While everyone at the final table has their supporters, there can be no doubt who is being given the most vociferous support of the remaining seven players. Victor Choupeaux is being cheered to the rafters of the Rio with every pot he takes down. We sat down with Choupeaux’s friend and roommate, Romain Lewis, to talk about Choupeaux's chances of becoming the latest WSOP winner.
“Victor is a French player who was crushing online in France four or five years ago," Lewis said. "He took a life break for a couple of years, then came back. I’ve known him a year now, and we live together in Wimbledon in Southwest L. He plays a lot of pot-limit Omaha and hold’em, and a little of them together. He’s making his comeback right now. He was very well known in France five years ago.”
The short stack of the final table, any final table, always garners a little extra support from the rail, but this is ridiculous. If you thought the British rail was boisterous, it’s clear that their cross-Channel neighbors have just as much spirit. The Rio is rocking right now, and the Choupeaux rail is formidable.
“We know that it’s going to be a tough job. He had ten, then seven, and now fifteen big blinds. But we’ve got good enough people on the rail, and he knows what he has to do. We want to make positive memories. At a lot of the final tables in your life, you might not have a great memory if you don’t make the top two or three places. We want to make a great memory wherever Victor finishes.”
Choupeaux may be French, but he’s recently moved to England to live with Lewis and some other passionate poker players.
“Victor is from Saint-Brieu, which is quite a rural part of France. I know he lived in Paris for the last few years, but Victor is enjoying living in London now with me and Guillaume Diaz, who reached the final table in the $888 Crazy Eights yesterday. Guillaume finished eighth for $86,888. It had to happen!”
The collaborative spirit of the French players who are close to Victor Choupeaux has directly led to his success, at least according to Lewis.
“One of the most important things in poker is exchanging thoughts and theories with other players. It’s always better to learn from others' mistakes and successes. I definitely thought this was coming for Victor. He came back to the poker world with confidence after being such a good player before. He quickly realized that there was work to do to get back to that level. He’s given himself every chance by putting that work in. I’m not surprised he’s doing so well — I bought a percentage of all his tournaments here in Las Vegas this summer.”
Support from friends helps any poker player, but you don’t get a much higher backing than with your own money. Lewis is one of several who saw this potential in their friend and peer.
“Several friends from the poker world in France are on the rail. We haven’t won a bracelet in France since 2014. There are a lot of French people from all over Las Vegas who’ve come to this rail. It would be big if Victor can get it won. We haven’t been winning anything, a bit like England in soccer. If French players don’t have anything to do, they know the rail is going to be fun. I mean, here we all are.”
Victor Choupeaux may seal his return with a decent result but fail to make the final duel. He may fulfill a lifelong dream and bag the gold bracelet. Either way, the roof of the Rio will echo with the partisan cheers and songs that have come all the way from France.
Could the long wait for a French WSOP bracelet be over?