partypoker WPT Canadian Spring Championships Continue North America Momentuem – Recap

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WPT-Spring-BeltSince ramping up their focus on bringing affordable and accessible event’s to North America’s poker scene and hot on the heels of February’s WPT Fallsview Poker Classic, PartyPoker & the World Poker Tour have kept the forward momentum going once again at the recent $1,100 Canadian Spring Championship, surpassing the lofty $1,000,000 guarantee everyone wanted a piece of this past week at Playground Poker Club.

In all, more than $1.5 million in player tournament prize-pools was exchanged over the festival of 11 events included in the Playground Spring Classic. The bulk of that total, $1,046,630 to be exact, was awarded to those tough competitors that found their way into the payout spots of the 1,079 entry field, once again placing the partypoker sponsored event amongst the largest $1,000+ tournaments in Canadian poker history. Since returning to the north in 2012, the five main events prize-pools have totaled more than $11.2 million, a total of 4,232 entries – thats an impressive bar setting average of nearly 850 players and nearly up $2,250,000 in the middle!

It wasn’t just the tournament prize-money that lined player pockets this go around either; “Arrived @PLAYGROUNDPOKER for day 1 WPT, within 30 min I busted AND witnessed someone hit a 400k Bad Beat JACKPOT – 7,7 loses to 10,10 #SoSick” read the tweet by @MagicAntonio

That $415,000 BBJ at a $1/$2 No Limit ring game meant $157,865 to the “loser” of the hand, $78,955 to the winner and more than $11,000 to everyone else at that table – but it didn’t stop there, at Playground Poker Club, all active ring game players during the hand receive a share, so players the other cash tables collected $500.

Those totals nearly mirrored the top prizing in the main event itself, and meant that potentially more than a third of the field were in the right place at the right time for a giveaway equivalent to about half the buy-in!

The festival itself proved to be an opportunity players of all levels didn’t want to miss; celebrity poker pros included All Time Tournament Money Leader Antonio Esfandiari, recent double WSOPC ring winner Mike Leah, fan favorites Mike Sexton, Xuan Liu and Kara Scott. There were plenty of past WPT Champions in the mix, including Tony “Bond18” Dunst, last year’s winner Amir Babakhani and Gavin Smith as well as 2013 WSOP bracelet winner Michael Malm, who kicked things of by making the final table of the massive 1492 entry $135+$15 re-entry for 9th $2,695, then claimed some new hardware by taking down the bracelet in the 3 Day $550 and it’s $20,000 top prize.

It was however, the perhaps “lesser known”, players that seemed to clean up all the big money this go around, starting with Event #1  winner, Steve Pouliot, running his $150 buy-in up to $32,184 – a notable first place finish over 1492 entries, which built a prize-pool of more than $195,000! While we can’t officially confirm, A

according to Facebook comment threads, Steve has the added bragging rights of taking the proverbial “chip and a chair” to the max, running a single chip, maybe even just the ante according to some, into this victory. No matter how it went down, there’s some very impressive return on investment here…

Along with Steve & Mississauga’s Malm, other bracelet or side event winners included Ottawa’s David Ormsby in the $220 “No Limit Hold’em Six Max”, Michael Hunter in the $150 “No Limit Hold’em Shootout”, PPC regular “Costa” Constantinos Psallidas in the $220 “Pot Limit Omaha 3 Lives”, Jean Rheaume in the $110 “Deepstack Turbo”, Ted Ly in the NLHM “Win The Button”, Montreal’s Domenico Agatiello in the $165 “NLHM Six Max”, Calgary’s Shane Brotherwood in the $80 “All in or Fold” (who also placed third in the PLO 3 Lives) and Lethbridge’s Johnathan Neil Hansmeyer in the $200 “No Limit Hold’em Bounty”.

Last but not least, we have the stars of the show in the main event; for those wanting our extended coverage and final table action of the 2014 partypoker WPTN Canadian Spring Championships, you’ll want to just click to read up more – while for all others we’ll just hit some quick highlights:

Leading into the official final table of six, Ontario’s Sylvain Siebert was arguably a poker headline waiting to happen; having previous finished 6th at the recent $2,500 WPT Fallsview Poker Classic, 4th in the $3,850 WPT Montreal last November and 5th in the inaugural $3,300 WPT Montreal the year before, it looked as though maybe Sylvain may get his title this time around. Unfortunately, he’d have to be satisfied with the more than $380,000 he’s won over these 4 World Poker Tour events (we can think of worse), as he was eliminated this time in 8th. Given the caliber and size of these fields however, he seems to proving a consistency and talent certainly deserving of some bragging rights and is definitely one name in the game to keep an eye out for to do big things in the game.

Though players turned up from across North America, as well as a few players making the money hailing from as far away as England and Australia, the final six was a tough mix of up and comers from Canada’s east; Montreal restaurateur Johnny Mazzaferro, Quebec’s Jason Comtois and video game store owner Daniel Gange, Ontario’s John Paul Tabago and Telecommunication Executive Mario Lim, Ottawa’s Alexander Wong.

With all 6 having very little previous history cashing in events of this size, it truly left it anyone’s guess as to who would take down the belt and title, though after 4 days on the felts, it was the 2nd shortest stack vs the player who started final table with 9 big blinds to begin the day that would face each other heads up for it all. In the end, Jason Comtois defeated John Paul Tabago to take center stage and some life changing money.

Here is how the top ten paid out:

1st – Jason Comtois – $160,999

2nd – John Paul Tabago – $112,770

3rd – Daniel Gagne – $73,130

4th – Johnny Mazzaferro – $54,019

5th – Alexander Wong – $40,301

6th – Mario Lim – $32,638

7th – Pierre Guenette – $27,056

8th – Sylvain Siebert – $21,570

9th – Brent Wheeler – $16,082

10th – Marco Caza – $12,014

Congratulations to all the players who helped make another amazing WPT stop happen and if you couldn’t make it out this time don’t worry, there’s still time to make the WPT World Championships in Atlantic City, New Jersey at the Borgata Casino April 16th to 21st – qualify online this weekend at PartyPoker or, start saving for your chance to make the televised WPT Montreal final table that will be taking place late this year!

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35 year old recreational player, husband and father of three from Calgary, Alberta. Enjoy lower stakes cash games including PLO and limit Omaha 8. Any of the micro-stakes HORSE games will play online MTTS and SNGs. Live, Tournaments and Satellites up to $550. I love the game but am far to social to take it seriously and sometimes give up a little to much information at the table because I enjoy discussing the game, so decided it was safest for my bankroll to take up writing about the game. That way I still get to meet the cool people and opinions on the game, but with a little less risk. Writing wise, currently a regular contributor to Poker Pro Canada, like to write profiles, previews and recaps the most. formally wrote for Canadian Poker Player Canada. My Poker Blogs have been featured on CardPlayer Social and SpadeClub as "Recommended" or in newsletters on several occasions and Pokerweblogs as "Blog of the Month". Past projects included organizing and promoting major events with the Canadian Poker Tour, introducing Big Slick Poker Tour to Southern Alberta and directing events and finals.

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