Poker Professional Arthur Conan Talks “Chip-And-Chair” $50,000 Excessive Curler Win
With COVID-19 restrictions in place all through almost all of Europe, there wasn’t anyplace for Arthur Conan to play a reside poker match. Since there have been restricted choices for the 24-year-old Frenchman, he determined to make the trek throughout the Atlantic to South Florida to play within the Seminole Onerous Rock Poker Showdown in Hollywood. The collection was enormous, with the $3,500 World Poker Tour foremost occasion drawing 2,482 gamers to set the file for the biggest area in tour historical past, almost quadrupling the $2 million assure.
However regardless of the large fields, it was Conan who stood out, making fairly the impression throughout his keep within the Sunshine State.
Within the span of a couple of week, Conan received $855,355. His first was an outright win within the $50,000 Tremendous Excessive Curler occasion for $733,320. And he adopted that up with a deep run in the primary occasion, taking tenth place for $111,035. The 2 monster scores greater than doubled his profession earnings, which now sit simply shy of $1.6 million.
That’s fairly a formidable résumé for a 24-year-old, particularly within the fashionable age of poker with competitors ranges at an all-time excessive. Regardless of his age, nevertheless, Conan isn’t precisely new to the sport. He’s been taking part in since he was an adolescent.
“I began taking part in poker at 18, however I knew the foundations earlier than that,” stated Conan. “My father performed slightly bit and my brother was taking part in. So, I began taking part in with my household, after which moved on-line.”
Arthur’s brother Marius, who is 2 years youthful, can also be fairly a participant. The truth is, the youthful Conan bested his brother at a 2017 WPT DeepStacks Excessive Curler occasion in Cannes. The 2 siblings completed heads-up to take residence the vast majority of the prize pool.
On-line poker was the place Conan lower his tooth, nevertheless. However due to European playing legal guidelines that enable 18-year-olds to play in casinos, it was a reside occasion that induced Conan to start out grinding on a full-time foundation. In July 2015, Conan hopped within the France Poker Sequence €1,100 no-limit maintain’em foremost occasion. Even with minimal expertise underneath his belt on the time, particularly at these stakes, Conan made the ultimate desk and completed fourth for €45,000.
“I performed, however I wasn’t taking part in quite a bit,” stated Conan about his poker profession on the time. “I began taking part in poker professionally quickly after that rating. About two or three months later, I began taking part in for a residing. That was considered one of my first tournaments, so it was an important rating for me at that time.”
Conan continued to focus most of his time on on-line tournaments, whereas taking part in the occasional reside occasion. He was nonetheless discovering his manner across the poker panorama and even switched his most well-liked sport sort a couple of occasions earlier than lastly discovering a consolation zone.
“I began with tournaments at the start of my profession, after which I switched to money video games after a couple of yr and a half,” stated Conan. “After about one other yr and a half, perhaps two years, I switched again to on-line tournaments, and now I solely play tournaments on-line. I’ll play some money video games reside, however principally tournaments.”
Since he obtained his begin on the digital felt, Conan’s transition to the reside enviornment, from a fundamentals perspective, was very simple. In Conan’s eyes, the sport was very totally different, however gamers that performed predominantly reside poker lacked a technical understanding that he amassed after lots of of hundreds of fingers performed.
“I discovered it to be simpler than on-line for a similar buy-in ranges,” he stated. “However the sport was so totally different on-line as a substitute of reside. It wasn’t essentially simpler, nevertheless it was very totally different.”
For the primary three years of his skilled poker profession, Conan stayed in Europe. He wasn’t 21 but, so it could be unlawful for him to play at most match stops within the States. However he developed right into a stable reg at European stops and put collectively a constant stretch of deep runs and wins.
In 2018, nevertheless, he was lastly sufficiently old to make his first journey to Las Vegas and play a full schedule on the World Sequence of Poker.
“I used to be very, very excited to go to the WSOP in Vegas,” stated Conan. “I had simply turned 21, so I wished to go play as a lot as I might. I stayed for the entire collection and it was excellent. I didn’t have a bunch of scores, nevertheless it was very enjoyable.”
Conan made one deep run at his first summer time collection, ending fifteenth within the $888 Loopy Eights no-limit maintain’em occasion, including one other $34,577 to his bankroll.
“It was my deepest run at a WSOP occasion so far and it was very thrilling,” he stated. “However on the finish of it, it completed fairly unhealthy. I misplaced an enormous pot as a giant favourite, so it was laborious. However after, it was okay. I needed to go to different tournaments the day after, in order that’s it. That’s simply how the sport goes generally.”
Whereas he didn’t wish to admit that it was simpler to play reside tournaments in Europe than it was on-line, he did say that the American fields had been significantly softer than the fields he had encountered earlier than.
“I had heard from the opposite Europeans that it was going to be simpler,” stated Conan. “I do assume it was slightly bit simpler than Europe.”
After his first stint in Las Vegas, Conan took his sport to the following degree. He earned his first money in a €5,000 buy-in occasion at a cease in Barcelona and was constantly taking part in larger buy-ins from that time ahead.
In 2019, it was extra of the identical. He put up stable, constant outcomes, together with a win within the WPT DeepStacks Marrakech foremost occasion for $83,918. However he had but to make a giant, career-changing rating. He spent his second summer time in Las Vegas for the WSOP after which went again to Europe for the remainder of the yr earlier than the COVID-19 pandemic put a pause on most reside poker tournaments in 2020.
