We don't like to make out and out statements; they're too easy to refute. That's why the highest honor given on the PL.com blog is that a player might be good at poker.
Today it's Arnaud Mattern receiving that much-sought-after accolade.
Mattern has been on the PokerListings.com radar for quite some time. In fact, I first saw him in action at one of the first events I ever covered, the 2006 Caribbean Poker Classic where he and close friend Nic Levi both made deep runs.
Since then Arnaud has made big waves, running his total career earnings up to over $1.7 million!
Despite a massive win at EPT Prague in 2007, Mattern has had a ton of close calls in his young career. A perfect example of such gut-wrenching close-calledness came earlier today in Tallinn.
Three-handed with a chance at becoming the first ever two-time EPT champion, Mattern got it in with queens against treys pre-flop, only to watch a third trey spike on the turn.
Poker is a multi-faceted game and it takes more than the ability to six-bet shove 5-2 to be a great player. Mattern certainly has that ability but he also has something far more important: fortitude.
I wasn't in Tallinn when that three hit the felt but I can guarantee Arnaud shook hands with his opponent, wished him luck and exited the final table like a champion.
That was Mattern's third EPT final table, including his win in Prague, and he was at the final table of the WPT Grand Prix de Paris earlier this year.
Poker isn't exactly a new thing in France but the truth is that players of Arnaud Mattern's caliber are. For a long time it was ElkY and a few members of the old guard that represented the cream of the French poker crop. That simply isn't the case anymore.
Just like we've seen in places like Denmark and the Netherlands, a new generation of online players are getting together and tackling the game together, sharing their thoughts and secrets and trying to improve as a group.
Players like Nic Levi, Ludovic Lacay and Anthony Roux have skills and we're going to see plenty of them at major final tables in the future.
To hear Arnaud Mattern talk about it check out this video we did with him this summer.
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