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Welcome to WPT Grand Prix de Paris day 1A at the Aviation Club de France in Paris, France.


Play Stops On Day 1a As We Reach 70 Players

At the end of level eight the tournament director Nicolas Fraioli completed the chip race and decided to end the festivities of day 1a after one more player had been eliminated. It only took nine minutes for that to happen but while the time was eroding away Mikko Sundell was winning another 80,000 pot. This time his victim was Adrian Bussman when Sundell rivered the second nut-flush and Bussman paid him off. The result of the hand meant that Sundell finished as our chip leader with 203,800 chips.

The end of day recap can be read here.


PartyPoker Qualifier Leaps Into Contention

Regular tour pro Yann Dion, who qualified for his WPT seat playing on PartyPoker, has just leapt into the top five spots after hitting a flush that cracked his opponents pocket aces. All the money went into the middle on a flop with Dion holding . The turn was the and the river the and Dion now has more than 150,000 chips.


Arnaud Mattern Has Been Eliminated

The last ten minutes have been a seesaw for Arnaud Mattern, taking him to an ecstatic high and then to the ultimate low.

He check called three-streets on a four flush-heart, ace high board, with [ax][qx](no heart). The river call, for 40,000, was for his entire stack. Then no sooner had the media and players alike finished applauding him, he was gone, and the hand he lost was a monster.

There was a raise to 1,800 from under the gun and Mikko Sundell called in middle position. Arnaud Mattern was sat in the big blind and when it was his turn to act he three-bet to 6,250 and only Sundell called.


Mattern asked for a chip count and Sundell moved out of the way to allow Mattern to have a look. Sundell had around 70,000 behind and Mattern bet 12,650 of it. Sundell wasted no time at all to move all-in and Mattern snap-called.


“Wow, six-eight,” mouthed Mattern.

“Wow, six-eight,” mouthed the rest of the room.



“Cool, six-eight, thought Sundell!”

The dealer counted out the stacks and poor Mattern was left with sawdust and Sundell moved up to 160,000.

Then in the very next hand Mattern was all-in versus two opponents and one of them flopped a straight. It didn’t matter to Mattern who was already out of the door before the dealer had placed the final card onto the flop.


Luckless Kara Scott

The last time I watched PartyPoker Pro Kara Scott playing in a WPT event in Europe it was in Bratislava. During that event she was unlucky enough to be eliminated after flopping a set on a rainbow board. Today, that bad luck has followed her through to the Grand Prix de Paris. She lost most of her start when she flopped an under-set and has just been eliminated after hitting a [jx][6x] [jx]board whilst holding [ax][jx](her opponent had pocket sixes).


Poker Personality of the Year – Kara Scott

Recently voted poker personality of the year at the British Poker Awards, Kara Scott tells us what it means to her and also talks about her time in Paris and the WPT Grand Prix de Paris.


Mad Marvin Gets Himself The Chip Lead

Minutes ago we reported that Marvin Rettenmaier had won a big pot to get himself a big stack. Now we have just been told that he has won another big pot to elevate him to the top of our chip counts.

Rettenmaier called a three-bet in position holding . The flop came down [qx][tx][2x] (one heart) and both players checked. The turn was the and the three-bettor bet 6,000 and Rettenmaier just called. The river was the and the three-bettor bet 11,000 and Rettenmaier made it 29,000 and his opponent called. His opponent turned over pocket aces and Rettenmaier now has a stack of 170,000


Mad Marvin Gets Himself a Stack

Ever since Marvin Rettenmaier shouted “Go Mike Sexton” during his final speech at WPT Venice he has been known as “Mad” Marvin Rettenmaier. The poker globetrotter may well be mad but when given chips he can play a bit as well. Rettenmaier now has some chips after a monster pot against an unknown player christened “Old Guy” by the mad one.

Old guy made a five “x” raise when he made it 2,500 from early position and Rettenmaier flat-called. The flop came down [2x] [8x] [9x] (with one diamond) and the old guy bet 5,000 and Rettenmaier called. The turn was the and the old guy bet 15,000 and again Rettenmaier just flat-called. The river was the [3x] and old guy moved all-in for 35,000 and Rettenmaier made the call.

