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Friday, June 15, 2012
Charette finds redemption in 2012

By Andrew Feldman
ESPN.com

In Event 48 of the 2011 World Series of Poker, Simon Charette had his opponent, Athanasios Polychronopoulos, on the ropes. On that night last June, Polychronopoulos won the key races and claimed the bracelet in one of the largest no-limit hold 'em events of the summer. Devastated after a second-place finish, Charette eloquently commented that "second place … hurt."

Simon Charette
Simon Charette eclipsed the $1 million WSOP earnings mark with his victory in Event 23.

This year, Charette dealt Artem Metalidi that same pain. Charette defeated the field of 974 players in the $3,000 six-handed no-limit hold 'em Event 23 to earn his first WSOP bracelet and a bit of relief after coming so close a year ago.

"The best player in the world could easily play a lot of tournaments and never win a big one," Charette said. "To come in second and then first … This is the best moment of my life. I'm finally validated as a poker player. I've been working so hard on this. People do not think I'm that good, but who cares. I have a bracelet."

That validation, of course, paid very well, as he earned $567,624 for first place and now has more than $1 million in career WSOP earnings. The 25-year-old Canadian poker pro claims to be content with the game and is ready for a new challenge.

"Now that I've got the bracelet, I'm hoping my mind can just settle on poker," he said. "I don't need to win a tournament right now. I can spend time writing and doing creative stuff. I think that's really what I was put on this earth to do."

Metalidi began the final day of play with 18 players remaining as the chip leader. Eugene Katchalov, Ryan Fair, Freddy Deeb, Andrew Lichtenberger and Scott Montgomery were among those busted before the final table, but one of the biggest names in the poker world did take his place among the final six, albeit for a short time. Bertrand Grospellier won the third leg of poker's triple crown on WSOP felt a year ago and has been riding a hot streak for the past few months. However, he entered the final table as the short stack and lost a race to Luis Rodriguez Cruz (7-7 to A-K) to finish in sixth.

The other bracelet winner from 2011 at the final table, Foster Hays, followed Grospellier out the door in fifth. This was Hays' third cash of the 2012 Series.

Charette picked up some big hands during the late stages to secure his victory. Four-handed, he eliminated Eddie Blumenthal when his A-A defeated Blumenthal's A-Q. Luis Rodriguez Cruz lost a race to Charette (6-6 loses to A-8) to finish in third, and just two hands into heads-up play, sixes would hold as Charette eliminated Metalidi (who held A-2).

With bracelet in hand, Charette remained modest about his accomplishment.

"Obviously there are many players better than me, but I just want to be known as one of the good tournament regulars out there. That's it," he said. "Nothing extraordinary, because I'm not extraordinary at all. I'm no Jason Mercier or anything like that. I just want to be known as a good player. That would make me happy."

Consider yourself happy, Simon. Your accomplishments speak volumes about your game.

Other notable finishers include Daniel Alaei (28th), Gavin Smith (29th), Todd Terry (30th) and Will Failla (32nd).

Below are the complete results of Event 23 at the 2012 World Series of Poker:

Event 23: Six-handed no-limit hold 'em
Buy-in: $3,000
Entries: 974
Prize pool: $2,522,520
Players in the money:108

