What country possesses the worse poker players in the world?
If you ask Tony G that question he will tell you that France is the home of the worse players. To prove a point, Tony G, organised a six-player sit n go to be held in the Aviation Club de Paris (ACF). It was billed as Tony G versus France. The winner would be given a free entry into the €10,000 high roller event at the ACF WPT National Series – courtesy of PartyPoker.fr.
The line up consisted of Bruno “The King” Fitoussi, WPT Bucharest champion Guillaume Darcourt, Yann Courtet from Club Poker, Gabriel Nassif from Poker Strategy, Leonard Martin from Poker Academie and Tony G himself – or in the words of the great man “Five Donkeys versus Tony G!”
The game started with plenty of acoustics coming from the mouths of Tony G, Bruno Fitoussi and Guillame Darcourt. Their throats obviously lubricated at the European Poker Awards held earlier on in the evening. Courtet, Nassif and Martin seemed nervous and at times in awe.
Tony G started off with a VPIP of 100% but unfortunately couldn’t win a single hand until he straddled from under the gun and everyone folded! In order to try and get his game going Tony G ordered some cognac.
“What is the largest tip anyone has ever given in this place?” Asked Tony G
Someone told him that it was €100.
“That is ridiculous. Here, have €1,000 for bringing my drink.” Tony G told the waiter who was standing with his tongue hanging out of the side of his mouth.
“Is he serious?” asked the waiter.
He was serious and the grinning waiter scurried away with his €1k chip before Tony G could change his mind. Leonard Martin soon became the butt of everyone’s jokes at the table. He was sat rigid, with shades on, refusing to speak with his yellow cuddly toy in front of him as a mascot. Darcourt put his shades on, placed a bottle of Orangina in front of him to replicate the cuddly toy and mimicked Martin’s posture. It was a funny sight and everyone was laughing – except Martin!
As level four was drawing to an end Yann Courtet had the most chips on the table but that doesn’t necessarily make him a great player. Just ask Tony G.
“I am the only player on this table who can be the best in the world. Well, except Bruno. No, I take that back. Bruno you are just too old!”
Tony G had been telling Leonard Martin that he had better win this tournament because he had been playing so tight. Then Martin won an important pot against Darcourt.
Fitoussi raised to 500 from early position and Martin three-bet to 1,400 and Darcourt and Fitoussi called. The flop was and Fitoussi checked to Martin who bet 2,200 and only Darcourt called. The turn was the and Martin bet 5,500 and Darcourt called. The river was and this time Martin checked and Darcourt put the youngster to the test with a 9,000 bet. Martin called and showed down for a set and Darcourt showed for a pair.
In the next hand Darcourt moved his last remaining chips in the middle with and Bruno Fitoussi called with and Darcourt was our first player eliminated.
After Darcourt left it all went very quiet. It seemed splitting up the three musketeers (Tony G/Darcourt/Fitoussi) was a bad thing for the banter around the table.
Courtet tried to steal Fitoussi’s big blind and The King gave him a warning with a 16,000 three-bet! Courtet didn’t steal another one for a while! Tony G’s stack kept reducing in line with the volume on the table and he just couldn’t win a pot. All of the chips kept heading in the direction of Fitoussi and Martin. Then Jesse May turned up in the crowd in support of Tony G.
“What has happened to your stack? Tony, Sometimes this game is about more than cards. You have to use the power of your personality.” Said May.
Then at the end of level eight Martin lost the majority of his stack to Nassif in a pre flop shoving contest. Nassif held and Martin held . The board came . The king of hearts giving Nassif the pot and crippling Martin in the process.
In the very first hand of level nine Courtet raised to 1,500 and Tony G moved all-in for his last 7,000 and Courtet called. Courtet held [kx][jx]and Tony G held [jx][9x]. There was no nine on the board for Tony G and he was eliminated from his own challenge and left looking tired and ready for bed.
Predictably when Tony G’s tournament life died so did the tournament as a spectacle. The next four levels consisted of Bruno Fitoussi hammering Martin at every possible opportunity and Gabriel Nassif controlling the action on the table.
Then Yann Courtet was eliminated at the hands of Nassif. Nassif raised to 2,600 and Courtet moved all-in. Fitoussi asked for a count and it was 22,000. For a long while it looked like Fitoussi was going to call but eventually he didn’t like his position at the table (two players left to act) so he folded. It turns out it was a wise decision because Nassif had and called immediately. Courtet turned over and despite a flush draw appearing on the turn he was eliminated in 4th place.
With Martin now extremely short it looked like Nassif and Fitoussi would fight it out for the €10,000 high roller seat. That was until Martin doubled up three times in succession. Just before the end of level 16 Nassif and Martin were neck and neck with Fitoussi just a little way behind.
Then in the first hand of level 17 Martin raised to 9,000 on the button and all three players ended up all-in pre flop.
Full house for Nassif!
The dealer checked the chip count and Nassif had eliminated both players to earn his seat in the €10,000 high roller at the WPT National Series later on in the evening.
So are French players still the worse players in the world?
We caught up with a waiter in the bar sipping expensive cognac from a glass and asked him.
“No way! Tony G is the greatest player in the world!” Said the waiter.
The Tony G Challenge Image Gallery[miniflickr photoset_id=”72157626043711312″]