Jean-Robert Bellande Final Tables the $50K Players Championship

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Jean-Robert Bellande is hoping his first bracelet will be a big one.

The 2015 World Series of Poker Players Championship has a final table.

David “ODB” Baker is leading the final six with 3.23 million.

Baker, who has one WSOP bracelet and 12 final tables, didn’t raise too many eyebrows when he ended the day in the lead.

Neither did Mike Gorodinsky, who’s already made two final tables this summer and bubbled a third.

Gorodinsky will start the final table with 2.59 million, the second-largest stack.

Third in chips raised a few eyebrows though.

Jean-Robert Bellande made the final six third in chips with 2.12 million.

This is Bellande’s second-ever WSOP final table and his first cash of the summer.

Back in 2008, Bellande finished 2nd in a $1,500 Limit Shootout after starting heads-up with a massive lead.

Breaking the Broke Lifestyle 

Seven years later, the man whose name became synonymous with being broke has made one of the most prestigious final tables in poker.

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"This tournament's all about ego."

“This tournament is all about ego,” said Bellande. “It's not a money value tournament.

“You know that you're playing the best in the world and it's a chance to wear that bracelet up against the top players.

“I kind of want to compare it to maybe, one of those award shows, like the Oscars.

"It's the industry people telling you you’re good. It's the players championship.”

Bellande says he’s not too broke these days and consistently plays against the world’s best in cash games.

He even has 85 percent of himself for this tournament.

“Hopefully that’ll be 85 percent of $1.27 million,” said Bellande.

Ten Games Benefit Bellande

While it’s a significant sum of money, the $1,270,086 up for first is the smallest first-place prize the Poker Players Championship has ever had.

The 84-player field is also the smallest in the tournament's history.

Some players blame the new format, a 10-game mix that replaced last year’s 8-game format.

But Bellande thinks the two new games favor him.

“This ten-game mix I happen to especially like better than the old 8-game structure because they added no-limit deuce and Badugi,” Bellande said. “Which I feel are my two best games.

David Baker
David "ODB" Baker

“Very few people in this entire tournament can play those two games at the highest level all the time, so that gives me an edge in this tournament I believe.”

Going Up Against the Best

While Bellande thinks his experience with those two games gives him an edge, he’s humbled by his competition.

“I'm up against some fantastic players,” Bellande said.

“You know, there are several players here that I'd be happy to play these ten games in cash games with, but then there's several that frankly, outclass me.”

Bellande said  Gorodinsky, Baker and Jason Mercier --who bubbled the final table-- are “probably superior players in a cash game.”

“I’m going to give it my best and see how we do," Bellande said.

Bellande has already gotten a lot of attention online for cashing and reaching the final table.

“A lot of my twitter fans were saying Robert, we want you to bust on the bubble or win the whole thing,” Bellande said.

“People love watching me get devastated or watching me win.”

A Bellande Victory is a Victory for Poker

Bellande says he enjoys the attention, positive or negative.

“I'm one of those guys that kind of wears my emotion on my sleeve and just kind of says it like it is,” Bellande said.

“And I think one of the reasons why my haters and my fans enjoy it, is because it's entertaining.

“I have friends of mine that say they've gone on youtube and just watched an hour of my bad beats online and have had a blast.”

Bellande says his image and widespread appeal could make a victory here not just monumental for himself, but for the whole poker industry.

“It was kind of cool when Chris Moneymaker won the Main Event,” Bellande said.

“It did a lot for poker and I think if folks see a guy like me winning this event, we'll see 200 people playing this next year.”

Jean-Robert Bellande
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