– General Introduction –
Olivier Busquet is an American professional poker player. He was born on August 22nd, 1981 in New York.
He also has worked as a co-host for WPT Alpha8 events with famed poker commentator Ali Nejad. In 2016, Busquet took on fellow poker pro JC Alvarado in an MMA match in a $150,000 prop bet and ended up winning with a technical knockout in round 3.
– Key Career Dates –
- 2006: He starts playing heads-up Sit&Go’s on Full Tilt.
- 2009: He wins his first WPT title after finishing first in the $3,300 NLHE Championship event at the WPT Borgata Poker Open.
- 2014: He finishes first in the €50,000 Super High Roller event at EPT Barcelona for €896,434. That is the biggest single live tournament cash of his career to date.
– Olivier Busquet’s Career –
→ Beginnings ←
Busquet grew up in New York City. As a high schooler, he excelled in basketball and chess.
As to how he found poker, here’s what he told pokernewsdaily.com in a 2009 interview:
“A friend of mine from high school brought me to an old friend’s house. I never really played and walked into a room with young 20 year-old, confident kids and was intimated. I ended up losing money and that piqued my interest a bit.
A kid I was working with told me I could play online. My first account was on PartyPoker and then one of my doormen told me that Full Tilt was a better site. I made a small deposit of $100 playing $1/$2 six-max cash. I played a bunch and read TwoPlusTwo a lot, especially the high-stakes No Limit threads. I essentially moved up in stakes from there.”
He started playing the format that made him super successful in the game, heads-up Sit&Go’s, in 2006.
→ Live Tournaments ←
Busquet has cashed in $9.005 million in live tournaments, according to his Hendon page. That sum is the product of ITM finishes in 126 different events over the course of 12 years.
The first recorded cash on his profile is from May 2008. He came in 2nd for $7,863 in the $340 NLHE event at the East Coast Poker Championships in Verona, NY. By that time, he was earning a good living through online poker.
His big breakthrough on the live felt came in September 2009. He took down the $3,300 NLHE Championship event at the WPT Borgata Poker Open for $925,514. He beat Jeremy Brown heads-up for the title, even after being down to a 20:1 chip deficit partway through the heads-up match. It was the first time Busquet made a 6-figure score in a live tournament.
Since then, many major paydays followed for him.
In April 2010, he came in 2nd in the €25,000 EPT High Roller in Monte Carlo for €597,000. In March 2012, he had another runner-up finish in a major EPT event, this time finishing second in the €5,000 Main Event in Campione, Italy for €430,000.
Busquet even “got back to his roots” and won a $50,000 winner-take-all heads-up championship, the King of the Hill tourney put on by Poker Night in America, in October 2017. He won the $200,000 first prize after defeating Shaun Deeb in the semi-final and Parker Talbot in the final.
→ World Series of Poker ←
Olivier Busquet is yet to win his first WSOP gold bracelet.
His biggest WSOP score so far is from 2015. He finished 3rd in the $1,500 Millionaire Maker for $589,569. The “Milly Maker” is the World Series’ famous tournament which guarantees at least $1 million first prize money every year – hence its name. Usually, this event draws massive fields that rival the Main Event. This was true in Busquet’s case too – he took 3rd place out of a field of 7,275 players. The next year, in 2016, he took 4th place in the $10,000 Heads-Up No Limit Hold’em event for $123,929. He was knocked out in the semi-final by the eventual winner, Alan Percal.
In 2013, he made it to the final table in the $111,111 One Drop High Roller event. He eventually busted in 9th place for $384,122. In 2019, he finished 5th in the $5,000 No Limit Hold’em 6-handed event for $154,112.
Overall, Busquet cashed in 42 World Series events for a total of $2.005 million combined.
→ Live Cash Games ←
There, he played a session of $200/$400 NLHE cash, with a $150K minimum buy-in. Busquet played against Phil Laak, Eli Elezra, and David Peat, among others.
In July 2020, he was featured in a video by PokerGO in which he provided commentary about his experience on the classic PAD show for the whole 2-hour footage of the game – it was part of a video series by PokerGO titled “Run It Back”.
→ Online Poker ←
As you can read in his quotation above, Busquet started off as an online player, originally playing low stakes NLHE cash.
His breakthrough came in 2006, when he found the format best suited for him – heads-up Sit&Go’s. He made an estimated $2.75 million profit over the course of tens of thousands of S&G’s
He plays under the screen name “livb112” on Full Tilt and “adonis112” on PokerStars. Across those two accounts, he’s also amassed $840,000 in MTT winnings, in addition to his S&G winnings.
In September 2011, he won his first and only WCOOP (World Championship of Online Poker) title. Naturally, he won it in a heads-up tournament: he took down the $10,300 Heads-Up NLHE event for $224,000. After progressing through 4 rounds, he beat a player playing under the screen name “Helio TYF” in the final duel for the title. That is the biggest single online tournament cash of Busquet’s career to date.
Busquet also has an insignificantly tiny sample of tracked cash game hands on his Full Tilt account on the online high stakes cash game database. In 149 hands played between August 2007 and October 2008, he lost around $6,000 playing No Limit Hold’em.
His MMA match against JC Alvarado
JC Alvarado took on the challenge. Alvarado did have more prior fight experience, but Busquet was the taller and heavier one. Eventually, the two agreed that Alvarado would fight at 165 pounds, while Busquets would fight at 187.5 pounds.
Both were able to make the target weight by the weigh-in, so the match could take place on April 21st, 2016 at the Syndicate MMA facility in Las Vegas. Bousquet ended up winning with a technical knock-out in the 3rd round, leaving Alvarado with a bloodied-up face – but with no bad blood between the two poker players turned MMA fighters.