French Veteran Fabrice Soulier Wins First WSOP Bracelet

Fabrice Soulier Winner WSOP with Friends
“It’s great to have all this support and I want to thank everyone for that.”

While the list of deserving poker pros without a WSOP bracelet is long, before this afternoon French pro Fabrice Soulier was right at the top.

After a decade of playing poker and $2.68 million in live tournament earnings Soulier’s poker resume did not include a win at the World Series of Poker.

That changed in a big way today in Las Vegas when he defeated Shawn Buchanan heads-up to win this year’s $10,000 HORSE Championship.

Soulier pocketed $609,130 for the win.

“I feel great,” Soulier told PokerListings.com moments after the win.

“This is the best day of my poker career by far,” he said.

While this victory doesn’t represent Soulier’s biggest cash, that was a $700k score last year for third at the Partouche Poker Tour main event, it’s certainly the most emotionally important.

“I’m very emotional as a player and it’s very demanding for me and I have to work to control my emotions maybe more than other players,” he said.

“That’s a key for me and in this tournament I think I did a pretty good job.”

Soulier began playing poker more than ten years ago, while working as a director in French television.

Juggling an increasingly successful poker hobby with TV projects like Une Gars, une Fille Soulier eventually made the decision to devote himself full time to playing cards.

Not including today’s win, Soulier had cashed at the WSOP 17 times, including four final tables.

Despite having the reputation as a solid player Soulier had been going through a rough patch so far this summer.

He told us he had bricked 19 WSOP events in a row before this victory.

Entering the heads-up match with an almost seven to one chip lead, the pressure was squarely on Soulier’s shoulders.

“I slept very badly,” he said with a laugh.

Soulier points to the immense support he’s received in the poker community, particularly from French players, when explaining his ability to keep it together and close the door on Shawn Buchanan.

“It’s great to have all this support and I want to thank everyone for that,” he said.

For all the action from Las Vegas keep an eye on our 2011 WSOP Live Coverage section, brought to you by Party Poker.

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About Matthew Showell

Matt Showell was born and raised in the fair city of Vancouver, Canada. He now spends the bulk of his time traveling the globe, reporting on the world’s biggest poker tournaments. Matt has lived and breathed poker since the end of high school when he learned the most common variants at home games with his friends. In university he made his living playing low-stakes cash games and multi-table tournaments online while following the professional circuit on television and the Internet and in magazines.

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