Poker Professional Arthur Conan Talks “Chip-And-Chair” $50,000 Excessive Curler Win
With COVID-19 restrictions in place all through practically all of Europe, there wasn’t anyplace for Arthur Conan to play a stay poker event. 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 Laborious Rock Poker Showdown in Hollywood. The collection was large, with the $3,500 World Poker Tour fundamental occasion drawing 2,482 gamers to set the document for the most important subject in tour historical past, practically 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 gained $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 principle 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 powerful résumé for a 24-year-old, particularly within the trendy age of poker with competitors ranges at an all-time excessive. Regardless of his age, nonetheless, Conan isn’t precisely new to the sport. He’s been taking part in since he was a youngster.
“I began taking part in poker at 18, however I knew the principles earlier than that,” mentioned Conan. “My father performed a little bit 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 be fairly a participant. In reality, 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 nearly all of the prize pool.
On-line poker was the place Conan lower his tooth, nonetheless. However due to European playing legal guidelines that enable 18-year-olds to play in casinos, it was a stay occasion that triggered Conan to begin grinding on a full-time foundation. In July 2015, Conan hopped within the France Poker Collection €1,100 no-limit maintain’em fundamental occasion. Even with minimal expertise below 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 rather a lot,” mentioned 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 one in every of my first tournaments, so it was a vital rating for me at that time.”
Conan continued to focus most of his time on on-line tournaments, whereas taking part in the occasional stay occasion. He was nonetheless discovering his manner across the poker panorama and even switched his most popular recreation kind just a few occasions earlier than lastly discovering a consolation zone.
“I began with tournaments initially of my profession, after which I switched to money video games after a couple of 12 months and a half,” mentioned Conan. “After about one other 12 months and a half, possibly two years, I switched again to on-line tournaments, and now I solely play tournaments on-line. I’ll play some money video games stay, however largely tournaments.”
Since he obtained his begin on the digital felt, Conan’s transition to the stay enviornment, from a fundamentals perspective, was very simple. In Conan’s eyes, the sport was very totally different, however gamers that performed predominantly stay poker lacked a technical understanding that he collected after lots of of hundreds of arms performed.
“I discovered it to be simpler than on-line for a similar buy-in ranges,” he mentioned. “However the recreation was so totally different on-line as an alternative of stay. It wasn’t essentially simpler, however 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 might be unlawful for him to play at most event 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, nonetheless, he was lastly sufficiently old to make his first journey to Las Vegas and play a full schedule on the World Collection of Poker.
“I used to be very, very excited to go to the WSOP in Vegas,” mentioned Conan. “I had simply turned 21, so I needed to go play as a lot as I might. I stayed for the entire collection and it was superb. I didn’t have a bunch of scores, however 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 mentioned. “However on the finish of it, it completed fairly unhealthy. I misplaced an enormous pot as an enormous favourite, so it was exhausting. 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 typically.”
Whereas he didn’t wish to admit that it was simpler to play stay 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,” mentioned Conan. “I do assume it was a little bit bit simpler than Europe.”
After his first stint in Las Vegas, Conan took his recreation to the following degree. He earned his first money in a €5,000 buy-in occasion at a cease in Barcelona and was persistently 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 fundamental occasion for $83,918. However he had but to make an enormous, 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 12 months earlier than the COVID-19 pandemic put a pause on most stay poker tournaments in 2020.
“Through the pandemic, I had fewer distractions,” mentioned Conan. “I moved to London, so I simply performed greater than I used to play and moved my total grind on-line. I simply performed for eight months straight on-line with a variety of quantity throughout that point.”
Conan racked up 10 cashes throughout the on-line WSOP amid his grind. However finally, the urge to play stay 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 best course of for him and his buddy and journey mate Sonny Franco, who completed fourth within the $3,500 WPT fundamental occasion for $438,500.
“We needed to do two weeks outdoors Europe,” mentioned 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 difficult to come back, so I don’t assume many European professionals are going to do the identical,” mentioned Conan. “For the WSOP (scheduled for October), in fact there shall be Europeans, however I feel it may be reopened by then.”
As soon as Conan obtained to the Laborious 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 event with this huge of a buy-in earlier than, he did have some expertise taking part in high-stakes stay 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 just a few hours of play, it was okay.”
He navigated his manner by way of the 42-entry subject and secured a spot on the closing 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 in no way mushy, 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 closing desk.
“All one of the best American professionals had been within the subject, and the professionals from Canada and Europe which might be used to taking part in some of these occasions weren’t there,” he mentioned. “So, I feel the sector was fairly mushy [for a $50K], however nonetheless powerful.”
It was something however clean crusing on the closing desk for Conan. With 4 gamers left, he determined to run an enormous bluff on Davies, who was one of many prime two stacks. It didn’t finish properly.
“He raised fairly small from the small blind and I known as from the large 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 known as. The flip was a jack, which introduced a backdoor flush draw. He guess the flip, however it was very small. I raised and he known as. The river was a clean, however it introduced the entrance door flush attract. He checked, and I [moved] all in, besides one huge blind. He tanked and known as me with two pair.”
The failed bluff left Conan with only a single 25,000-denomination chip value 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, nonetheless, was one of many best comebacks in current poker reminiscence. Conan quadrupled up the very subsequent hand from the small blind, and doubled up once more just a few arms 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 once I obtained to 10 huge blinds,” mentioned Conan. “So after two or three double ups, I knew it was doable to win once more. Once I had just one blind, I knew I used to be nearly 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 gained a flip with pocket fives in opposition to Soverel’s Okay-9 to complete the job and take residence the $733,320 first-place prize.
However he wasn’t performed but. The day after his victory within the Tremendous Excessive Curler, Conan jumped within the $3,500 fundamental occasion. He performed one other a number of days, navigating his manner by way of the large subject, and earlier than he knew it, he was making a run at a second consecutive closing desk.
“I had a variety of confidence in the principle [event] after that win,” mentioned Conan. “I simply performed my recreation… and regarded 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 in opposition to Erik Cajelais and his pocket jacks. He picked up one other $111,035 for his efforts.
“I feel that [the money] could be a increase to maintain taking part in these excessive buy-in occasions,” mentioned Conan about his newly padded bankroll. “However I’m undecided if I’m going to play all of them simply due to the rating. I’ll undoubtedly play extra of the $10,000 buy-ins. The cash doesn’t change my profession rather a lot, however 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 a substitute, he determined to move west to Las Vegas, the place he’ll proceed to tackle the stay circuit for one more few months as Aria, Venetian, and Wynn all plan on internet hosting event collection by way of the summer time.
“I’m going to play some $10Ks and possibly some $25Ks at Aria,” mentioned Conan.
Look out excessive rollers, Arthur Conan has arrived.
Picture Credit: World Poker Tour/PokerGO/Seminole Laborious Rock