Playground Poker Classic Weekend


In the short while since Playground Poker Club has opened its doors, the Montreal poker club has surpassed expectations and established itself as a favourite poker destination in Canada. The inaugural Playground Poker Classic tournament series has attracted many poker players as well as accomplished pros from the poker community, a testament to its growing success. The Playground Poker Classic is a series of 15 tournaments leading up to the signature $3,000 NLH Deepstack Event.

The Classic kicked off with on April 29 with a $150 NLH that attracted 337 players and Daniel Moquin became the first winner. The series continued with impressive turnouts to its events.

Here is a list of event winners to some of the events:

$40 Rebuy                           M. Abbruzzo

$150 6-Max                         Marc Dupre

$100 6-Max PLO                Cedric Sebbag

$200 Deepstack                 Louis Varoutsos

$5000 Freebuy                  Real Villeneuve

$750 Deepstack                 Normand Gauthier

$100 NLH                             Jean-Philippe Piquette

$100 Deep Turbo              Gavin Smith

$300 Bounty                       Michael Korovine

Former Montreal Canadiens head coach Michel Therrien and members of the René Angélil family were in attendance during the earlier events including Jean-Pierre Angélil, Anne-Marie Angélil along with her husband, singer Marc Dupré who shipped one of the tournaments.

The $500 Heads-up tournament on Friday maxed out at 32 players creating a prize pool of $16,000. After many hours and five rounds of play, Montrealer Anthony Greco defeated Rob Brown in the final heads up match. Anthony had a pair of Queens against Jack 5. 3AQ on the flop and the turn was a 4. A king came down on the river. Anthony’s win gave him a bracelet as well as $7,500, Rob Brown won $3,700 while Levon Dedeyan and Fuyuki Ikura each got $1,600. Updates can be found on Facebook page.  

Here was the first round matchups.

Arthur Walker vs. Marc-Etienne McLaughlin
Levon Dedeyan vs. Garen Galanti
Fabrizzio Bruno vs. Allan Puzantian
Fuyuki Ikura vs. Philippe Plouffe
Rob Brown vs. Jordan Lande
Jonathan Driscoll vs. Vlad
Gregory Baksic vs. Anthony Greco
Jason Turcot vs. Carlo Nini
Gabriel Morin vs. Gavin Smith
Martin Primeau vs. Nector Lazarus
Eric Theroux vs. Francois Laperriere
Noy vs. Nicolas Soudre
Jay Kay vs. Spencer Stacey
Jason Hallee vs. Ron Farber
Alex Morin vs. Benjamin Leblond
Karine Clermont vs. Michael Lawson 

The $3,000 NLH Deepstack went underway today and attracted a field of 75 players. Many familiar faces here from the poker world playing in this event including Gavin Smith, Anh Van Nguyen, Pascal LeFrancois, Samuel Chartier, Benjamin Leblond, Shayne Khanna, Brian Hodhod, Jonathan Driscoll, Eric Afriat, Levon Dedeyan, George Caragiorgas, Philippe Plouffe, Jean-Louis Arseneau.

LeFrancois was an early chipleader for a fair part of the tournament before handing off the lead to Charancy Khun later in the evening. Gavin played a short stack throughout much of the tournament before getting eliminated in round 10 but he does leave the Classic with a win under his belt.

At the end of 11 rounds this Saturday, 20 players will return on Sunday at 1:00PM from the original 75 to play down to a winner. The new chipleader is Matthew O’Brien.

Players making it to Day 2 include:

Player Name              Count  
Matthew O’Brien              331,100
Charancy Khun              239,700
Jiachen Gong              238,500
George Caragiorgas              193,100
Adam Coviensky              192,600
Carlo Nini              191,700
Stephane Arbour              172,700
Steven Umansky              146,100
Jacob Meyer              133,800
Anh Van Nguyen              129,800
Jason Hallee              120,200
Glen Hammers              114,200
Pascal LeFrancois              112,400
Dave Tremblay              111,200
Patrick Braga                92,500
Benjamin Lebond                90,300
Vlad Faubert                54,200
Jean-Sebastien Bergeron                40,200


The payout structure is as follows:

  1. $72,000
  2. $46,500
  3. $30,000
  4. $20,000
  5. $15,000
  6. $10,500
  7. $6,500
  8. $5,000
  9. $4,500


Stay tuned for updates on Day 2 as the field gets narrowed down. The event had a very positive response and the tournament is very well organized and with good structures.

Here are some short profiles of some of the more notable names who have played in the $3,000 NLH Deepstack event:

Brian Hodhod from Montreal with over $160,000 in career tournament winnings, with four of his cashes at last year’s WSOP.

Pascal LeFrancois from Rosemere, Quebec with over $1.2M in career tournament winnings, last year he made two very big cashes at the WSOP that included a WSOP bracelet and an 11th place finish in the Main Event just missing the final table.

Gavin Smith is one of the most accomplished Canadian poker pros with almost $6M in career tournament winnings and just last summer won his first WSOP bracelet. This is Gavin’s 2nd poker trip to Montreal in the past couple of months where in addition to the Playground Poker Classic where he already won a tournament, he also played for charity at the Miriam Foundation Montreal Poker Open.

Samuel Chartier is from Montreal and has over $800K in tournament cashes to his credit, his biggest cash being in 2009 at a WSOP Circuit event in Atlantic City. This year, Samuel won a PLO tournament at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure in the Bahamas winning just under $100K.

Shayne Khanna is a regular in the Montreal poker scene having cashed in several local tournaments. Like Samuel, Shayne also cashed at the PCA this year for $87,500. Shayne is a rising star.

Philippe Plouffe is also a local rising star with some good tournament placements. He was also at the 2011 PCA where he earned an 8th place finish in the PCA Main Event that earned him $202,000.

Eric Afriat is from Montreal and has over $200K in winnings to his credit. His best cash was at last year’s WPT Bellagio Cup where he finished 6th and was at the same final table as Phil Ivey. Eric will be heading for Vegas again this summer to play at the WSOP.

Anh Van Nguyen is a pro from Toronto with over $700,000 in career tournament winnings. Last February he was in Montreal where he finished 3rd in a tournament winning him $27K and the month before that a 2nd place $34K finish at the PCA.

Jean-Louis Arseneau is a regular in the Montreal poker scene having cashed in multiple tournaments including winning the Royal Series at the Montreal Casino.

Jonathan Driscoll is from Blainville, Quebec and is another Quebecer who cashed in last year’s WSOP Main Event winning $206,000 for finishing in 39th spot. He has had numerous other cashes at various tournaments in the USA.

George Caragiorgas is from Laval, Quebec and enjoys the local poker scene but has excelled in different tournaments in the USA. In 2009 George had a series of cashes which also included a 20th place finish in the WSOP Main Event that paid him $352,000.

Levon Dedeyan from Montreal is a regular at Playground Poker where he took down a $1,000 Deepstack tournament in March. Levon has had a number of cashes both in Vegas and in Canada.

Benjamin Leblond is from Ottawa but a regular in the Montreal poker community. He is a very accomplished and respected player with several wins including a cash at this year’s PCA, obviously a favourite destination for Canadian poker players. Probably his most notable tournament win was at the 2009 Canadian Open Poker Championship $5000 Heads-Up tournament where he beat pro Jeff Madsen to win 1st place and take $100,000 in prize money.


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