Mohsin Charania came back from the bring of defeat to overcome a 7:1 chip deficit in heads up action against Vasili Firsau to reign supreme at the bwin World Poker Tour (WPT) Grand Prix de Paris.The final table of the Season XII bwin WPT Grand Prix de Paris was such a foregone conclusion that I had already written this article praising the champion Vasili Firsau for a superlative show of strength and superiority on his way to capturing his first major title.
For once I am delighted to be doing double the work for the same price, as Mohsin Charania overcame all of the odds to wrench the title away from Firsau in a quite unbelievable heads-up phase that changed the headlines of the preconceived poker news outlets.
Vasili Firsau had led the tournament since the end of Day 3, had waltzed into the final table with over 50% of the chips in play, and knocked every single player out of the competition to take a 7:1 chip lead into the final phase of play against Charania.
There is no doubting Charania’s skill and experience, but when your opponent has you all-in for your last 600,000 chips with just a 6% chance of escaping from a chokehold that is going to kill your WPT dreams, it’s normally all over bar the shouting.
That’s exactly what happened when Charania was all-in holding [Qh] [4h] versus Firsau holding [Ah] [6d]. The flop of [As] [Ts] [3h] gave Firsau top pair and a 92% probability that he would become the next WPT Champion. By the time the [2c] had hit the deck on the turn those odds had increased to 94%, and then with Charania’s rail baying for a five, the [5d] flew out of the deck, landed on the felt and his rail went bananas.
Up until that point Firsau was monstrous in his pursuit of the championship. He eliminated Kimmo Kurko JJ>AQ, Christina Lindley AA>AK, Elliot Smith JJ>A6 and Peter Apostolou AK>QQ to leave just Mohsin Charania between himself and the title.
After Charania hit his miracle wheel card, Firsau fell apart. He didn’t win a single pot of note and in the 28th Level Charania took the chip lead for the first time in the contest, and after pummeling the Belarusian for the next level we had the final all-in and call that would crown the next champion.
It was pocket tens for Charania, ace-queen for Firsau and the board roan out [7h] [7c] [3c] [8c] [2c] to hand Charania the most unlikely victory and $469,477 in prize money.
1st – Mohsin Charania – $469,477
2nd – Vasili Firsau – $317,867
3rd – Peter Apostolou – $204,432
4th – Elliot Smith – $151,359
5th – Christina Lindley – $113,614
6th – Kimmo Kurko – $90,845