Pocket Fours are Good Enough - Francois Safieddine Wins 19

Francois Safieddine
Francois Safieddine, winner of Event 19, No-Limit Hold'em, 2007 WSOP

Francois Safieddine was destined to win Event 19, No-Limit Hold'em. If you doubt that check out the last hand: Safieddine pushed all-in with a pair of fours and his heads-up competition John Phan called with pocket aces. Safieddine spiked his fours on the river and the rest is history.

Even more impressive is the fact that he came into this competition the short-stack with only $302,000 in chips compared to the chip leader, Lars Bonding at the time, who had $882,000. It was a fantastic day for Safieddine and PokerListings.com caught up with him right after his win.

What were you thinking during that last hand against John Phan?

Well I was putting pressure on him every hand so it was just a matter of time before he got a good hand. He would have called with ace-high or king-high. It just happened that he got aces and he got unlucky.

My strategy was to keep putting the pressure on him and take the 50/50 chances and if that didn't work I would just go back to my old strategy which is playing normal poker.

Earlier when he had $2 million and I had $3 million I felt comfortable. I took him all the way down to $350,000 from $2 million just by playing normal poker. I like playing deep stack poker, it doesn't bother me at all.

Sick Beat

What did you think of Phan as a player?

I have played against him before. He's top-notch. I mean when I had him down to $350,000 I had a straight with a flush draw and I flat-called hoping to get him thinking I was on a draw but eventually on the river he mucked. Very few people would muck there and he showed tremendous patience. He played extremely well. He's a top-notch player, no question about it.

You called the clock on him numerous times, was that part of your strategy?

I tried to get him off his game. I saw that he was drinking a little bit and I was thinking that maybe I could get him riled up.

Francois Safieddine

How long have you been playing poker?

About four years.

Not bad for just four years.

Well I won a couple World Poker Tour events and some other events so I've been to final tables but this was the biggest purse for sure. It's a good feeling right now.

Will you be playing more WPT and WSOP events this year?

I'm going to be playing the same amount. I like to play in Vegas, California and the Bahamas. That's it. I don't do poker for a living. I really just love the game.

What does it mean to win a bracelet?

I don't want to say validation because I'm pretty comfortable with who I am as a person but it makes me feel good. It's another accomplishment and it's great.


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A great player and an all-around friendly guy, Francois Safieddine proved he can play with a short-stack or a very big stack at today's final table. Safieddine has already cashes in a number of other events so he will very likely be winning more events in the near future. So long as they are in Las Vegas, California or the Bahamas, what a rough life!

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