Old Guy:
Rettenmaier: [ax][kx]

Rettenmaier ~ 130,000


Mike Sexton Loves the ACF

The Aviation Club de France is one of Mike Sexton’s favourite places to play poker. Why? Find out for yourself and watch this interview.


Vadim Markushevski Get’s Into the Game

Joel Constantin limped under the gun (his third successive pot), Vadim Markushevski made it 1,800 under the gun and Johaness Korsar moved all in from the next seat with a bet of around 15,000. Everyone folded quicker than the 1986 Origami champion of the world and Markushevski nonchalantly made the call. It was flip time!



The WPT Slovenia 3rd placed finisher was out and Markushevski was now up to 90,000.


Constantin Frustrates Charette

Simon Charette is pulling is hair out in the room we have christened “The Sauna”. It is stifling in there, and it will be adding to the foul mood that Charette has just found himself in after this hand.

We joined the action on the flop of and the table was waiting for Charette to make his move in the big blind when a player under the gun checked out of turn. The player duly apologised before Charette did indeed check. The person who checked out of position followed suit and Joel Constantin made it 1,800 from middle position. Action back on the grey-hooded Charette and he check-raised to the tune of 5,200. The player under the gun folded and Constantin made the call.

The turn was the and this time Constantin checked out of turn. After apologising to Charette the action was indeed checked through to the river where we saw the board paired with the . Charette had 12,300 behind when he made a value bet of 6,600. Constantin motioned for Charette to move out of the way so he could assess his stack size before moving all-in. Charette threw his hood from his head.

“Sick!” Said Charette.

Charette went through the mill and showed more hand gestures than an Italian footballer. He only had 5,700 behind and that in itself told the whole story. He knew Constantin could not have been bluffing and so he let go of his hand. A very hot but happy Constantin showed [ax][jx]and everybody else continued to sweat in the heat of the sauna.


We Have a New Chip Leader

Jean Noel Thorel is our new chip leader after winning a pre flop all-in pot worth 80,000. Thorel was holding pocket ones and his luckless opponent was holding [ax][kx]. Jean Noel Thorel now has 160,000 but watch this space! Jean Noel Thorel has been known to blow similar chip stacks in the blink of an eye. In the WPT National Series France, High Roller held in this very casino a few months ago, Jean Noel Thorel held a similar chip lead in that event but lost them not long afterwards.


Joseph Cheong

Last year he set the world alight with his wonderful run in the WSOP Main Event and this year he almost repeated his feat with another deep run. Now Cheong is in Europe with his eyes on a WPT title at the Grand Prix de Paris.

Here is he talking to one of the Royal Flush Girls: Sunisa Kim


Top Chip Counts

  • Mikko Sundell 120,000
  • Andras Kovacs 100,000
  • Dori Yacoub 93,000
  • Fred Magen 92,000
  • Jean Noel Thorel 85,000
  • Roger Haraibedian 80,000
  • Karim Abdelmounene 80,000


The WPT Welcome Party

Ever wondered what it would be like to qualify for a WPT event? What awaits the players? Well watch this video and get a little sample of what is on offer.


Deep Thought for Skripchenko

Almira Skripchenko has recently been moved to the chip leaders table and Mikko Sundell has welcomed her in his own inimitable way.

Sundell made a raise from middle position with one solitary yellow chip holding the vale of 1,000. Skripchenko was in the big blind and she made the call.


It looked like a flop that had a little something for everyone and it proved the case as Skripchenko check-called a 1,750 bet by our chip leader. Skripchenko really took her time before making the call on the flop and the same rang true on the turn. The WPT L.A Poker Classic runner-up checked to Sundell who bet 4,200. Skripchenko went into deep thought mode, counted out a raise of 15,000 and riffled it until finally folding her hand.

Sundell ~ 120,000
Skripchenko ~ 30,000


Bouncing Bussman

Adrian Bussman’s chip stack resembles a yo-yo at the moment. Just before the break the Swede was sitting with a 100,000 stack but he seems to have lost half of that in the first 40-minutes of level six. We just caught his yo-yo on the way up as this hand demonstrates.

We caught the action on the turn. The board was showing and the small blind had checked. Bussman was seated in the big blind and he also checked. It was left to Arnaud Mattern who took the aggressive stance with a bet of 2,050. All eyes averted to the player in the small blind, who called, before Bussman check-raised to 6,600. Eyes bounced back to Mattern like spectators at Roland Garros and he folded before the small blind made the call. The river was the and the small blind checked to Bussman and a 12,000 bet was enough to take down the pot.

