When WPT Grand Prix de Paris: Part 2 kicked off last night on FSN at 8 and 11pm local time, there were five players remaining at the final table and Finnish poker player Mikko Sundell was just out in front of the other four as the chip leader. Breathing down his neck were two Americans (Matt Waxman and Byron Kaverman), who are looking to become the first Americans to win this event, and two Frenchmen (Hugo Lemaire and Frederic Magen), who want to repeat what David Benyamine accomplished in 2003 by keeping the title on French soil.
Unfortunately for Mikko, being the odd one out did not bode well for him as his chip stack started dwindling almost a soon as the episode started. In the first two televised hands, Mikko ran pocket threes into the pocket queens of Hugo, ceding the chip lead to the Frenchman, then AdKc into the flopped flush and flush straight draw of Matt Waxman, who left the Finn with 32,000 in chips and claimed a dominating chip lead. The other American, Byron, finished Mikko off on the very next hand, sending him from the chip lead to the rail in just a few hands. The Finn walked with €133,330 for his fifth-place finish.
From then on the episode became “The Waxman Show” as the American pushed action in almost every hand, butting heads with Hugo regularly and occasionally with Byron, who he doubled up midway through the episode, while Frederic seemed content to sit on the sidelines and watch the fireworks. In one of the only hands in which he did make a move, the last of the episode, he doubled up courtesy of Matt to stay alive and take him into WPT Grand Prix de Paris: Part 3. Thanks to his sick run of cards and some super aggressive play, despite doubling up a couple of his opponents, Waxman never slipped out of the chip lead and finished the episode well out in front with more than double the chips of Hugo in second place.
Can Matt hold on to his lead and ride it all the way to the WPT title? Or will one of the Frenchmen be able to catch up to him to keep the title on French soil? Make sure to tune in to, or set your DVRs for, FSN at 8pm and 11pm local time to watch as we get closer to engraving a new name on the WPT Champions Cup.