Mohsin Charania Becomes WPT Grand Prix de Paris Champion

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Mohsin Charania is no stranger to World Poker Tour tournaments, or any other major live tournaments for that matter. He has cashed in numerous WPT and World Series of Poker tournaments, with his first WPT final table in 2010 at the Foxwoods World Poker Finals where he cashed in sixth place. He also made the final table of the 2012 WPT Rendez-Vous a Paris Main Event with a fifth place finish. His biggest win, however, came on the European Poker Tour earlier in 2012 when he won the EPT Grand Final Main Event in Monte Carlo for €1.35 million. He was certainly no underdog going into the WPT Grand Prix de Paris Main Event in 2013.

Slow Opening Days for Charania

The €7,500 buy-in No Limit Hold’em Main Event began on October 25 at the Aviation Club de France on the Champs Elysees. Charania played the first of two starting days, finishing in 20th chip position. Altogether, the tournament brought in 187 entries for a prize pool of €1,839,496. The top 21 players were set to be paid with €340K on top for the winner.

Day 2 brought back 132 survivors from the starting days and thinned the field to 65 players, with Charania in the bottom half of the chip counts with only 59,300 in his stack. Reigning champion Matt Salsberg was in the lead with 212,600 chips.

The field thinned further on Day 3 but still didn’t make it into the money. Things were looking somewhat grim for Charania, who finished fourth-to-last in the chip counts with only 102,500, while Vasily Firsau led the group of 24 players with 756K.

Day Four Thins Playing Field

Live updates from the World Poker Tour on Day 4 reported that Charania was moving all-in early with no callers. The bubble soon burst when Jonnie Sonelin’s A-K was defeated by the A-Q of Jason Koon when a queen came on the flop. The rest of the field was guaranteed at least $20,250 for their efforts, and some who cashed included Byron Kaverman in 20th place, Micah Raskin in 18th place, Kara Scot in 14th place, Jason Koon in 13th place, Matt Salsberg in 12th place, and Marvin Rettenmaier in tenth. Meanwhile, Charania stayed in action with a double-up through Rettenmaier earlier and another through Kimmo Kurko. The night finally ended when Christina Lindley eliminated Bernard Guigon, with the latter taking home $60,562 for his seventh place finish.

The final table was set with the following players and their corresponding chip counts:

Seat 1: Peter Astopolou (269,000)
Seat 2: Kimmo Kurko (116,000)
Seat 3: Elliot Smith (782,000)
Seat 4: Mohsin Charania (644,000)
Seat 5: Christina Lindley (880,000)
Seat 6: Vasili Firsau (2,893,000)

Big Moves and Upsets at Final Table

Charania suffered a hit as the final table got underway when Apostolou doubled through him twice, but Charania did double back through him once. But Kurko was the worst off, eliminated with A-Q by the pocket jacks of Firsau. Lindley was the next to move all-in, but her A-K hit the pocket aces of Firsau to send Lindley home. Firsau also eliminated Smith with jacks over A-6.

Three-handed play saw Charania double through Firsau, but when Apostolou tried the same, his queens were outdone by the A-K of Firsau, and Apostolou was out in third place.

Doubling Up to Victory

Heads-up action began with Firsau holding 4,898,000 chips, and Charania in trouble with 712K. But Charania started strong with a double-up. He lost ground, doubled again and repeated the feat. Finally, however, he found some momentum that took him into the chip lead. Firsau eventually pushed all-in with A-Q against the pocket tens of Charania, and the board of 7-7-3-8-2 sent Firsau off in second place.

Charania added a WPT title to his résumé. In a post-game interview, he said he felt “very blessed, very grateful” and claimed he would be crying tears of joy when the reality of the victory set in.

The final table results were:

1st place: Mohsin Charania ($469,477)
2nd place: Vasili Firsau ($317,867)
3rd place: Peter Apostolou ($204,432)
4th place: Elliot Smith ($151,359)
5th place: Christina Lindley ($113,614)
6th place: Kimmo Kurko ($90,845)

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