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At an exciting final table, Vuilleumier outlasted players with huge reputations as he put his chess skills to work on the poker table in Event #2 of the 2023 WSOP. After winning the biggest victory of his career to date, the Swiss player credited his abilities at the chequered board as pivotal in his success at the poker felt.
Swiss poker professional Alexandre Vuilleumier took down his first-ever WSOP event on Thursday night as he rose from fourth of the final six to capture gold in the Thunderdome in Las Vegas. Beating Chance Kornuth heads-up, the polite and humble Swiss player and chess master said afterwards to PokerNews reporters: “It is the year of my career for sure. I’m really happy with everything that’s happened. I’m not one of the top players. Like in chess, you have to be here for years. I’m certainly growing and I’m excited to be part of these tournaments. I started playing tournaments in January 2022.”
“I’m excited to be part of these tournaments. I started playing tournaments in January 2022.”
It is a remarkable rise to prominence for the player who has taken to top level tournaments like Phil Hellmuth to a Roast Beef Sandwich.
After he saw off Joey Weissman in sixth place, Vuilleumier always looked like Chance Kornuth’s biggest rival and at a table where Ren Lin (5th), overnight chip leader Axel Hallay (4th) and high roller regular Sean Winter (3rd) all played their part, that’s really saying something.
“After nine hours of concentration, I think I am still at 90 percent of my capabilities.”
The final duel began with Vuilleumier hlding a significant lead, his 19.8 million stack of chips dwarfing Kornuth pile of 11.3 million. With the bracelet on the table, the two men battled hard for the win and it was eventually Vuilleumier who prevailed, as he grew his lead then turned a straight in the final hand to triumph in style.
Winning the $1.2 million top prize, Vuilleumier was as stunned as the crowd that he had managed to hold the immensely talented Kornuth at bay. He put some of his success down to the teachings of chess in his gaming career.
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“One of the best tricks that you learn in chess is to be able to concentrate for long periods,” he said. “After nine hours of concentration, I think I am still at 90 percent of my capabilities while everyone else is maybe at 60 percent.”
That discipline and stamina proved pivotal to the chess master turned bracelet winner as he celebrated with his rail upon the conclusion of his event. Kornuth will have other chance of success this series and is a great bet to bag gold in the remaining events, with 95 on the ticket in 2023.
Today, however, was Vuilleumier’s day.
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