Waxman Jumps Into Lead with 18 Left at WPT Paris

Matthew Waxman
Matthew Waxman

Day 3 at the World Poker Tour Grand Prix de Paris has wrapped and an American poker pro has the chip lead - just not the pro everyone expected.

Instead of McLean Karr, who carried a big stack through most of the early days at the Aviation Club de France, the American at the top is Matthew Waxman, a 25-year-old poker pro from Parkland, Fla.

Waxman amassed 1,120,000 chips and busted both Farzad Bonyadi and Benny Spindler over the course of the day to hold down the chip lead heading into the final two days of play.

While it may have come somewhat unexpectedly in Paris, his success isn't unexpected in the grand scheme of things.

Waxman has nine WSOP cashes already in his career including five cashes in 2010 and a sixth-place finish in the $5k Six-Max No-Limit Hold'em event in 2009 for $138,393.

His breakthrough win on the live poker circuit came in December last year when he took the title and $117,797 at the WSOP Circuit Championship at Harrah’s Atlantic City.

Online, Waxman also won the prestigious FTOPS XIII Main Event on Full Tilt Poker for $453,663.

He still has work to do to finish strong in Paris, however.

Stacked behind Waxman heading into Day 4 are Day 2 chip leader Mikko Sundell from Finland (1.019.000), Russian Dmitry Stelmak (912,000) and the lone remaining female player, Nesrine Kourdourli from France (839,000).

Also still alive are Lebanese high-roller specialist Dori Yacoubi (664,000), Frenchmen Guillaume Darcourt (500,000) and Day 3 chip leader Franck Pepe (479,000) and American Joe Cassidy (180,000).

Surprisingly eliminated today was Karr, who came into the day as one of the chip leaders and with a ton of momentum based on his recent results.

In the end, Karr had a ton of outs with J T vs. Elio Fox's 8 7 on a K 8 A flop, but missed them all.

Also eliminated today were 2010 EPT Grand Final winner Ivan Freitez, Finn Jani Sointula and 888 Poker pro Tyler Bonkowski.

Each player is now guaranteed $46,896 with the winner taking home $729,886.

Play resumes at 2 p.m. Friday. Follow the live updates on the WPT site here.

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