Antonin Teisseire secured France’s fourth World Series of Poker (WSOP) gold bracelet this year with victory in the $5,000 Triple Chance No-Limit Hold’em event on Saturday night in Las Vegas.
Teisseire, who is from La Colle in Monaco, joins Bertrand ‘ElkY’ Grospellier – the $10,000 Seven-Card Stud Championship winner – as well as $10,000 H.O.R.S.E. Championship title-holder Fabrice Soulier and Elie Payan, who picked up the $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha crown, in making this a wonderful WSOP for France.
While a regular tournament cash winner, Teisseire notched his biggest success with $825,604 in event #50, as well as his first gold bracelet, by overcoming Darryl Ronconi ($510,053), of Illinois, in heads-up play to provide the 45-year-old poker pro with one the greatest days of his life in the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino.
Known for his love of life’s finer things, Teisseire – in his first WSOP event this year – reckons that, “if eating, drinking and partying were my sport, I’d be the Phil Ivey of the game!”
He might be underplaying his poker skills, but we know what he means. Certainly, after celebrating with his supporters, Teisseire shouted that: “I have a lot of friends. I love to eat! I love to drink! I love to live life! And I don’t like to work!”
The six-year pro – who has played card games for a quarter-of-a-century, although Five-Card Draw is his favourite – outlasted 816 other entrants over four days, including Daniel Idema (70th for $10,790), Josh Arieh (69th for $10,790), Allen Bari (64th for $10,790), Pete Vilandos (63rd for $12,633), Ken Aldridge (60th for $12,633), Sam Stein (53rd for $14,937), David ‘Bakes’ Baker (32nd for $21,311), Vitaly Lunkin (28th for $21,311), Barry Greenstein (27th for $25,919), Ryan Young (21st for $25,919) and Eric Froehlich (fourth for $240,876).
The European star will definitely be aiming for a second bracelet when the $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em Championship kicks off on Thursday, but “can’t imagine” how it would feel to win the main event title as “the joy is so huge already for me now”.
The final table started with only one previous gold bracelet winner in Vegas-based pro Froehlich, who won the 2005 $1,500 Limit Hold’em event and the $1,500 Pot-Limit Omaha (with rebuys) event the following year.
But he was eliminated in fourth place, while runner-up Ronconi – who is a company executive from Chicago’s suburbs – did come close to even with Teisseire in their heads-up battle before going card dead to leave with $510,053 from his sixth WSOP cash.
The final hand saw Ronconi shove his last 1.5 million with Qs-8c, to be swiftly called by Teisseire, who held As-8h.
The Frenchman’s supporters were thrilled to see him dominate the American, while the eventual winner could only manage a wide-eyed stare as the realisation dawned on him that he was just five cards from WSOP glory.
But the flop fell 10s-Qh-3h to silence the French fans as an amazed Ronconi took the lead with top pair. However, with the 2h on the turn, Teisseire now had many more outs to the flush – and his fans began chanting: “Couer! Couer!” as they hoped for a heart on the river.
The 9h duly arrived and Teisseire ran across the stage to be engulfed by his rail as the celebrations began, while Ronconi – oblivious to the chaos surrounding him – remained alone staring dejectedly at the board that had left him one spot short of os own first WSOP bracelet.
With his victory, Teisseire became the eighth French to win a WSOP bracelet, following on from Soulier, Payan, Grospellier, Vanessa Hellebuyck, David Benyamine, Gilbert Gross and Patrick Bruel.
The leading 81 entrants collected money, with three-time gold bracelet winner Greenstein moving to tied 11th on the all-time cash list on 51, while Moscow’s Lunkin – a two-time gold bracelet winner – has now cashed 15 times since the 2009 WSOP.
Top 10 placings and payouts from the WSOP 2011 $5,000 Triple Chance No-Limit Hold’em event:
1. Antonin Teisseire (France) – $825,604
2. Darryl Ronconi (USA) – $510,053
3. Adam Geyer (USA) – $328,810
4. Eric Froehlich (USA) – $240,876
5. Narendra Banwari (USA) – $179,054
6. Vanessa Peng (USA) – $134,895
7. Mikhail Yakovlev (Russia) – $102,870
8. Andrew Savitz (USA) – $79,370
9. James Routos (USA) – $61,899
10. Michael Fosco (USA) – $48,843