The WPT Prime 2024 season kicked off in grand style, mirroring its previous season’s high note, at the picturesque Pasino Grand in Aix-En-Provence. The event saw a staggering 758 entries, significantly surpassing last year’s impressive count of 457 and generating a prize pool of €727,680.
In the end, Ukrainian Yakiv Syzghanov emerged triumphant, pocketing a cool €133,400 after beating Laurent Michot in a heads-up for the trophy. With a €1,100 buy-in, the Main Event unfolded over four Day 1 flights, each playing down to 12.5 percent of the field, marking the money bubble. By Day 2, all 96 qualifiers were guaranteed at least €1,920, but the eyes were firmly set on the top prize, which included a $10,400 ticket to the WPT World Championship at Wynn Las Vegas.
Syzghanov qualified from the Turbo Day 1D with merely 20 big blinds but nonetheless reached the final table as one of the chip leaders, holding 55 big blinds. Only Michot and Frederic Normand, the WPT bestbet Scramble Main Event winner last year, rivaled his stack size.
2024 WPT Prime Aix-En-Provence Final Table Results
2024 WPT Prime Aix-En-Provence Final Table Action
Gilles Michaud found himself at the mercy of Dylan Cechowski, exiting the final table in eighth place. Andrea Volpi, who entered the final table with a mere six big blinds, managed to double up twice, once in a memorable hand against Erich Tedeschi, who had literally one chip left to his name.
Tedeschi astonishingly chopped the next forced all-in but only reclaimed his single chip due to the chopping ante rules. He miraculously won his second forced all-in and managed to 11x his stack… to a measly one big blind, showcasing the cruel nature of poker. His comeback was short-lived as he ended with a pair of eights in his third all-in that couldn’t stand against Volpi’s flush, leading to his elimination.
However, Volpi’s fortune was about to run out as well. He and Yakiv Syzghanov went all-in on a flop showing 7♣A♦4♣. Volpi revealed K♣9♣ for a flush draw, while Syzghanov showed A♠5♦ for a pair of aces. The turn and river offered no relief for Volpi, leading to his exit in sixth place.
Syzghanov, riding the momentum, further extended his lead in the very next hand. David Sacksick hoped his pocket fours would survive but found himself up against Syzghanov’s dominating pocket tens, sending him to the rail.
The action didn’t slow down as Dylan Cechowski moved all-in from the cutoff with A♥Q♠, finding a caller in Laurent Michot with 9♠9♥. The board opened A♦9♦7♦, delivering a set for Michot. The turn 10♦ teased for a split pot possibility, but the river failed to deliver, marking Cechowski’s departure in fourth place.
The three-handed play didn’t last for long. Frederic Normand, a WPT Champions Club member with his sights set on a historic double WPT Main Tour and WPT Prime win, was the next to fall. After firing three barrels on a board of K♣7♦5♣A♦J♥ with J♦9♦, Michot made a great call with K♣10♥, which ousted Normand in third place, leaving Michot and Syzghanov to contend for the WPT Prime title.
Heads-up play began with Michot holding a significant lead, but Syzghanov wasn’t done yet. The first double-up saw Syzghanov calling Michot’s all-in with king-nine against Michot’s jack-ten. The board ran in Syzghanov’s favor, leveling the playing field. Michot later regained a commanding lead, but Syzghanov managed another crucial double-up. This time, he open-shoved king-nine and received a snap call from Michot’s ace-eight suited. The board opened up a king, and Syzghanov was still alive.
Syzghanov took the first lead when both players limped to the flop of K♣10♠2♣. Michot checked, and Syzghanov made a bet, which Michot called. Both players checked the turn J♠, which led to a river of 7♠. With Michot checking again, Syzghanov made a big value bet, and Michot’s snap-call was met with a confident “Jack” from Syzghanov, as Michot mucked and conceded the pot to Syzghanov.
In the final hand of the tournament, Michot with 5♥5♣ called Syzghanov’s all-in with A♣3♦. The turn paired Syzghanov’s ace, leaving Michot needing a miracle that never came. The river confirmed Syzghanov’s victory, awarding him the WPT Prime title, a €133,400 prize with a seat to the WPT World Championship.
The WPT Prime Aix-En-Provence set the stage for the next exciting stop on the tour, which heads to the renowned Holland Casino in Amsterdam, scheduled from March 17 to 22. You can qualify online on WPT Global and win your $1,500 WPT Prime Passport for WPT Prime Amsterdam.
Smaller buy-in satellites start as low as $5, where you can earn a $110 passport ticket and run throughout each day. There are $110 Passport Qualifiers every Saturday at 2:00 p.m. ET and every Sunday at 6:00 p.m. ET.
On the other side of the pond, the classic WPT Main Tour event, the WPT Rolling Thunder, will take place from March 7 to 26.