Francois Billard Snatches Victory in WSOP Circuit High Roller

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Francois Billard

After nearly 18 hours of play, a winner emerged from a field of 178 in Event #13: $3,300 High Roller at the 2024 World Series of Poker Playground. When the dust had settled Francois Billard was the last player standing, defeating Kevin Rivest in heads-up play to take home his first circuit ring and the $112,500 winner’s payout.

Billard was under the radar as one of the smaller stacks throughout the day until going on a heater at the final three to snatch the victory from the hands of perennial chip leaders Kevin Rivest and Adil Morkos.

Final Table Results

Place Player Country Prize (CAD)
1 Francois Billard Canada $112,500
2 Kevin Rivest Canada $77,500
3 Adil Morkos Canada $52,500
4 Timothy Ulmer United States $40,000
5 Anoop Jugurnath Canada $31,000
6 Stephane Blouin-Verroeulst Canada $26,000
7 Renmei Liu Canada $22,000
8 Wenping Chen Canada $18,000
9 Kyle Yun-Wing Ho Canada $15,000
10 Jaime Staples Canada $12,000

Action of the Night

The thirteenth of fifteen circuit events attracted a total of 178 entrants, generating a total prize pool of $534,000 to surpass the $500,000 guarantee. Some notable players who fell on Day 2 before the money was reached include Eliot Hudon, Santiago Plante, Chanracy Khun and Mike Leah. Renmei Liu claimed Leah’s stack after a brutal river and was able to ride that early success all the way to the final table where he finished in seventh place.

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Renmei Liu
Renmei Liu

Samuel Roussy-Majeau was the unfortunate soul to bust on the stone bubble after losing a preflop race to Seyed Hosseini. From that point on all players were guaranteed at least a min-cash of $4,500 but all eyes were on the top prize of $112,500. Dustin Melanson, who just yesterday took down the $1,700 Main Event for $339,770, was also able to make the money but fell before the final table in 23rd place for $5,500.

Adil Morkos started building a monster stack with two tables left after turning a flush to knock out Danny Boyaci. That hand helped propel Morkos to the final table where he entered with the chip lead.

Players were very deep-stacked at the start of the ten-handed final table and it took roughly two hours for any eliminations to occur. Jaime Staples was first to fall after Billard rivered a set to triple up and avoid elimination himself. Kyle Yun-Wing Ho was also left short after that hand and busted shortly afterwards. Ho was followed out the door by Wenping Chen, Liu and start of day chip leader Stephane Blouin-Verroeulst in eighth, seventh and sixth place respectively.

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Anoop Jugurnath traded the chip lead back and forth with Morkos at the beginning of the final table before finding himself short-stacked after doubling up Billard. Rivest got the rest of his chips soon after before Timothy Ulmer bowed out in fourth place after running into Morkos’ aces.

Adil Morkos
Adil Morkos

Morkos entered three-handed play with over half the total chips and began putting relentless pressure on his opponents. That all changed after Rivest put his chips in the middle with a higher pocket pair and held to take the chip lead and leave Morkos short. Billard got the rest of Morkos’ chips not long after to enter heads-up play against Rivest.

Kevin Rivest
Kevin Rivest

Rivest started heads-up play with a modest lead over Billard and did a good job whittling Billard down in the early parts of the heads-up duel. The momentum shifted suddenly after Billard doubled up through Rivest twice. Those hands left Rivest on fumes and Billard finished him off with a few hands later in one last preflop race to take home the high roller title, top prize of $112,500 and his first WSOP circuit ring.

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