The High Stakes Frenchmen Who Won $9Million Online

The biggest names in the high-stakes online poker world are generally well-known to fans and followers of the live game, Ivey, Antonius, Blom and Dwan among them, but what about the huge winners who get less attention? Today we will take a sneaky peek at two $multi-million crushers from France, Alex BiatchPeople Luneau and Sebastien seb86 Sabic…

By: Andrew Burnett

The French Connection part 1: Alex ‘BiatchPeople’ Luneau

Alex ‘BiatchPeople’ Luneau retired from professional poker last summer as he approached the ripe old age of 30, surprising even himself when he “cashed out my entire online bankroll, when I surprised even myself by leaving a High Stakes game with a free seat still waiting for me alongside a certain Gus Hansen...”

The 10 years he spent in the game, however - from his first $5 deposit to his $3.4million lifetime graph when he hung up his cards - was an almost unmitigated success story

…but as Luneau explained on his Team Winamax leaving blog, “it is time for me to turn the page. The money I have won at the tables over these last ten years has given me a priceless luxury: the time to devote myself to a new challenge, the time to get used to my own pace.

The measure of Luneau’s stature in the game was spelled out by his Winamax team reply on hearing of his departure: “let’s not forget the words Phil Ivey told you at the beginning of yet another epic high stakes confrontation: 'I’m playing against you, because only by confronting the best you can improve!'”

That’s how good Luneau was, fighting the very best in the game and as often as not emerging victorious, Ignat ‘0human0’ Liviu, Timofey ‘Trueteller’ Kuznetsov and Ben ‘sauce123’ Sulsky among Luneau’s opposition…

And what comes after poker for a star of the game? As Luneau revealed, “This new chapter in my life will be devoted to machine learning, a branch of the artificial intelligence sciences that has the potential to revolutionize many sectors and industries."

The French Connection part 2: Sebastien ‘Seb86’ Sabic

Sebastien ‘Seb86’ Sabic is another name who really ought to be known to anyone who takes the game seriously, a product of the poker boom who, like Luneau, started out small and used books such as Doyle Brunson’s ‘SuperSystem 2’ and playing online as the perfect tools to improve…

And improve he did, winning $millions in the run-up to Black Friday and riding out the online storm as a member of Team PokerStars Online, the likes of Randy ‘nanonoko’ Lew alongside him.

With Luneau as a flatmate, improving his game meant focusing on one game at a time, adding NLHE and PLO into his arsenal besides his favourite 2-7 Triple Draw – not a game with much in the way of highstakes action on its own.

Dealing with non-card problems was also a learning curve for the young Frenchman, “I would say it’s very important to have a small, very close group of friends you can talk poker with and maybe sell action to and/or transfer money. You improve a lot this way, but you have to know who your true friends are. Many poker players get confused about this.”

As with his close friend Luneau above, poker wasn’t the be all and end all for the still-young Sabic, and the $millions won over a glorious half decade in the game set him up nicely to pursue other goals.


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