With Aadam Daya giving Canada their first bracelet in the 2010 WSOP, it was time for another Canadian poker player to keep that momentum rolling for Canada five events later. Event #8 of the WSOP was a $1,500 No-Limit Hold’em event that saw 2,341 entries from professionals and amateurs from across the globe. In fact, the final table of this event consisted of players from Israel, Australia, Brazil, United Kingdom, Canada and the U.S.A. With such a multi-cultural group, this final table saw different styles and poker philosophies clash on the biggest stage.
However, with the momentum Daya gave Canada already in the WSOP, fellow Canadian Pascal Lefrancois of Montreal felt confident he could perform well, and that he did. He had the support of many family and friends on the rail and they were quite a boisterous crowd as they made their voices heard throughout the room any time Lefrancois won a pot.
That crowd noise was heard early and often as Lefrancois dominated the final table. He was the chip leader for most of the time and for a majority of the play he was more than a 2 to 1 chip leader over the rest of the field! When he finally knocked out the majority of the players and was playing heads up, he had a 9-1 chip lead over Max Josef Steinberg of the U.S. With such a big stack, Lefrancois was able to play numerous pots cheaply and pick his spots to steal, as well as, call off bluffs when he felt he had the best hand and the final hand was no different.
After both players wanted to see the flop for cheap, the board came out with Kh Jc 4c. Steinberg led out while the Canadian quickly called. When the 5h came on the turn, Steinberg led out again and Lefrancois made another quick call. The Td was the river card and Lefrancois called his opponent’s all-in bet, to see that his Js 6c was good enough to beat 4h 3d from Steinberg.
Lefrancois took home $568,974 for his win and collected the coveted WSOP bracelet, the second for a Canadian poker player in 8 events. In the tradition champions’ photo, Lefrancois decided to show some bravado and become the first player to pose shirtless; this was a WSOP first. It was not a move typical of the “modest Canadian” stereotype, the rest of the world knows Canadians to be, but it was great to see his excitement and character pour out with that gesture.
Although that is quite the sum of money, Lefrancois plans on finishing school as he graduates in December 2010. From then on, who knows what could happen for Lefrancois. “After that, I might take a year off to play poker on the circuit. This is a big accomplishment for me. For sure, I will be playing poker for a couple of years,” Lefrancois says.
That is welcoming news for the world of Canadian poker because Lefrancois is an emerging star in the poker world, and we could be writing about another bracelet for Lefrancois in the coming years.