The winner of the inaugural Stardust Canadian Poker Classic sponsored by PokerStars.net was decided last night at the Stardust Poker Mansion in Kahnawake, Montreal, Quebec. After three long days of intense competition it was Justin Ouimette who finally took home the bracelet, besting a field of 337 strong who culminated a $327,860 massive prize pool.
Justin started the final table on Sunday third in chips in Seat 2. The early chip leader, Neal Armstrong, holding 22% of the total chips and holding 700k more than closest rival, Xuan Liu, played tightly for most of the rounds up to the first break, leaving pro Xuan Liu to aggressively build her chip stack into a massive chip lead against her opponents. By the first break she was already 1.3 million chips over Armstrong with Ouimette also dropping in chips.
By this time, there were already several eliminations of the shorter stacks. Cedrick Angove was first to go in 10th by Edin Cekic. About fifteen minutes later Xuan Liu made trip jacks to take out Jean-Louis Arsenau in 9th. The next elimination came almost one and a half hours later including the short break and it was Neal Armstrong who eliminated Shawn Zibenberg by calling his all-in with pocket nines over Zibenberg’s Ace-nine. Right after, it was McClung who took out Edin Cekic in 7th. Bill Kontaratos was the next casualty after shoving all-in pre-flop with AQ which was called by Neal who was holding pocket 8’s which held up.
Over an hour later came the next elimination. Chris McClung raised all-in and was called by Amarith Keo. It was Q-10 vs. AA with a board of 9-10-4-K-3. McClung was eliminated in 5th for $19,000.
With four players remaining mid-way into round 26 where the blinds were 25k/50k, the others started to catch up to leader Xuan Liu who was holding 33% of the overall chips.
In a matter of hands, Xuan Liu’s fortunes changed against against her opponents which saw her chip stack dwindle. Armstrong took three big pots to cripple her stack and Ouimette finished her remaining stack of 965k in an all-in hand pocket 7’s vs. pocket K’s. Ouimette picked up another king on the board to eliminate her in 4th where she picked up $25,000.
With the Queen of the tournament out and the remaining three about even stacked, a final table deal was made. All three players would take $50,000 each and play for the bracelet and $16,000.
A few hands later into the next level Keo pushes all in and Armstrong calls. Keo makes trip 9’s with pocket cards and Armstrong is eliminated in 3rd.
The final two lasted two more rounds with the pair continuing to be evenly stacked throughout, waiting for that special hand. Finally, a flop came of 8, 10, A suited (hearts) and Keo shoved all-in with pocket 9’s and Ouimette called holding :Jh :Ac . Turn was :4d and the river :8s. It was finally over and Ouimette became the champion. This is Justin’s largest career tournament win.
The Stardust Canadian Poker Classic was a huge success. It had a great tournament structure appreciated by the players and was one of the largest prize pools offered in the Province. It attracted many celebrities and WSOP Champ Jonathan Duhamel. Many spectators got to watch the action unfold via the live stream broadcast and were presented with updates on Facebook and Twitter.
Here are the final table payouts:
1st Justin Ouimette $85,000*
2nd Amarith Keo $50,000*
3rd Neal Armstrong $31,000*
4th Xuan Liu $25,000
5th Chris McClung $19,000
6th Bill Kontaratos $15,000
7th Edin Cekic $12,000
8th Shawn Zibenberg $10,000
9th Jean-Louis Arsenau $8,000
10th Cedrick Angove $6,500
* 3-way deal ($50,000 each, +$16,000 & bracelet to winner)
Congratulations to all the winners! Great job Stardust!