The fourth and final day of the $5,000 World Poker Tour bestbet Scramble resumed with six players fighting for a nameplate on the WPT Mike Sexton Champion’s Cup, a seat to the season-ending WPT Championship at Wynn Las Vegas and $351,650. When the dust settled on the live streamed final table Frederic Normand stood tall as the newest WPT champion.
“I’ve been playing poker for a little bit now and as a young adult I saw those guys playing on TV,” Normand said. “I thought it was pretty cool and I wished one day I could win one of those. It feels surreal.”
“In tournaments there’s so much variance and it’s very hard to win in the end,” he added. “So many things have to go your way. I feel very grateful.” Things went his way so well that his stack never tracked downwards from level to level. “At every level I had more than when I started, I’ve never done that before.”
Normand was the lone Canadian at the final table and four of the six players were from Florida. But Normand had a rail of friends to support him. Even though he was in his opponents’ backyard, “I felt very comfortable,” he said.
Normand running to his rail to celebrate. Photo c/o WPT
Normand’s friends include last year’s WPT World Champion Eliot Hudon and now he gets to face him in December. “I was planning to go play – one of my best friends won it last year, so I’m going after it this year.”
Normand’s plans for the next coming weeks are to play both upcoming WPT stops. The Seminole Hard Rock in Hollywood is just a few hours down the road. “Yeah, I’ll just go there and play. I like to play a lot so I’ll go and keep firing. It’s fun.”
When asked how he was going to celebrate his career-best score he said, “I have laundry to do,” to a round of laughs. “I also have to message the Airbnb because I broke a drawer.”
Final table action
The first elimination came just ten hands into the day when Brian Senie three-bet shoved his short stack with king jack and was in a bad spot against Frederic Normand’s king queen. Senie was drawing thin when Normand flopped Broadway, the turn and river were blanks and Senie was eliminated.
About 30 minutes later Zhang opened the button, Ian O’Hara called from the big blind with a short stack. The flop came Qs Td 4h, O’Hara checked, Zhang set him all in and O’Hara called off with bottom pair. Zhang had second pair with tens, the board bricked out and O’Hara’s day was done.
Just five hands later Michael Frierson four-bet shoved preflop with Ah Qc and Normand called with pocket queens. His pair held and Frierson was eliminated if fourth place for the best cash of his career. Frierson qualified for the event in a $120 satellite, giving him a massive ROI.
Zhang, Normand and Toby Boas settled in for three-handed play, with Boas as the short stack against to big stacks. Boas doubled up once with pocket nines but then his luck ran out 20 minutes later. He moved in holding ace four, Normand called with queen jack suited, Boas hit a four on the flop but Normand rivered a queen for the elimination.
Heads up at the WPT bestbet Scramble. Photo c/o WPT
Heads-up play began with Zheng holding a small lead of 10.2 million to Normand’s 8.05 million. Eight hands into play Normand took the lead with a river shove after he turned a straight and took a four big blind lead after the hand.
That lead would be fleeting as the pair exchanged the chip lead back and forth over the next 30 hands – neither able to get a solid lead. Normand was able to chip away at Zheng over the next 20ish hands and began to pull away.
The final hand saw them on the turn of a 8c 7d 5s Ad board. Zhang checked, Normand bet 750,000 and Zhang check-raised all in. Normand used a time extension before falling with As 4h. Zhang was on a massive draw with Td 6d but bricked when it came 6h.
Next up for the World Poker Tour
Next up for the WPT is the Seminole Rock ‘N Roll Poker Open on November 24th at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood and then the season-ending WPT World Championship at Wynn Las Vegas on December 12th.
Final Table Payouts
Frederic Normand – $351,650
Heng Zhang – $226,700
Toby Boas – $166,800
Michael Frierson – $123,900
Ian O’Hara – $92,900
Brian Senie – $70,400
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