Playground Poker Club Presents the Laak & Esfandiari Open


Montreal’s Playground Poker Club will be hosting the Laak & Esfandiari Open between March 1-4th. The event is named after well-known pros Phil “The Unabomber” Laak and Antonio “The Magician” Esfandiari, the guests of honour, who have teamed up with Playground Poker Club to design a top notch event for poker players at all levels.

The event kicks off on Thursday, March 1st with a $2000 + $200 Heads Up Event with a best 2 out of 3 format.  With a maximum field of 32 players and an estimated $64,000 prize pool, this one is not for the weak at heart and is geared towards the more seasoned players.

The weekend theme has been designed around two great friends, both on and off the felt and the format of the Laak & Esfandiari Open really demonstrates how friendly, yet how competitive these two amazing poker professionals truly are.

Antonio Esfandiari

The Heads Up Event will be broken up into two Day 1’s, giving players the option to start on either Thursday or Friday at 12 noon.  To make the event even more exciting for the players, Phil and Antonio have agreed to a humiliation prop bet.  Whichever player between the two of them gets knocked out the earliest, will be humiliated in front of the Playground crowd by the other player on Sunday, March 4th.   What that form of humiliation will be at this point remains a surprise, but surely it will be entertaining knowing these two characters.

The action stacked weekend will also feature $500 + $50 NLHE Deepstack Event, again with two Day 1’s on Friday March 2nd at 7PM and Saturday March 3rd at 12 noon.  To keep with the Laak VS Esfandiari theme, the two Playground Players Club members will have their own personal “team” backing them in their next friendly competition.

Day 1A’s players will represent “Team Laak” while Day 1B’s players will represent “Team Esfandiari”.   Although the purpose of the Team format is designed to extend the Laak VS Esfandiari theme throughout the weekend, what good would an event like this be without some friendly competition?

The last man standing in Sunday’s $500 Deepstack final on March 4th will represent either Team Laak or Team Esfandiari, depending on which Day 1 the player advanced from.  The losing team will see their team captain humiliated in front of everyone, in yet another friendly prop bet.

This event is surely not one to miss. Also expected to be in attendance at the event are Playground Players Club members – NHL Hall of Famer Guy Carbonneau, Erik Cajelais, Marc Karam, Mike “Timex” McDonald, Philippe Plouffe, George Caragiorgas and Anne-Marie Angelil.

For a full schedule and complete details on the Laak & Esfandiari Open, visit



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