1. Simon Charette ($567,624)
2. Artem Metalidi ($350,806)
3. Luis Rodriguez Cruz ($222,511)
4. Eddie Blumenthal ($146,053)
5. Foster Hays ($98,756)
6. Bertrand Grospellier ($68,738)
7. Scott Montgomery ($49,124)
8. Andrew Lichtenberger ($49,124)
9. Joseph Urgo ($36,198)
10. Freddy Deeb ($36,198)
11. Craig Bergeron ($27,344)
12. Damien Lhommeau ($27,344)
13. Taylor Paur ($21,189)
14. Toan Trinh ($21,189)
15. Ryan Fair ($21,189)
16. Alexander Nudin ($21,189)
17. Eugene Katchalov ($21,189)
18. Thiago Nishijima ($21,189)
19. Nathan Tuthill ($16,850)
20. Garrett Garvin ($16,850)
21. Gregory Merson ($16,850)
22. Matthew Berkey ($16,850)
23. Brian Green ($16,850)
24. Tom McCormick ($16,850)
25. Scott Horowitz ($13,722)
26. Kenneth Shelton ($13,722)
27. Robert Deppe ($13,722)
28. Daniel Alaei ($13,722)
29. Gavin Smith ($13,722)
30. Todd Terry ($13,722)
31. Olav Prinz Von Sachsen ($11,452)
32. Will Failla ($11,452)
33. Tom Franklin ($11,452)
34. Craig McCorkell ($11,452)
35. Jason Senti ($11,452)
36. Kyle Weir ($11,452)
37. Darly Jace ($9,787)
38. Steve Gross ($9,787)
39. Daniel Wichter ($9,787)
40. David Arnold ($9,787)
41. George Wolff ($9,787)
42. Chris Moore ($9,787)
43. Jordan Young ($8,551)
44. Dario Sammartino ($8,551)
45. Alan Goehring ($8,551)
46. Jeffrey Manza ($8,551)
47. Liv Boeree ($8,551)
48. Steve Brecher ($8,551)
49. Stephen Devlin ($7,643)
50. Ryan Julius ($7,643)
51. Jason Somerville ($7,643)
52. Galen Hall ($7,643)
53. David Singontiko ($7,643)
54. William Durkee ($7,643)
55. Jacob Naquin ($6,987)
56. Aaron Jones ($6,987)
57. Farhan Madhani ($6,987)
58. Matthew Tuckfield ($6,987)
59. Yuko Goto Burgos ($6,987)
60. Michael Crystal ($6,987)
61. William Reynolds ($6,432)
62. Kevin Saul ($6,432)
63. Charles Kassin ($6,432)
64. Steve O'Dwyer ($6,432)
65. Kyle Cartwright ($6,432)
66. Anton Kozlovskiy ($6,432)
67. Kyle Julius ($5,927)
68. Ashley Mason ($5,927)
69. Jason Pritchard ($5,927)
70. Timothy Adams ($5,927)
71. Justin Conley ($5,927)
72. Adam Weinraub ($5,927)
73. Bradley Booth ($5,927)
74. Nicholas Maimone ($5,927)
75. Derrick Huang ($5,927)
76. Owen Crowe ($5,927)
77. Jeffrey Forrest ($5,927)
78. Joshua Smith ($5,927)
79. Cesar Garcia ($5,448)
80. Peter Ippolito ($5,448)
81. Helio Liberman ($5,448)
82. Zach Clark ($5,448)
83. Mikhail Aleksandrov ($5,448)
84. Dan O'Brien ($5,448)
85. Daniel Strelitz ($5,448)
86. Guy Beiruty ($5,448)
87. Christopher Hunichen ($5,448)
88. Hiren Patel ($5,448)
89. Keith Block ($5,448)
90. Nick Grippo ($5,448)
91. Christopher Polzin ($5,019)
92. Daniel Sindelar ($5,019)
93. Florian Langmann ($5,019)
94. Roberto Romanello ($5,019)
95. David Benyamine ($5,019)
96. Niccolo Caramatti ($5,019)
97. Paul Foltyn ($5,019)
98. Michael Benvenuti ($5,019)
99. Mirza Nagji ($5,019)
100. David Inselberg ($5,019)
101. Jason Mercier ($5,019)
102. Bryan Vanrijsbergen ($5,019)
103. Matteo Taddia ($5,019)
104. Ognjen Sekularac ($5,019)
105. Kyle Bowker ($5,019)
106. Eric Finesilver ($5,019)
107. Randall Christing ($5,019)
108. Jonathan Kantor ($5,019)