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Five Biggest Live MTT Winners From France
Ask any poker player which country they think has the weakest opponents and they’ll almost all say France. There are some truly terrible poker players hailing from France, but the country has also produced some superb players. The top five French live poker tournament players have $52,208,377 in winnings between them. It’s difficult, if not impossible, to call this quintet fish!
Bertrand Grospellier: The Triple Crown Winner From France
Bertrand Grospellier is the biggest tournament winner from France. The man known as “ElkY” has $14,664,517 in winnings, thanks in part to winning poker’s Triple Crown of titles.
Grospellier won the 2008 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure for $2,000,000. Victory in the $15,400 6th Annual Festa Al Lago Classic nine months later locked up the WPT part of the Triple Crown. He completed it with victory in the $10,000 Seven Card Stud Championship at the 2011 WSOP.
ElkY won his second bracelet at the 2019 WSOP Europe and will surely win more.
The man from France is a former professional gamer who is huge in South Korea. Grospellier excelled in StarCraft before switching to professional poker. He’s currently sponsored by GGPoker having held similar positions with PokerStars and partypoker.
Benjamin Pollak: The Best Kept Secret In France
Benjamin Pollak lives in London, England but France is where his heart is. Pollak is possibly France’s best-kept secret because he goes about his business quietly and efficiently. Pollak has amassed $12,940,047 in winnings so far, with his largest prize weighing in at $3,500,000. He collected this for a third-place finish in the 2017 WSOP Main Event.
Pollak has cashes dating back to December 2007 where he was playing €500 buy-in tournaments. He is now not out of place in $50,000 buy-in events. The Frenchman continues to improve with each tournament he plays and is showing no signs of slowing down.
Rui Cao: From China to France
Rui Cao was born in China, lives in London but France is where his heart is. Cao is primarily a cash game player, particularly PLO, but also crushes tournaments for fun. Cao has $8,758,580 in live MTT winnings to date. His first cash came in 2008 and he didn’t register a single result in 2011-13 and 2015-17.
The past two years have been amazing for Cao who has won $8,394,841 of his current total. He won $1,683,711 by finishing second in a Triton Super High Roller Series event in May 2018. He followed that up with a career-best $3,351,130 score for winning the same event 12-months later.
Cao prefers cash games but also has his own eSports team. Cao is a man of many talents.
Antoine Saout: Two WSOP Main Event Final Table Appearances
Antoine Saout is another elite poker player from France who now resides in London. Many players from France moved to the UK to continue their online poker careers as France has restrictive regulations.
Saout does well for himself online but he’s best known for his live poker prowess. He’s banked $8,163,526 in his career to-date, enough for fourth place in France’s money listings. Saout has two seven-figure scores to his name. The first came in 2009 when he collected $3,479,670 for a third-place finish in the WSOP Main Event. He reached the final table again in 2017, finishing fifth for another $2,000,000.
Saout loves the Main Event as he also finished 25th in 2016 and seventh in the 2009 WSOP Europe edition!
David Benyamine: France’s Mixed Game Man
David Benyamine is fifth in the France money listings with $7,681,707 worth of cashes. Benyamine now lives in Las Vegas where he is found playing high stakes cash games. He earned the nickname “Degenamine” for his extremely loose-aggressive approach to the game, which borders on reckless at times.
Twenty-three of his last 25 cashes come from the WSOP. The majority of them are in non-hold’em formats, with PLO and PLO8 being his favorites. One wonders how successful Benyamine could be if he stayed away from casino table games!