Toronto Ontario poker player Simon Charette has proven to be one the top Canadian poker players at the 2011 World Series of Poker, narrowly missing a bracelet in Event #48 just a week ago and leaving him a bit shy of the full credit this player’s game deserves, though his Heads Up finish did pay over $400,000!
Those that travel, play and follow the Canadian Tournament scene are already very familiar with the poker force that is still just in his early twenties; as is the online poker community that has watched him rack up over $2,000,000 in multi-table tournament winnings in just the past few years.
At this years World Series of Poker, Charette has managed to cash in about 1 in every 3.5 No Limit Hold’em events he has played, a very impressive rate in any field, let alone the massive turnouts of the WSOP. Simon has taken $37,500 in buy-ins and turned it into over $450,000; for those that like the math that’s about $15,000 profit for every day he spent at the tables, a return on investment even today’s most popular players would be more than satisfied with. We caught up with Simon and asked him a few questions on his down time, as he prepares for one last event before heading home; the $10,000 No Limit Hold’em Championship…
CP: “That final table had to be both stressful and exciting; how would you describe the experience and pressure?
Simon Charette: “My biggest goal of this summer was to make a WSOP final table; It’s a hard thing to do when you only play No Limit Hold’em events with such big fields. I’ve been working very hard this series; Haven’t been going out, no drinking and I have been playing every event like it was a Main Event, giving my full attention to each tournament. The final table was such a tough group for a $1,500 event; I knew 6 of my 8 opponents and they were all very skilled. It was certainly the strongest final table I’ve ever been at by a wide margin. However, I’ve played so many live tournaments over the past 12 months, including final tables, so I wasn’t nervous at all. I know how to win and to take it one step at a time. This particular final table I ran really well.”
CP: “Obviously, like any truly serious poker competitor, first would always be the preferred finish, but with almost $640,000 in live tournament cashes in just the first half of the year, you have to be pretty damn happy with you 2011 so far?”
Simon Charette: “The 2nd place is the biggest single tournament cash I’ve ever had, but in reality, it took me a good 24 hours to even think about the score, because I was so upset about not winning the bracelet. My friends couldn’t understand it, but it would have meant the world to me. I’ve been so focused over the last year to win a major title; not just for the money, but to prove to my peers and the poker community that I’m a really great No Limit tournament player. However, I’m so happy to have such a great series so far. I’ve had 6 cashes; the very first WSOP event I played this year (a $5,000), I was off to a fantastic start and finished 16th.”
CP: “You had a very impressive huge win in the Fallsview Classic $5,000, not too far back in 2010. Would you rate this score as big of a poker accomplishment, or bigger?”
Simon Charette: “Winning the Fallsview Classic was an amazing boost for me, but this 2nd place finish will mean more for me. I was a race away from a bracelet and that makes me feel that I’ll have another chance not too far down the road from now to win a major title. I was really close to winning WPT Bratislava this year, after having a massive chiplead the whole way, until I took a brutal beat with 15 left.”
CP: “With just the $10,000 No Limit Hold’em Championship left and already a very successful year on the world circuit, what’s next?”
Simon Charette: “I plan on taking a small break after WSOP, but will continue to play a decent volume of live tournaments in 2011. I’m really happy with my results so far this year; lots of cashes and 2 big scores in Janauary. I’ve been traveling quite a bit since I started grinding live tournaments and I’ve really enjoyed it.”
CP: “You already have about $3,000,000 in combined live and online tournament winnings, yet your history doesn’t go back very far. how long have you been playing poker for?”
Simon Charette: “I’ve been playing tournaments semi-seriously for about 3 years and did very well online the first 18 months I played. I had actually first come out to Vegas when I was 21, (with only a few thousand to my name), to hang out with some of my best friends (that I met online) in poker; Kevin Macphee and Dylan Linde. They played the WSOP events while I was grinding 20 dollar rebuys online and the 300 dollar Venetian tournaments. I knew I’d be back to play events the next year once I built a bankroll.”
CP: “That’s a pretty quick path to the top of the pack. At this point in your life, do you think you will pursue the game as a long term career?”
Simon Charette: “The last 3 years has been a wild ride for me filled with success and lots of new exciting experiences. Poker has been great to me and for my life in general. I was just able to finish up getting my degree, even with poker taking up so much of my time in University. My true passion however, is for movies. I have BFA in film production and screenwriting and plan to continue in that field in the near future. Possibly even go back to school for a little while. All in all, life is good!”
CP: “We have been following the World Series of Poker very closely, right from the start this year and it’s a pretty safe bet to say you have the most cashes of any of the Canadian players, as well as easily being Top 5 to 10 (max) in total 2011 winnings. How does that feel?”
Simon Charette: “I’m really proud of my winnings and my 2011 so far, but I don’t really compare myself to others. I think I’m one of the top Canadian players, but I’m also friends with guys who I have the highest respect for. In particular, Mike Mcdonald and Andrew Chen are 2 guys who I consider better than me and absolute beasts at the game. I hope I continue to improve and build my poker resume.”
We would like to thank Simon for taking some time out for our readers who love the game and it’s many personalities; we wish the best of luck in to him on making cash number seven. Here is hoping it comes with that treasured WSOP bracelet, or at the very least some piles of good old cash!