Fred Normand’s poker obsession is paying off on the World Poker Tour

Fred Normand

Fred Normand won that Bestbet Scramble of the World Poker Tour (WPT). At the beginning of November it was a moment of confirmation for the Canadian player, who started at the age of 17.

Poker is an obsession for Normand – a hobby that has led him to play with his friends since he was a teenager. It’s an all-encompassing activity, and he’s not particularly interested in branching out at this point.

Normand sat down with me PokerNews after he died on day 1a of WPT Seminole Hard Rock ‘n’ Roll Poker Open here in Hollywood, Florida to talk about what’s next after winning $351,650 bestbet in Jacksonville.

“Poker is what I like to do the most. I see friends from time to time, but your circle becomes poker.”

Fred Normand’s Top 5 Cashes

Date Event Entries Location Price
November 2023 WPT best bet scramble 1 $351,650
June 2023 WSOP $3,000 NLH 5 $177,732
October 2021 $800 MonsterStack, Venetian 1 $54,126
June 2023 WSOP $3,000 Freezeout 11 $44,823
June 2022 $1,100 MonsterStack, Venetian 2 $32,202

Normand’s six-figure win in Jacksonville was the largest of his life, surpassing his fifth-place finish in the $3,000 No-Limit Hold’em event in 2023 World Series of Poker. The victory was a long time coming for a player who has been working towards his first major win in some time.

Fred Normand
Fred Normand at the WSOP 2023

“For me it was a kind of relief when you play and hope to win one of these one day. Every time you play you know it’s possible, but believing you can win and actually doing it are two different things.”

Normand grew up in a small neighborhood in Quebec City, where he joined his older brother’s $20 sit-n-gos. It didn’t take long for Normand to become deeply engrossed in his new passion.

“I really liked the game and became obsessed with it. But my approach was always wrong, I didn’t study and I didn’t do the right thing because my head was all messed up.”

“I bought prepaid cards to play underage and made $7,000 when I was 17. That was a big deal for me at the time.”

In most Canadian provinces the minimum age is 19, but in Quebec gambling is legal at 18, which meant Normand didn’t have to wait long to devote his life to his new hobby.

Check out the PokerNews podcast with Fred Normand

“I really liked the game and became obsessed with it. But my approach was always wrong, I didn’t study and I didn’t do the right thing because my head was all messed up.”

There was no particular moment that changed Normand’s approach, but rather an increasing confidence through participation in cash games and tournaments. He began studying and dedicating his time to the intricacies of the game, and it paid off.

“I just try to bring in a lot of volume, and when I have doubts, I ask friends and software where I can analyze the information. Of course it’s never perfect, but when I’m not sure, I try to figure out where I can get a clear answer to my thought process – by adding more volume and trying to enjoy the moment. This is the best thing for me.”

Normand is not goal-oriented. Poker is a tricky game and he keeps his expectations low. Anything can happen, he says, and you need a lot of luck to succeed at a higher level.

Fred Normand
Fred Normand at the WPT bestbet Scramble in Jacksonville

As long as he’s healthy, Normand says he’ll make a big push in 2024.

“Last year my back hurt so I was out for about a month. If my back is good, I will play a lot and tour a lot next year.

“I play here and then I go to the Bahamas for the series there. Then I have to go to Wynn and take a week off before I attack next year. I’ll figure out what’s best for me and where I can play, but you’ll see a lot of me next year.”

*WPT images courtesy of SHRP/Joe Giron.

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Matt Hansen

Live Reporting Manager

PokerNews Live Reporting Executive based in Las Vegas, originally from Chicago, IL


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