Bussman ~ 55,000


Back From Break

We are back from our 90-minute dinner break and will be playing four more levels.


Kara Scott Has Doubled Up

Kara Scott has doubled up. We are not sure exactly how she got the majority of her chips. But we did see her pick up a smattering in the following hand.

Michel Pomaret raised to 725 from early position and Scott raised to 2,200 on the button. The action folded around to Pomaret who asked Scott for a count which she duly did and she had around 10,000 behind. The cameras were flashing in the eyes of Scott while Pomaret pondered his next move, which was to muck pocket tens face up.

“Good fold,” said the calm Scott.

Scott ~ 13,000


Top Five Chip Leaders

  • Mikko Sundell 120,000
  • Adrian Bussman 99,000
  • Roger Haraibedian 84,000
  • Karim Abdelmounene 80,000
  • Jean Noel Thorel 68,000


Kara Scott Coolered

I am sure there is more demanding professions in the world, but watching Kara Scott playing poker will do for me. Unfortunately, she is going to have to play the short stack after having most of her chips taken from under her nose in a hand that can only be described as a cooler.

Pim van Wieringen was the man who inflicted the damage and he started the action when he raised to 450 from the hijack. Scott called in the cut-off and the small blind made it a triumvirate heading to the flop.


It was a great flop for Scott who unbeknown to her opponents was holding for middle set. The small blind checked, van Wieringen bet 800 and Scott made it 2,400. The small blind folded but van Wieringen made it 5,650 and Scott just called.


Van Wieringen bet 6,100, Scott moved all-in and van Wieringen called.

When the cards were turned over Scott must have thought she was ahead but incredibly van Wieringen had for top set. The turn was no help to Scott and she was down to just under 6,000 chips.


Rettenmaier Moves All-In

Marvin Rettenmaier has just managed to sneak a bluff past the watchful eye of the young Lukus Berglund and a player who refused to give us his name.

We caught the action on a flop of and a player in the small blind checked to Berglund. The recent WPT Spanish Championship winner bet 1,700 from under the gun and Rettenmaier increased the pressure when he made it 3,325 from the next seat. The player in the small blind then check-raised to 9,500 and Berglund insta-mucked. Meanwhile Rettenmaier was in no mood to fold and instead went deep into thought. After a while the clock was called on the German and he verbally declared he was “all-in”. The small blind folded his hand and Rettenmaier showed the for what was a semi-bluff at best.


Two Hands Featuring Adrian Bussman

Adrian Bussman has just been involved in back-to-back deep pots over at table five. In the first pot there was a limp from early position before Roberto Romanello’s conqueror, Hu Gangzhou, raised to 800 from middle position before Bussman three-bet to 2,000 on the button. The limper predictably moved out of the way and Gangzhou made the call.


Gangzhou checked-called a 2,500 Bussman bet.


Gangzhou checked again and Bussman bet 5,500. Action back onto Gangzhou and he check-raised to 16,000 and Bussman made
the call.


Gangzhou checked for a third and final time and Bussman bet 17,500. Gangzhou, twisted his face, scratched his head and just when it looked like he was going to call he folded leaving himself with 58,000.

In the next hand the chip leader Mikko Sundell raised it to 500 and Bussman made the call.


Sundell bet 1,200 and Bussman (who was still stacking his new chips) made the call.


Sundell pulled back the trigger and fired a second barrel and it was for 2,600 and again the Swede made the call.


Sundell slowed down for the first time in the hand when he rapped the felt. Bussman fired out a bet of 5,600 and Sundell took his time before raising it up to 17,600! Bussman snap-called and Sundell quickly flipped over the nuts and with it extended his chip lead.

Mikko Sundell ~ 100,000
Adrian Bussman ~ 57,000


Dominykas Karmazinas Eliminated

Dominykas Karmazinas has been eliminated at the hands of Bianchi Benoit and this is how the hand went down.
Arnaud Mattern made a raise under the gun and Benoit and Karmazinas made the call.

Flop: [ax][kx][7x]

Play checked around to Karmazinas who bet 1,300, Mattern called and Benoit check-raised to 2,800. Karmazinas moved all-in for 8,000. Mattern folded and Benoit made the call.

