In December of 2021, Sami Bechahed won his first WSOPC ring, here at the Bike. It was for just under $11,000, and at the time, it was the largest tournament cash for the Frenchmen, as he primarily played cash games before that. Before the series, he told his wife that he wanted to take a year and focus solely on tournaments to see what would come of it. Well, here’s what come of it: a runner-up in last August’s Mega Millions Event for $194,100, a WSOPC Main Event title in Durant Oklahoma for $274,916, and just last night, he took down another major title, the Mini Mega Millions, for $155,00 more. All in all, Bechahed has won over $800,000 in tournaments since December of 2021, a wildly successful year for him.
Last night after his victory, we sat down with Bechahed to discuss his most recent triumph, and to reflect on the last 15 months for the rising star. You can enjoy that interview below.
Did you have any flashbacks to Mega Millions last year when you were losing all the all-ins heads up or were you just trying to block it out?
Obviously, I was thinking about it. Every hand I just try to stay laser focused and in the moment but of course, in between hands it’s hard not to think about it. You always have to adjust hand-by-hand depending on what happens. I lost that big hand with queens against Ace-Seven and that was the first time I lost the lead at the final table. Even after I told myself I was going to win this.
You had the big stack at the start of the final table. What was your strategy going in?
It evolved based on the chips of my opponents. When Seat 8 was getting closer to me I targeted his raises a bit because I know he doesn’t want to bust. Other spots just played themselves. Pressure was always the main point of strategy but I also had to be mindful of my image.
After you won your first ring you said you wanted to take a year to focus on tournaments and boy have you had some big success. Have you been able to take time to reflect on it?
Poker is all about reassessing at all times with every tournament. The run is incredible. The first few small ones I was thinking am I really that good? I need to play some bigger events and see. When I was 2nd in the Mega Millions I thought I played really well and deserved that title but I wasn’t able to close it. Every time you have to prove yourself and I must say I’m very proud of myself and what I’ve been doing.
What’s next for you?
World Series is the main goal for sure. I’m getting prepared physically, and mentally, I’ve already booked my stay there. My goal is to win a bracelet, and I know that’s every poker player’s goal but it seems realistic to me after these results. If it happens this year great, if not there’s always next year. I have my goals of course but ultimately I just try to play my best game every time I play, because really that’s all I can control.