Duval becomes latest Canadian to win at WSOP, claims $521,202

18 June 2013

Two weeks ago, Charles-Andrew Sylvestre was playing at a World Series of Poker final table competing for his first gold bracelet.

Few observers noticed a fellow French Canadian sitting in the crowd, cheering his friend to victory. That dedicated supporter was Jason Duval, who celebrated Sylvestre's win as though it were his own. Little did Duval know then that such a moment of triumph would be relived again a short time later, on the same ESPN stage, with even more prize money as the reward.

“I could not imagine winning,” Duval said afterward about watching his pal win a gold bracelet. “Sure, I was hoping I could win one, but not a 2,100-player tournament.”

With the vivid memory of Sylvestre and five other Canadian poker players in the elite class of gold bracelet winners at the 2013 WSOP, Duval added yet another definitive chapter to the growing legacy of Canada as a poker tournament superpower. Forget Americans or any of the other hundred or so nations who send players to the WSOP. Canadian players are cornering the market on gold bracelets.

Duval's victory came in a $1,500 buy-in No-Limit Hold'em event. He collected $521,202 in prize money, plus his first WSOP title.

Duval cashed two times at this series coming into the three-day tourney that ran from Saturday through Monday. When he sat down at the final table, he had to feel a sense of destiny in the making.

“I really wanted to win this,” Duval said. “I had come close in (a European Poker Tour) event. So, this time I wanted to win it because I had so many people here cheering for me. I didn't want to let them down.”

Duval is a 23-year-old poker pro and college student. He has been playing full time for about two years. Duval is currently attending Laval University in Quebec, where he is majoring in business. He plans to continue his studies and earn his degree.

Duval defeated Majid Yahyaei, who collected $324,442 as a consolation prize. Masayuki Nagata was third for $225,521, James Lee was fourth for $162,420, and Tommy Townsend was fifth for $118,707. Other final table finisher included Dan Martin (sixth), Steve Bartlett (seventh), Daniel Bishop (eighth) and Joseph Cappuccio (ninth).

The tournament drew 2,115 players, with the top 216 finishing in the money. Notable players who finished in the money but did not make the final table include TJ Cloutier (13th), Eoghan O'Dean (23rd), Olivier Busquet (26th), James Woods (54th), Eric Baldwin (60th), Erica Shoenberg (73rd), Phil Collins (80th), Men Nguyen (156th) and Joe Cada (211st).

Tournament recap modified from a report by WSOP Media Director Nolan Dalla, used by permission.

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