It’s been a little more than two months now that Loto-Quebec made history by launching the first government regulated real-money online poker room in North America. Since the official launch on December 1st, more than 28,000 Quebec residents have created accounts on the Government site, Espacejeux.com.
Last night, EspaceJeux hosted a major event, their much anticipated Launch Poker freeroll valued at a remarkable $250,000. By online poker standards this surely qualifies as one of the largest freerolls ever held on the planet. In order to play in this tournament, a maximum of 1,500 players qualified via more than 550 available freeroll satellites running between December 1st and February 12th, making the tournament exclusive but at the same time creating super value for the players involved who earned their spots.
The tournament commenced at 5:00PM and ran for a total of 24 levels where the blinds reached 20,000/40,000 with 4,000 antes and finally finished almost 9 hours later at 1:54AM when finally the player with nickname “thefrogs” edged out “donk” in heads-up action to win $50,000 for first place with the runner-up still managing to win a cool $23,750.
Here is how the final table finished.
Unfortunately, we don’t have final table game reports. The support team confirmed a software glitch which made it impossible for railbirds to view the final table as it played out.
Everybody who played was a winner because EspaceJeux made sure the prize pool was divided across all players who qualified.
Here is the payout table.
All in all, this is a huge step for regulated online poker in Canada. With tournaments of this caliber, a Bad Beat Jackpot just shy of $300,000, a generously staffed and very courteous customer support team to ensure quick efficient response (CanadaPoker tested them) and player membership growing, EspaceJeux is demonstrating that they have what it takes to narrow the gap with other long established poker sites.
Congratulations to the winners!!