Best known on the green felt for his intense focus and relentless competitiveness, Olivier Busquet has been one of the most dominant poker players both online and in live tournaments over the past few years. His aggressive and creative style instills the fear in his opponents that at any time, in any single hand with him, their entire stack could be at risk.
“Poker is a unique and constantly evolving game and one of the main reasons I’ve managed to be consistently successful over the years is that I’ve been able to anticipate and adjust to the ever-changing dynamics within the game. “
Born August 22,1981 to French immigrant parents in New York City, Olivier’s competitive lifestyle started with chess at age 6. Learning how to play mostly from his father, he was traveling and playing tournaments shortly thereafter. Upon entering high school he focused more on sports, especially track and basketball. Olivier ran a 4:30 mile when he was 14 and was league champion in both the 800m and the 1600m as a sophomore. In basketball, he was the second player in his high school’s history to score 1000 points and earned a place on the first team all NYC.
Hard work at Trinity High School, one of the nation’s most prestigious private schools, combined with his perfect math score on the SAT propelled Olivier to Cornell University where he entered with the intention of majoring in mathematics but ended up graduating with a degree in philosophy.
After graduating from college, Olivier worked on Wall Street for a few years, first at a trading firm and then at SAC Capital, a large hedge fund in Connecticut. He was introduced to poker at a home game and immediately started playing online. Olivier began his poker career by playing 6 max cash games on Party Poker, but soon moved to Full Tilt Poker and moved up in stakes. He was soon playing the highest stakes cash games online at that time.
The primary way Busquet says he learned to play poker was “by challenging players that were better then me and devouring the high stakes No Limit forum on Twoplustwo.”
Though Olivier’s natural competitiveness and strategic mind were a natural fit for poker, his temperament did not mesh as easily. Olivier initially struggled with non-strategic poker concepts such as bankroll management, game selection, and emotional discipline. He ended up losing his bankroll a few times and had to persevere to build it back up. He eventually found his calling in heads up sit and go tournaments. He was the first player to profit one million dollars in sit and go games, and then became the first player to profit two million before anyone else had even reached one.
Busquet showed initial promise on the live scene, cashing in a variety of events including the main event of the WSOP two years in a row. He shattered the headlines in the fall of 2009 when he won his first main event ‘The Borgata WPT Poker Open.” Winning just under one million dollars, Olivier beat the largest field in WPT history — when it came to prove whether his heads up online skills were transferable into live play he mounted the greatest comeback in WPT history overcoming a 20-1 chip disadvantage. In addition to this Borgata win, within a 9 month span, Olivier also placed third in the 25k No Limit Heads-Up WCOOP event, including wins over Tom Dwan and Main Event champ Peter Eastgate, and placed second in the 2010 Monte Carlo High roller event, raking in nearly eight hundred thousand dollars.
Busquet describes his first WPT win as “a dream come true.” Never one to rest on his laurels, Olivier’s future tournament goals include an EPT title and a WSOP bracelet.
Olivier currently resides in Westchester County, New York, and lives with his wife and two step-children.