World Series of Poker Europe

WPT on FSN Grand Prix de Paris Part III: Jorgensen Looks to Make WPT History

Theo Jorgensen

Sunday nights are poker night on Fox Sports Network where new episodes of the World Poker Tour Season XI can be found. This past weekend, the conclusion of the Grand Prix de Paris, a €7,500 Main Event that attracted 228 entries at the Aviation Club in Paris, France, was shown, and just three men remained in contention for the €400,000 top prize—Theo Jorgensen, Philipp Gruissem and Matt Salsberg.

The three had survived a tough final table that also included Fabian Quoss, Mohsin Charania and Timothy Adams. You can read about the former’s demise in our recap of Part I, while the latter two fell in the second episode.

Interestingly, Jorgensen was looking to become the first player in WPT history to win the same title twice after having won the Grand Prix de Paris in Season IX. Could history be made?

Here’s how things stacked up at the top of the broadcast, which began with the blinds at 20,000/40,000/5,000:

WPT Season XI Grand Prix de Paris Final Table

1Matt Salsberg1,920,000 (48 BBs)
2Philipp Gruissem2,270,000 (56 BBs)
3Theo Jorgensen2,655,000 (66 BBs)

Dating Renae Garcia: As mentioned in our previous recap, Matt Salsberg is a noted Hollywood writer and producer who has worked on such shows as HBO’s Entourage and Showtime’s Weeds. Being a player in Hollywood is envious, but add to the fact that Salsberg is dating Renae Garcia and one can’t help but be jealous.

Ranae Garcia
Ranae Garcia

Garcia, who was in the crowd sweating her man, is actually an accomplished poker player herself. Interestingly, Salsberg and Garcia played at the same table in the Legends of Poker back in Season 10. They played side by side on Day 2, and actually drew side-by-side seats during the Day 3 redraw. Garcia ended up finishing 53rd in that event for $8,480, while Salsberg took 42nd for $9,250.

C’Mon Man: In one of the broadcast hands, something rather disgusting yet prevalent in poker happened. It began when Philipp Gruissem limped from the small blind with the {A-Diamonds}{9-Spades} and Theo Jorgensen checked his option from the big with the {Q-Diamonds}{4-Spades}. The {8-Spades}{9-Diamonds}{4-Clubs} flop saw Gruissem bet 40,000 and Jorgensen call, bringing about the {4-Diamonds} turn. Gruissem bet again, this time 125,000, and Jorgensen just called with his three fours. The {Q-Clubs} river improve Jorgensen to a full house, and he made it a million to go after Gruissem led out for 400,000.

At this point, Gruissem seemed to know he was in trouble. He picked up a tournament plaque, worth T100,000, and began to scratch the back of his head with it. This is a plaque that had been exchanging hands and would be changing hands throughout the tournament, and here Gruissem was itching his greasy scalp with it. C’mon man. Anyway, Gruissem ended up folding and held onto that plaque—at least for a little bit.

Fatherly Advice: Theo Jorgensen’s dad, Gert, was watching his son at the final table, which prompted the poker pro to relate a funny story. “I think it start off when I hit the Main Event of the World Series in Europe, and my dad who went had to work the next day,” Jorgensen explained. “He said, ‘Well, if my son makes it, I’m not going to be able to go to work. I get into a huge hand where the other guy was actually considering laying down kings, and he calls and I have five big blinds left, and then I could just feel this tap coming on my shoulder as I lose this hand. It’s my dad. He leans in and says, ‘I can just make the flight if I leave now. Good luck.”

“He’s Steaming Like a Cheap Economy Car”: That’s what Vince Van Patten said after Theo Jorgensen lost a big pot to Matt Salsberg. In the very next hand, Jorgensen min-raised to 120,000 from the button with the {K-Diamonds}{9-Diamonds} and then called when Philipp Gruissem, who held the {J-Spades}{J-Hearts}, moved all in for 610,000. The man known as “Philbort” was a 66% favorite and lifted a beer and cheered.

“Let’s see a cowboy,” Jorgensen said. Wouldn’t you know it, the {k-Hearts}{a-Clubs}{6-Spades} flop gave him one. Gruissem was up out of his seat to watch the {4-Spades} turn, and then put on his jacket before the {10h] completed the board on the river. Gruissem shook hands with his opponent and then took his leave in third place for €170,165.

“Good competition and a lot of fun at the table,” Gruissem said in his post-elimination interview. “Once you get that far you always want to win, but I am happy with the result.”

The WPT Foundation: The Royal Flush Girls get many perks, but none are as satisfying as the work they get to do with the WPT Foundation, which works with various charities at each stop. In France, they visited an animal shelter, Aide aux Vieux Animaux, that provides a safe place for pets whose owners can no longer care for them. The RFGs got to interact with horses, pigeons, deer, and of course cats and dogs. To learn more, log onto

The End is Near: The heads-up battle began with Matt Salsberg and Theo Jorgensen essentially even in chips, but the latter was able to pull out to a big lead. Salsberg was on the verge of elimination when he ran {A-Clubs}{4-Spades} into the {A-Diamonds}{5-Diamonds} of Jorgensen, but a lucky [9h8s4] flop allowed him to double. Not long after, Salsberg got his shorter stack all in with the {A-Diamonds}{10-Clubs} and was dominated by the {A-Hearts}{Q-Spades} of Jorgensen. It looked as if Jorgensen was going to make poker history by winning the title for a second time in three years, but he didn’t like the {k-Diamonds}{6-Diamonds}{4-Diamonds} flop, which gave Salsberg a flush draw. The {9-Hearts} turn meant the man from Denmark was on card away from victory, but it was snatched away when the {J-Diamonds} spiked on the river. “Yes,” Salsberg shouted as he doubled into the chip lead while Jorgensen seemed to be drained of all enthusiasm.

When the blinds were 80,000/160,000/20,000, Jorgensen limped on the button with the {Q-Hearts}{10-Spades} only to have Salsberg raise to 435,000 with the {Q-Spades}{Q-Clubs}. Jorgensen took a few moments before moving all in for 2.455 million, and Salsberg snap-called. Jorgensen was clearly disappointed, while Salsberg was giddy with excitement. The {3-Clubs}{5-Hearts}{2-Clubs} flop was uneventful, but the {4-Clubs} turn gave Jorgensen six outs to a chop. Unfortunately for him, and poker history, the {7-Spades} blanked on the river and Salsberg claimed victory.

Jorgensen graciously congratulated his opponent and then went over to his father for consolation. “Well, everything was pretty much going according to plan in the heads-up match. I was bluffing slightly more than he was, and chipping him down according to plan. He pretty much played like I expected heads up.”

Meanwhile, Salsberg had his winner’s interview with Mike Sexton. “It might be destiny actually,” a happy Salsberg said. “I’m a writer on Weeds and four years ago I wrote a scene where Albert Brooks’ character, who is a gambler, said he was on his way to the Aviation Club in Paris to play a WPT event. So, if there’s any such thing as destiny, I think this could be it.”

Tune in Next Week: The Borgata Poker Open is set to air on Sunday, April 28 on FSN, so be sure to check your local listings. If by chance you miss it, check back next week for the latest recap of all the action here on PokerNews.

Matt Salsberg
Matt Salsberg

Past Grand Prix de Paris Champions

1*Christer Johansson€500,000
2David Benyamine€357,200
3Surinder Sunar€679,860
4Roland de Wolfe€479,680
5Christian Grundtvig€712,5
9Theo Jorgensen€633,902
10Matthew Waxman€518,750
11Matt Salsberg€400,000

*Called Euro Finals of Poker
**Pictures courtesy of World Poker Tour.

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