPT Prime Main Event was a cause of celebration for the poker world. With French players not having hosted a major poker tournament like it for some time, there was a party atmosphere in the French capital from the first card off the deck to the final river card that confirmed home country hero Fabrice Bigot as the 2023 WPT Prime Paris champion!
Winning over $194,000, the Frenchman defeated his compatriot Sabare Atmani heads-up for a brilliant win on Sunday night.
Formidable Footfall Shoot for Glory
A massive total of 1,071 entries made the 2023 WPT Prime Paris Main Event formidable from the off, and by the time the final 137 players were reached, play was already in the money, with anyone making Day 2 making profit as well as the penultimate day. With a minimum payout of $1,886 plenty of an uptick on the €1,100 entry fee, by the time the final table was reached, every player was guaranteed to win at least $24,129.
The first player to bust the final eight was Timothee Scotti. He won that prize when moving all-in from the hijack position with queen-ten offsuit. Called by Hakim Chniyat with ace-jack, the board wasn’t kind to the at risk player, a flop of J-3-2 setting Scotti far behind. A nine on the turn offered false hope with the open-ended straight draw a shot back into the game, but a six on the river spelt doom for Scotti.
Five orbits later, Scotti was joined on the rail by his conqueror. Chniyat moved in under-the-gun with ace-king of clubs but was unlucky to have run into the pocket aces of Alexandre Le Vaillant and despite a king on the flop, those ‘pocket rockets’ more than took off, eliminating Chniyat for a score of $30,709 in seventh place.
Labat Loses at Last Chance Saloon
With six players remaining, the eventual winner Fabrice Bigot had a sizeable lead, sitting on 76 big blinds, with his nearest challenger Federico Cirillo (48 big blinds) the only other player with more than half of the leader’s stack. Portuguese player Manuel Coimbra only had 21 big blinds and was forced into action after Antoine Labat managed a double-up through Cirillo with ace-king dominating king-queen.
Coimbra, suddenly looking short stacked, knew he couldn’t fade into the background like his pale-yellow hoodie and moved all-in from the small blind. It was right to do so, as well, with Sabare Atmani’s call from the big blind with the inferior king-three giving the Portuguese player hope of a reprieve and a double-up of his own. A three on the flop doomed Coimbra, whose efforts were rewarded with a cash of $39,483.
Labat had laddered to fifth place, but wearing a stunning WPT Prime Paris branded hat and jersey, he could go no further. All-in with ace-nine of hearts, Labat needed a lot of help when he was up against Bigot’s ace-queen. He got no luck at all as a queen leapt out of the gate and no assistance came for Labat across turn and river either, meaning he left with $51,548.
Bigot Sees Off Capital Challengers
A huge push for glory saw each of the final four hopefuls play their part at the Circus Club Paris. Eventually, however, one of them would miss out on a podium place and that man was the Italian, Cirillo. He added $69,096 to his considerable live winnings of ten times that amount when his pocket aces failed to hold against the 10-7 of Atmani, the flop giving the latter two pair which held through 4th and 5th street to reduce the field to three.
Le Vaillant left in third place, cashing for $92,128 when an ill-timed bluff with queen-nine on a board of J-J-2 ran into Bigot’s jack-nine which made a full house when another deuce landed on the turn. That gave Bigot a healthy lead heading into the final duel with a stack of 22,250,000 chips, the equivalent of 89 big blinds to Atmani’s 9.9 million (40 big blinds).
On a final flop of J-T-9, Atmani check-raised all-in with 10-7 for middle pair with a gutshot straight draw, while Bigot made the call with ace-jack for top pair, top kicker. No help arrived for Atmani on turn or river and while he was left with a handshake and $123,934 – both fine consolations – it was Fabrice Bigot who became the latest WPT Prime champion! He won the $194,390 top prize, which includes his $10,400 entry into the season-ending WPT World Championship which is slated for December in Las Vegas.
You can watch the entire final table replayed right here on the World Poker Tour YouTube channel:
2023 WPT Prime Paris Main Event Final Table Results:
|Alexandre Le Vaillant