Frenchman wins record-setting PLO tournament at WSOP, collects $292,825

16 June 2011

French poker players have struck again! They are looting Las Vegas of currency and treasure!

The poker bandits reportedly landed at Las Vegas McCarran two weeks ago. Until yesterday, the band of stealthy desperados remained inconspicuous. No one at the Rio in Las Vegas seemed to notice or paid any attention to them. Tens of thousands of poker players who gathered for the 2011 World Series of Poker didn’t see them coming.

On Tuesday night, Bertrand 'ElkY' Grospellier won the $10,000 Seven-Card Stud World Championship, earning his first-ever WSOP gold bracelet. On Wednesday, Elie Payan, won the $1,500 buy-in Pot-Limit Omaha championship. The tournament — the largest pot-limit Omaha tournament in poker history — boasted 1,071 players, with Payan taking home a whopping $292,825. Remarkably, this was the first WSOP tournament Payan had ever entered. The mark had been set in the same event last year, when 885 players entered.

Rafe Kibrit, from Buffalo Grove, Ill, was the runner up. He previously worked as a floor trader before playing poker professionally. He is a 25-year-old alum of Indiana University. He has several online poker wins. This was his best showing at the WSOP, which paid $181,222.

David Sands, formerly a top-ranked online poker tournament player now living in Las Vegas, Nev., finished in third place for $113,383. Sands works as an Internet marketing analyst when he’s not playing poker.

Juha Vilkki of Espoo, Finland, finished fourth, Stephen Wolfe, a software consultant from Dallas, Texas, was fifth, Emil Patel, a poker pro from New York, N.Y., was sixth, Cody Munger, formerly an online poker pro from Jacksonville, Fla., finished in seventh place,
Jeff Sarwer, a professional from Helsinki, Finland, was eighth, and Roland Israelashvili, a two-time WSOP Circuit gold ring winner from Forest Hills, N.Y., finished in ninth place.

The top 117 finishers collected prize money. Former gold bracelet winners who cashed in the tournament included: were – Ryan Welch (14th), Quinn Do (15th), Rob Hollink (70th), “Captain” Tom Franklin (84th), David Chiu (100th), and Peter Smurfit (117th).

Tournament summary provided by Nolan Dalla, WSOP Media Director, reprinted by permission.

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