December 2022 marked a turning point in the poker career of Fabrice Bigot. A year-and-a-half after committing to playing a fuller live tournament schedule, Bigot made a deep run in the 2022 EPT Prague Main Event. He eventually finished 11th, after running into two pair over pair spots late on Day 4. The $78,961 payout was the best of Bigot’s career to that point.
Just over a month later, in late January into early February, Bigot returned to his home country of France and recorded the biggest win of his career. Along with the WPT Prime Paris Main Event title, Bigot more than doubled his best live cash by taking home $193,290. But his run of success still had at least one more stop.
After qualifying for the €5,300 EPT Paris main event online for just €250, Bigot put it all together yet again on his way to the final table. And while Bigot’s run in that tournament ended in third place, the $572,630 cash once again more than doubled his freshly set personal record.
This stretch represents the culmination of years of work and study for the 28-year-old, who now calls London home. While you can trace his first live cash back to July 2021, Bigot’s trajectory traces much further back – through years of online play, his early days at law school and all the way back to his teenage years in competitive gaming.
With such a sudden surge in live poker success, it’d be easy to search for an “Aha!” moment or a skeleton key that unlocked something recently.
“I was getting super close to binking really good scores – online and live as well. It was a bit frustrating, just because you know you have the capability of doing it, but always just missing this extra little bit of luck,” said Bigot. “Suddenly 2023 was like, wow, everything is just going my way this year.”
From Bigot’s perspective, his recent results come from the same source they always have for him: preparation and organization.
“It started by trying to put some really disciplined habits into my life, such as food and diet management, cold showers and meditation,” said Bigot. “When I started playing professionally approximately three years ago, I was trying to mimic and copy some of the ideas of the process of other people.
“It’s like an experiment. You go through trying everything, and you’re like, ‘Okay, I feel really good about this and this’,” Bigot said. “The process has been audited over three years, and this is what it looks like: I wake up and I directly go running – not very intense, just a warm-up every day with sunlight exposure and being outside. Then I take a cold shower, for a few reasons – the main one is putting your willingness to the test. It’s very good to train your body [for poker] just because when you’re surrounded by so many people, it’s super easy to get sick.”
Bigot has long benefited from deliberate habits and strong preparation. After being involved in competitive Starcraft II from the ages of 16 to 18, he set his sights on the future. And while he drew great enjoyment from the world of esports, Bigot had a clear vision for what was next: law school.
Because he saw the daunting workload that lay in front of him, Bigot made a difficult decision to shift his focus squarely towards his studies at Paris Descartes University.
“At some point, if you want to pass law school, which is quite hard, I had to make a choice, so I laid down the game,” Bigot said.
As comfortable as he was throwing himself headfirst into his studies, it eventually became clear to Bigot that something was missing from his life.
“After two or three years into law school, I just realized I missed the adrenaline of the game and the competitive aspects,” said Bigot. “It’s something I had when I was involved in esports – one against one, super high pressure. There was so much that I was missing. I thought, ‘Okay, let me find something else that gets me that same feeling, the same adrenaline. A chance to show off the high performance skills that you need to reach to be a winner’.”
Bigot dropped into online poker, but at the very start there were some struggles, even at the microstakes he was playing. In his mind, there was only one way to go about solving his problem.
“I started losing money, so I just applied the same strategy that I had to law,” said Bigot. “I went to the library, and asked, ‘How many books do we have on poker? Five? Okay, I’ll get them all.’ And then I just started studying everything. In law school, everyone’s giving you so many tests, but at the end, what matters is your skill management and being able to pick out the topics that matter. In poker, you have access to everything, and we see what matters by picking out which piece carries the highest EV at the end by starting at the beginning. It’s riveting.”
In the years that followed, Bigot went into the lab and started to grind and improve himself in the online poker world. He’d eventually get involved in the world of coaching other poker players, and the effort he put into the game and success that followed allowed Bigot to turn professional. Five years into his poker journey, Bigot finally felt ready to venture out into the live poker world.
While the biggest wins were still a couple of years away, Bigot’s first result out of the gate was a win in a €550 Unibet DeepStack Open in Paris in July 2021 that stood as his biggest live cash until his most recent run of form. His fourth career live cash came in the 2021 WSOP Main Event, where he finished 904th. The following year, Bigot played into Day 5 of the 2022 WSOP main event, finishing 248th.
While two tournaments offer a microscopic sample size compared to Bigot’s typical preparation and study, those two experiences still produced an impactful result that resonates in his recent run of results.
“It’s really interesting – it definitely helped,” said Bigot of his experiences in those two tournaments. “Probably not the technical aspect of it, just because [compared to some other events] you’re not playing against so many really good players. But I think people underestimate how the main event is like a mountain. Everyone is usually fresh at the beginning, but then after two days, three days… five days? Your relationship to sleep changes. Your relationship with food changes.
“By making it to Day 4 or Day 5, I definitely got some experience of how to manage with very low energy,” Bigot continued. “With so much adrenaline, you have days and days of poor sleep. You wake up on Day 4 or 5 and you feel it. I cannot be playing as good as I’m supposed to. I know it. I’m aware. So let’s manage the image. I’ll play super tight, and slow, and I won’t listen to music anymore. I’ve realized that listening needs energy, and if you’re spending it deeply listening to music, that could actually be stopping you from being aware of something else at the table than the players.”
With the 2023 World Series of Poker just a few months away, Bigot will enter the summer with a healthier bankroll, but a similar perspective. He’ll continue to adjust his approach away from the table – he’s tinkering with a vegan diet and exploring ways to sleep more easily during deep runs – but the work remains steadfast.
Bigot realizes that the biggest wins can be elusive at times, no matter how well prepared he is, but as long as he puts himself in the best spot he can, the success should follow. For the time being, a windfall of almost $850,000 in less than three months is certainly grounds for celebration.
“I’m just enjoying the fact that you definitely need to be lucky to run that deep most of the time,” said Bigot. “In the long term, you’re going to have to keep applying the same process, and even on the days when it goes wrong, the process matters more than the result. I’m trying to enjoy the moment as much as I can, because you never know when it’s gonna get back to that point.”