Benoit: [7x] [7x]
Karmazinas: [ax][jx]


The Chip Leaders

  • Mikko Sundell 85,000
  • Hu Gangzhou 75,000
  • Sean Jazayeri 70,000
  • Jean Noel Thorel 68,000
  • Brahim Asloum 62,000
  • Karim Abdelmounene 62,000
  • Pierre Canali 60,000


Some Notable Chip Counts

  • Brahim Asloum 70,000
  • Casey Kastle 55,000
  • Arnaud Mattern 52,000
  • Antoine Saout 42,800
  • Joseph Cheoung 37,300
  • Mike Sexton 32,150
  • Kara Scot 32,025
  • John Eames 27,250
  • Juha Helppi 24,550
  • Ludovic Lacay 23,400


More Diamonds Than a Jewelry Store

If this was a boxing match then Olympic boxer Brahim Asloum may very well be leading on points. He is being very active and is winning far more pots than he is losing. Not an easy feat considering he has Basil Yaiche and former WPT Champion Olivier Busquet both to his direct left. It was in fact Busquet who was the most recent person to pick a fight with Asloum and end up on the floor.

There were five limpers and the dealer gave us a flop of . The action checked to Asloum who bet 600 and Busquet raised on the button to 1,600. The players flicked their cards into the middle in unison except Asloum who made the call.

The turn was the and Asloum check-called a 2,500 Busquet bet. The river was the and Asloum took the betting lead for the first time in the hand when he made it 2,500 to play and Busquet made the verbal call.


Busquet looked at the hand of his opponent and shook his head before handing over the 2,500.

Asloum ~ 70,000
Busquet ~ 26,000


The Guy is All Heart

A player in early position raised to 400 and two people called (including Marvin Rettenmaier). The action then fell to the small blind who squeezed out a three-bet of 1,600 and Rettenmaier called from the cut-off, as did his opponent on the button.

The flop came down with more hearts than a card shop on Valentines day: and the three-bettor led out with a 3,000 bet. Rettenmaier was next to act and he took his time. The camera crews flocked around the table like vultures around a carcass and they were just in time because the German raised it up to 8,200. The player on the button folded and after going into the tank so did the three-bettor after showing .

“You can choose one,” said Rettenmaier referring to his cards.

His opponent flipped over the .


Inside the Aviation Club de France

Come inside and have a look and what this wonderful venue looks like.


Arnaud Mattern – Huge Double Up

Intrepid reporter, and son of Tony G, John Eames, brought this hand to us.

Jani Sointula raised to 250, there was a three-bet to 750 before Arnaud Mattern four-bet to 2,100. The French player seated to the left of Mattern moved all-in for around 30,000 and everyone folded except Mattern who made the call.

Mattern: [ax][ax] French Player: [kx][kx]

Mattern doubled up to over 60,000.


Jesper Hoog – Death by a Thousand Cuts

WPT Bratislava final tablets Jesper Hoog did not get off to a great start today and has just been eliminated at the point of the first break of the day.

It seemed every time we walked past his table he was folding hands in big pots and then we eventually saw him describing his exit hand to his close friend.

It was a three-bet pot when Hoog woke up with [ax][kx]. He decided to flat-call to bring Rachid Bezzaouya into the pot and it worked. The flop was [ax][9x] [5x] (with two hearts). Hoog decided to lead, Bezzaouya called and the original three-bettor folded. Going to the turn and the dealer gave us the and Hoog decided to check to allow Bezzaouya the opportunity to bluff. Bezzaouya did bet, but it was very small, the bet was 2,500 into a 7,500 pot and Hoog had 12,00 behind. Hoog decided to just put the money in the middle and after a long deliberation his opponent called with [7x] [8x] and the river bricked off.

Photo: Hoog describing his exit hand to a friend


Yaiche Delivers a Punch to Brahim Asloum

Olivier Busquet has just sat down to the direct left of Basil Yaiche. The former WPT Champion is looking sharp but it was the young Frenchman we just saw tangling with the Olympic box Brahim Asloum.

With a pot of 1,575 and a board of the big blind had checked to Asloum who bet a clean 1,000 and Yaiche made the call. The big blind started to complain about a random player using his i-pad and the dealer called for the floor to get clarification. The young man was allowed to continue playing on his i-pad and just to wind everybody up the complainant folded his hand.

