Ooh la la! WPT lands at Paris’ Aviation Club

Jul 27, 2004 6:24 AM

A record crowd, celebrities and top poker pros turned out last week for the World Poker Tour tournament at the Aviation Club de France (ACF) in Paris, France.

Helping to excite the crowds were French superstar singer/actor Patrick Bruel and tennis great Yevgeny Kafelnikov.

When the dust had settled, Surinder Sunar of England beat 204 other players to win the WPT championship and the largest poker prize pool in European poker history, $2,050,000 Eurodollars, which translates to about $2,550,491 U.S. dollars.

Sunar, the first place finisher in this 10,000 Euro/$12,439 U.S. buy-in tournament, took home $679,869 EURO or nearly $850,000.

Poker fans around the globe will be able to see the final table action when the show airs as part of the 15-tour stop series in March on the Travel Channel.

The WPT’s tour stop in Paris attracted a mix of world class players from around the globe, including the two previous champions — Christer Johannsson and David Benyamine — and a lineup of international poker elite, including many WPT stars such as Phil Ivey, T.J. Cloutier, Chris Ferguson, Noel Furlong, Howard Lederer, Dan Negreanu and Greg Raymer, this year’s World Series of Poker champion.

But some of the most recognizable faces at the tables may not be poker stars. Superstar actor/singer Patrick Bruel, oftentimes called the Brad Pitt of France, took his place at the felt, alongside rising tennis champion Yevgeny Kafelnikov, ranked in the top 10, who also has huge fan recognition.

Season three of World Poker Tour continues this week at The Mirage in Las Vegas, which landed its first WPT event.

The WPT, which airs Wednesday nights on the Travel Channel, features the best of the high stakes, high anxiety world of tournament poker. Season three will consist of more than 15 poker tournaments filmed in casinos and cards rooms around the world.