One of the newest additions to the family of pros at Victory Pokeris Jason StatusUp Lavallee. A longtime member of the online poker community, Lavallee hails from Montreal and finished as the runner-up to Tommy Vedes in the World Poker Tour (WPT) Festa al Lago in 2009 for a colossal $795,000. Like the rest of the poker world, Lavallee is camped out in Las Vegas for the 2010 World Series of Poker (WSOP) and sat down with PocketFives.com from the Bellagio.
Victory Poker is a USA-friendly site on the Everleaf Network that features a host of brand name sponsored pros like Antonio Esfandiari, Alec traheho Torelli (pictured), and Lee Markholt. Lavallee explained how signing with Victory Poker came about: “When Torelli final tabled the WPT Bellagio Cup last year, Dan Fleyshman, the CEO of Victory, was sweating him and I had the privilege of meeting him. He went through a similar path that online players did, but in business instead of poker. Once it made sense for both parties, it happened.”
The Everleaf Network is one of the 20 busiest in the world according to PokerScout.com and also features Minted Poker and Poker4Ever, among others. Lavallee can be found on Victory Poker’s virtual felts quite often: “I try to dabble around here and there. I have a mixed background in poker and have played pretty much everything on a competitive basis. Victory Poker is a new site, so there’s not a huge player influx yet. But we’ve been growing pretty fast and have been conquering the network.”
At the time of writing, Lavallee had yet to record an in the money finish in a WSOP event during his career. However, he’s looking to right the ship in 2010. Lavallee has 57 bracelet events to consider entering, but found himself off to a rocky start. He told PocketFives.com, “So far, it’s been pretty atrocious, but it’s still early. It’s a long Series and I’m hopeful that once the bigger buy-ins roll around, I’ll be able to capitalize. There are a lot of $1,000 and $1,500 events to start off the Series. It allows a few people to get some good scores and then want to play the bigger buy-in events, which is what we want as pros. I like the schedule this year and am looking forward to it.”
Victory Poker features an impressive roster of pros. The site recently added Jonathan FieryJusticeLittle (pictured) and fellow online poker guru James Andy McLEOD Obst, growing its presence around the world. Lavallee gave his take on the assembled team: “When I signed with Victory, it was already pretty impressive. Dan and the management crew have done a great job of surrounding Antonio Esfandiari and the main guys with great players. There’s so much talent on that team.”
The crew at Victory Poker is in the midst of finding its newest pro through a video contest. The winner gets $100,000 in live tournament buy-ins, a condo on the Las Vegas Strip, a brand new car, a watch, and more. The team has also gained notoriety for unique experiences like blowing up objects in the Nevada desert. Lavallee explained, “The whole idea behind Victory Poker was to start a poker site that wasn’t a poker site. It was a bunch of guys who got along and love the game. We’re regular guys who have fun and we’ll do what we think is profitable.”
A bevy of one-minute videos appear on Victory Poker’s website. Twenty-five players will be chosen and flown out to Las Vegas to compete for the top prize. Videos are being accepted until July 31st and anyone who is interested must be at least 21 years-old.
Lavallee finished fifth in a â‚¬5,000 buy-in No Limit Hold’em Heads-Up tournament during the European Poker Tour (EPT) Monte Carlo Grand Final in April for $23,000. He also took down a preliminary event during EPT Prague last December for over $50,000. Lavallee admitted, “Players in Europe are good. I spent a decent amount of time in London outside of circuit events and it’s remarkable how often people underestimate how often the big games can run there. I had a good time playing at the Vic. There’s some really good action there.”
Check out Victory Poker for more information.