Two to the turn and it was the and the lollipop sucking Asloum tapped those weary knuckles against the felt and Yaiche bet 1,500. Asloum took his time before making the call and we saw the final card of the . Once again Asloum checked to Yaiche who flicked out a pink 5k chip and Asloum folded his hand.


Roberto Romanello Has Been Eliminated

Romanello was still absolutely seething over the way he had been treated during the 60,000 pot with Hu Gangzhou when we just touched base at his table. Then he picked up [ax][jx]against Gangzhou, who was holding [tx][tx], and that was all she wrote as the pair got all of the money into the middle pre flop. The board of [4x] [2x] [6x] [tx][qx]providing an unnecessary set for Gangzhou to eliminate the former WPT Champion.

We also believe that Roberto Romanello’s good friend James Akenhead has also been eliminated early here on day 1a.


Romanello is Steaming?

WPT Bratislava champion Roberto Romanello is not a very happy man at the moment. He has been crippled and is down to a little over 6,000 chips after an altercation with Hu Gangzhou. Romanello’s anger is not directed at his opponent but instead at the Tournament Director (TD).

In a 60,000 pot Romanello had hit the Broadway nut straight on the turn but when the board paired on the river his opponent Gangzhou put Romanello all-in. After one minute a player on the table called for the clock and the TD was requested to attend. Despite Romanello’s remonstrations that one minute was not long enough to make a decision in a €7,500 buy-in tournament the TD started his one minute count down. Romanello eventually folded and handed the pot to Gangzhou.

Hopefully, Romanello’s experience will kick in, he will put the experience behind him and move on.


Tony G Is In The House Isn’t He?

A French journalist has just told me that Tony G is playing today.

“No he isn’t,” I replied.

“He is, come and look,” said the French journalist.

He walks over to a table and I follow him diligently.

“There,” said the French journalist pointing to a man in a white shirt.

I burst out laughing because the guy he is referring to is not Tony G but John Eames!

While I was trying to calm myself down Eames found some action.

Arnaud Mattern raised to 300 from under the gun, Eames called from middle position and the big blind also called. The flop was and the big blind checked to Mattern who bet 600 and both players called. With around 2.7k in the pot Mattern checked to Eames who bet 1,525 and it was enough to take the pot down.

Dominykas Karmazinas and Jani Sointula have just joined Mattern and Eames so it should be a fun table to watch.


Who is Who and Who is Here?

This place is absolutely bursting to the rafters with every table except two being reserved for the WPT Grand Prix de Paris. This leaves two tables for cash action and Jason Mercier is currently warming up for his day 1b performance plying his trade on one of those two tables. Elsewhere in the field PartyPoker Ambassador Mike Sexton is sharing table space with Ludovic Lacay and Juha Helppi, John Eames is crushing cards with Arnaud Mattern and Jakob Carlsson is staring into the shades of Lucien Cohen.

Other notables in the field include Swedish players Per Linde and Kent Lundmark, WPT Bratislava winner Roberto Romanello, Simon Charette, Michel Abercassis, Jani Sointula and we even have an Olympic Boxer punching his weight in the shape of Brahim Asloum. One person who is hoping to play but cannot seem to find his money at the moment is Marvin Rettenmaier; let’s hope he gets is sorted soon.


Welcome to the Grand Prix de Paris and the Aviation Club de France

The World Poker Tour (WPT) kicked off the festivities of the WPT Grand Prix de Paris in style last night. The players were invited to attend a burlesque show at the famous Crazy Horse Club in Paris and what an amazing evening it was. But today the players will have to empty their heads of naked woman and crazy jugglers and instead fill it with hearts, spades, diamonds and clubs.

The Aviation Club de France is bouncing at the moment. As usual the players have left it until the last minute to register and therefore the registry cues are longer than the cues we had last night to meet the new European Royal Flush Girls.

Players we have seen hanging around the room include Freddy Deeb, Joseph Cheung, Ludovic Lacay, PartyPoker Team Pro Kara Scott and PartyPoker Ambassador and all-round God of poker Mike Sexton.

We will keep you posted on start time but 14.00 is looking a little bit optimistic.

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