Just a day after Bertrand ‘ElkY’ Grospellier earned his triple crown, fellow Frenchman Elie Payan has taken the World Series of Poker’s Event #22, the $1,500 Pot Limit Omaha championship. With 1,071 players buying in, the event was the largest PLO field in WSOP history, but the 27-year-old Payan outlasted them all – including runner-up Rafe Kirbit — to earn his first career bracelet and a healthy $292K. Considering Payan’s previous biggest tournament cash was just shy of $23k at the 2008 International Poker Open, it’s a fair assumption he’s sporting a fairly large ‘baguette’ at the moment.
Event #23, the $2,500 8-Game Mix, has been taken by yet another first-time bracelet buddy, John Monnette. (For any overeager Francophones who assumed Monnette was a countryman of Grospelier and Payan, pardon, mais non, the dude’s from California.) From a field of 489, it came down to Monnette and Eric Buchman, but heads-up action lasted less than half an hour before Monnette took the gold and the $278k cash. Monnette has played in the WSOP since 2005, making three final table appearances, including finishing runner-up to Phil Ivey at a 2009 2-7 Lowball event. Monnette referred to that second-place finish as “pretty depleting,” but we assume this victory has helped restore some of Monette’s mojo.
A lot of media attention was being focused on Event #25, the $1,500 Seven Card Stud Eight-Or-Better, for the simple reason that two media personalities – Norman Chad and Mike Sexton – made the final two tables. Sadly, Chad was eliminated in 12th place, but Sexton is among the remaining nine players from a starting field of 606.