“In the course of the pandemic, I had fewer distractions,” stated Conan. “I moved to London, so I simply performed greater than I used to play and moved my whole grind on-line. I simply performed for eight months straight on-line with a whole lot of quantity throughout that point.”
Conan racked up 10 cashes through the on-line WSOP amid his grind. However ultimately, the urge to play reside poker was too nice and he determined to go away London and head to the U.S.
Crossing borders throughout a pandemic wasn’t the simplest course of for him and his pal and journey mate Sonny Franco, who completed fourth within the $3,500 WPT foremost occasion for $438,500.
“We needed to do two weeks outdoors Europe,” stated Conan. “We couldn’t journey on to the U.S. from Europe, so we did two weeks in Morocco beforehand. Then we took the flight from Morocco to New York, after which to Miami from there.”
Finally, the method was so cumbersome that he doesn’t assume many international professionals will make the trek to America till after border guidelines are relaxed.
“It’s a bit sophisticated to return, so I don’t assume many European professionals are going to do the identical,” stated Conan. “For the WSOP (scheduled for October), in fact there will likely be Europeans, however I feel it may be reopened by then.”
As soon as Conan obtained to the Onerous Rock Resort & On line casino, he began taking part in stakes he had by no means tried earlier than. One of many first occasions he registered for was the $50,000 Tremendous Excessive Curler no-limit maintain’em occasion. Whereas he had by no means performed a match with this huge of a buy-in earlier than, he did have some expertise taking part in high-stakes reside tournaments.
“This was my first $50K buy-in,” Conan admitted. “I had already performed the $25K [PokerStars Players Championship] two years in the past, however this was my first $50K. I used to be a bit nervous to play, however after a couple of hours of play, it was okay.”
He navigated his manner by means of the 42-entry area and secured a spot on the ultimate desk. He was joined by a number of high-stakes regulars, together with runner-up Sam Soverel, Christopher Brewer, Seth Davies, Sean Winter, and Jeremy Ausmus.
The ultimate desk was not at all tender, however the absence of a number of the high-profile worldwide professionals that usually play these stakes made Conan extra comfy than he would usually anticipate to be on the ultimate desk.
“All one of the best American professionals had been within the area, and the professionals from Canada and Europe which are used to taking part in some of these occasions weren’t there,” he stated. “So, I feel the sphere was fairly tender [for a $50K], however nonetheless robust.”
It was something however clean crusing on the ultimate desk for Conan. With 4 gamers left, he determined to run a large bluff on Davies, who was one of many prime two stacks. It didn’t finish nicely.
“He raised fairly small from the small blind and I referred to as from the massive blind with 9-7 offsuit,” recalled Conan. “The flop got here Q-10-6 with a flush draw. He guess two-thirds [the size of the pot] and I referred to as. The flip was a jack, which introduced a backdoor flush draw. He guess the flip, nevertheless it was very small. I raised and he referred to as. The river was a clean, nevertheless it introduced the entrance door flush attract. He checked, and I [moved] all in, besides one huge blind. He tanked and referred to as me with two pair.”
The failed bluff left Conan with only a single 25,000-denomination chip price only a one huge blind, and he was going to be compelled to commit half of it within the small blind on the very subsequent hand. Given the scenario, he was clearly the odds-on favourite to complete fourth and earn $203,700.
What ensued subsequent, nevertheless, was one of many biggest comebacks in current poker reminiscence. Conan quadrupled up the very subsequent hand from the small blind, and doubled up once more a couple of fingers later. Earlier than he knew it, he had turned that single chip right into a 20-big blind stack.
“I feel I had some hope after I obtained to 10 huge blinds,” stated Conan. “So after two or three double ups, I knew it was attainable to win once more. Once I had just one blind, I knew I used to be virtually out.”
Brewer ended up eliminating Davies in fourth, and Conan despatched Brewer packing in third, leaving simply Soverel standing in his manner. Conan in the end received a flip with pocket fives towards Soverel’s Okay-9 to complete the job and take residence the $733,320 first-place prize.
However he wasn’t executed but. The day after his victory within the Tremendous Excessive Curler, Conan jumped within the $3,500 foremost occasion. He performed one other a number of days, navigating his manner by means of the large area, and earlier than he knew it, he was making a run at a second consecutive ultimate desk.
“I had a whole lot of confidence in the primary [event] after that win,” stated Conan. “I simply performed my sport… and appeared what occurred.”
What occurred was one other deep run and in the end a tenth-place end after he misplaced a flip along with his A-Q towards Erik Cajelais and his pocket jacks. He picked up one other $111,035 for his efforts.
“I feel that [the money] generally is a increase to maintain taking part in these excessive buy-in occasions,” stated Conan about his newly padded bankroll. “However I’m unsure if I’m going to play all of them simply due to the rating. I’ll positively play extra of the $10,000 buy-ins. The cash doesn’t change my profession quite a bit, nevertheless it’s good to have the increase and [get some attention] from the media.
With an inflated bankroll, Conan left South Florida, however didn’t fly again to France. As an alternative, he determined to move west to Las Vegas, the place he’ll proceed to tackle the reside circuit for one more few months as Aria, Venetian, and Wynn all plan on internet hosting match collection by means of the summer time.
“I’m going to play some $10Ks and perhaps some $25Ks at Aria,” stated Conan.
Look out excessive rollers, Arthur Conan has arrived.
Picture Credit: World Poker Tour/PokerGO/Seminole Onerous Rock