Frederic Normand came into Jacksonville with a brain soaked in poker — 300 hours or so worth in the last month, according to his Instagram account. It all came to a head for the 27 year-old pro from Montreal who scored his career-best $351,650 after winning the $5,000 WPT bestbet Scramble.
That amount includes a $10,400 seat to the hottest event left in 2023, the $40 million guaranteed WPT World Championship in December. His name will also go on the Mike Sexton Cup.
“It feels surreal because you know in tournaments with variance it’s very hard to win in the end. So much has to go your way. I feel very grateful,” said Normand, following his win. “One of my best friends won it last year, Eliot, so I’m going after him this year,” he said when asked about the WPT World Championship seat.
That would be Eliot Hudon, who won $4.1 million at the WPT World Championship last December.
A total of 365 entrants from two starting flights – 165 in Day 1A and 200 in Day 1B – made up the $5,000 buy-in championship event at the bestbet Jacksonville’s card room. The field generated a prize pool of $1,660,750, which paid out the top 46 finishers.
Final table of $5,000 World Poker Tour bestbet Scramble
Frederic Normand – $351,650 (included seat into $10,400 WPT World Championship)
Heng Zhang – $226,700
Toby Boas – $166,800
Michael Frierson – $123,900
Ian O’Hara – $92,900
Brian Senie – $70,400
Normand is on a sort of an upswing this year. This victory more than doubled his biggest cash, which came this summer for finishing fifth in a $3,000 World Series of Poker event for $177K. He also went deep in the $3,000 freezeout at the WSOP, but finished 11th out of 1,598.
Zhang also bagged his career best, $145,000 more than the $81,000 he won for finishing 75th in the 2021 WSOP Main Event.
Boas is inching his lifetime tournament winnings towards the $2 million mark and has came close to popping one of these events in the past — as close as possible in 2022 with a runner-up in a $3,000 WSOP event. He also has a third in a WSOP Circuit Main Event in 2018.
Frierson’s fourth-place finish amounted to his best cash. This wasn’t his first final table at bestbet Jacksonville, though. He finished fifth in this year’s Winter Series Open’s $2,000 Main Event for $33,000.
With more than $4.2 million won in tournaments, O’Hara was the most accomplished player at the final table. He owns plenty of hardware from winning tournaments in the card rooms of south Florida, and was the runner-up in the 2021 $10,000 WSOP Seven Card Stud Hi/Lo Championship.
Senie cracked the half-milly in tourney wins mark by making the final table.
“It was a pleasure to be back at bestbet Jacksonville, which got its start on the World Poker Tour back in 2016,” said WPT CEO Adam Pliska. “Congratulations to Frederic for his triumph in the championship event and new place on the Mike Sexton WPT Champions Cup.”
The WPT stays in Florida with the Seminole Rock ‘N’ Roll Poker Open at Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood which runs until Nov. 29. The $3,500 buy-in championship event will take place Nov. 24-29.