Fabrice Soulier is the man who has today been crowned the 2011 WSOP $10,000 HORSE Champion, but who on Earth is the French poker playing veteran?
Prior to today, Soulier had cashed in seventeen World Series of Poker events and had claimed almost $3 million in live poker tournament prize money and yet somehow, the WSOP bracelet had always eluded him.
Today though, the French poker pro finally got his just rewards for a career spanning more than ten years.
After collecting his first World Series of Poker bracelet, Soulier said: “I feel great. This is the best day of my poker career by far.”
Soulier, a former film and television director, first got into playing poker more than twenty years ago but starting taking things a little more seriously around the turn of the millennium, where he soon found that his hobby was rewarding him well financially. His first major poker score came in 2001, at the famous Aviation Club in Paris, where he took down the Grand Prix de Paris Main Event, for prize money of around $57,000.
Soulier made the tough decision to call time on his day job and focus on playing poker professionally, which was clearly a wise decision with the benefit of hindsight; his first World Series of Poker cash came in 2004, when he finished 10th in a $1,000 buy in No Limit Hold’em event for $13,880 and he followed that up in 2005 with a $103,260 score in a $2,000 No Limit Hold’em event.
2006 brought a televised World Poker Tour final table for Soulier (he finished 5th, pocketing $240,000 for his troubles) and he continued to make deep runs in World Series of Poker events, the largest of which came in 2009’s $10,000 Main Event, where he placed 49th for $138,568.
Last year saw Soulier’s biggest ever poker tournament pay day, which came on the Partouche Poker Tour where he finished third in the main event for $701,320.
Today’s WSOP victory may have only earned him $609,130 in comparison, but it is this tournament victory that will mean the most to the 42 year old from Avignon; in an interview with PokerPages.com, Soulier said that his ambition was to win some WSOP jewellery: “Winning a WSOP Bracelet is something I would love. But with the large fields that we face today it could take a while.”
But perhaps it’s not only the huge attendances at the World Series of Poker that are responsible for the lack of a World Series bracelet until today, but also Soulier’s own mental state at the poker table; he said of his HORSE Championship victory: “I’m very emotional as a player and it’s very demanding for me. I have to work to control my emotions maybe more than other players. That’s a key for me and in this tournament I think I did a pretty good job.”
You certainly did Fabrice. You certainly did.