When one thinks of the biggest poker tournaments we see these days, the World Series of Poker is of course at the top of that list. However there are still a number of events around the world that come close to being as exciting, and it is in this category that the Partouche Poker Tour clearly fits. The main event wrapped up this week, and sitting alone at the head of the final table was none other than famous poker pro Vanessa Selsbt, who picked up over $1.8 Million for the win.
Having first started in 2008, the Partouche Poker runs every year in the beautiful Cannes in the French Riviera. The main event has quickly become one of the biggest held annually in Europe, and this year the €7,750 buy-in tournament had a very respectable field of 764 poker hopefuls. In a style almost identical to the World Series of Poker Main Event, this year the Partouche Poker Tour Main Event kicked off in September but only played down to a final table, who would reconvene in November to battle it out.
Unlike the World Series of Poker, the Partouche Main Event final table sported only eight players, and this wasn’t due to an unusual format choice, but rather something much more controversial. As we reported late last week, Ali Tekintamgak, one of the members of the final table, was disqualified when video footage revealed that he had been using members of the public posing as bloggers and media to signal him information about his opponents’ holdings during hands. Tekintamgak was removed from the final table along with his share of the chips, and the final table payouts were adjusted accordingly.
Vanessa Selbst is a very famous name in the poker world, for a variety of reasons. Firstly, she’s a woman in a male-dominated sport. Secondly, she’s openly gay. Thirdly, she’s damn good at poker. We don’t mean damn good at poker here in a gimmicky sort of “for a woman” way (although she’s pretty clearly one of the best two female poker players in the world today, along with Annette Obrestad), but rather she’s talented enough at poker in her own right to hold her own against the best. She’s probably most well-known for her extremely solid Pot-Limit Omaha game both online and offline, having won a WSOP Bracelet for PLO in 2008. This year she’s been tearing up the live Hold’Em tournament scene, picking up $750,000 for a NAPT event win earlier this year, and now shipping this Partouche Poker Tour Main Event, bringing her lifetime live tournament winnings over $3,000,000.
As the final table kicked off, Selbst was enjoying having the largest stack at the table, and was putting the chips to good use. She seemed to have strong control over the table the entire time, and gradually the opponents dropped off one by one until third place getter Frenchman Fabrice Souller was eliminated, leaving his countryman Raphael Kroll to play Selbst heads up. It did not take long for the tournament to end as, with the chip advantage, Selbst looked down at pocket queens on the fifth hand of play and they were enough to send Kroll to the rail, giving Selbst the tournament win. Her victory earned her the first place prize of €1,300,000 (over $1.8 Million USD), making 2010 a very good year for Selbst indeed.
The Partouche Poker Tour seems to be growing in popularity, and hopefully we’ll see it continue to boom over the years to come. It’s a great tournament format, the prize pool is amazing and even in the absolute worst case scenario that you’re sent to the rail early, you’re left in the French Riviera with free time to enjoy everything the beautiful location has to offer. There are satellite tournaments which could yield you tickets to next year’s main event, so make sure you get into gear as the time comes to ensure your passage to this fantastic tournament.