Premier League VII at Playground Poker Club in Montreal – November 20th – 26th


PartyPoker-premier-league-PlaygroundPokerPremier League VII will be held at the Playground Poker Club in Montreal, running from the 20th – 26th November 2013. The buy in is a massive $125,000 so expect some high calibre poker names! And of course the biggest part of this event is that it’s going to be a TV event that will be broadcast across the globe.

The CanadaPoker Team will be at Playground Poker Club bringing you live updates and photos of the Premier League VII.

Here’s who’s who of the Premier League VII:


Antonio The Magician EsfandiariAntonio “The Magician” Esfandiari was born in Tehran in 1978 and moved to California when he was nine years old. For years he performed as a stage magician until he discovered poker, at which point he never looked back.
Leading into the 2012 WSOP, Esfandiari had racked up close to $4.5 million in tournament winnings. Antonio’s numbers skyrocketed in the summer of 2012 when he cashed in an impressive 7 events, including a first place finish in the Big One for One Drop which awarded him the most lucrative prize in tournament poker history.

Tony GTony G is a legend that has played in every season of the Premier League and has contributed to many of the Premier League’s most memorable moments over the years, including coining the phrase “on your bike” and some famous exchanges with several fellow pros that will go down in history. In addition to his long history as a top-flight tournament pro, Tony is also a very successful poker entrepreneur and a famous supporter of the Lithuanian National basketball team.


Vanessa Selbst

Vanessa Selbst is quite simply one of the most feared pros at any table where she’s found. A graduate of Yale Law, Vanessa is also a multiple WSOP bracelet winner and her famously aggressive style should make her well suited to the Premier League’s short-handed format.


Jonathan Duhamel

Jonathan Duhamel stormed onto the international poker scene with his famous win in the 2010 WSOP Main Event, but since then has backed up his victory with other championships in events around the world, which has distinguished him as one of the most successful Main Event winners in the history of poker. Duhamel played in Premier League VI but Season VII is another matter altogether, being held on his home turf in the Montreal area.


Jeff GrossJeff Gross may be only 25 years old, but he’s got a lot of accomplishments under his belt. A former standout soccer player at the NCAA level for the University of South Carolina, Gross became a pro poker player after graduation and never looked back. He already has two WSOP Final Tables under his belt and a sixth-place finish at the 2012 WSOP $10,000 Heads Up event.
Gross had his best friend Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympian of all time, cheering him on to a third place finish at Playground during the 2012 WPT Montreal.


Phil LaakPhil Laak has been playing high-stakes cash games and tournaments for well over a decade. Phil is also a WSOP bracelet winner, having won an event in the 2010 WSOP Europe. The Unabomber also has one of the most storied backgrounds in televised events, as his colourful personality made him a frequent invitee to events since the beginning of the poker boom.


Sam TrickettSam Trickett is second on the all-time money list in poker, having made a specialty of playing – and winning – high roller events around the world. In his career, Sam has cashed in 5 events for greater than $1M each, including a huge prize of over $10M for his second place finish in the Big One for One Drop on 2012. Hailing from the UK, Sam came second in the most recent season of the Premier League.


Daniel ShakDaniel Shak is the defending Premier League champion and boasts an impressive decade-long record of live tournament success that many pros could only hope to achieve – but Dan still considers himself a “recreational” player. Whatever his status, he’s enjoying a phenomenal 2013 with just under $1.75M in winnings already – a figure he’ll hope to increase in this edition of the Premier League.


Daniel Jungleman CatesDaniel Cates has taken the poker world by storm in the past few years as one of the most successful high stakes heads-up cash game specialists. Just 24 years old, Cates has consistently been ranked among the top 5 HU players in the world but in the past 18 months has been branching out into other forms of poker. He was the runner up in the Premier League VI and had a deep run in the invitational NBC Heads-Up Championship this year.


Greg MersonGreg Merson is an online cash game specialist who had a historic live tournament double in 2012. That summer he won the WSOP Main Event for over $8.5M – which he started playing just days after winning the $10,000 6 Handed Championship (a $1.1M score). These victories launched him to the top of the 2012 Player of the Year standings and cemented his place in the poker firmament. Merson has handed his “poker ambassador” mantle to his successor, but continues to inspire with his amazing play and intriguing personal history. Premier League Poker VII

Buy-In $125,000
Total Players 12
Total Prize Fund $1,500,000
League Tournaments Structure 6 League Heats (6 players each), 1 Heads-Up Knockout Heat (2 matches),
1 Final Table (6 players)


Due to the fluid nature of high stakes poker, there have been a number of changes to the previously published line-up. The line-up is now as follows:


1)      Antonio Esfandiari – #1 All Time Money List

2)      Dan Shak – defending partypoker Premier League 6 Champion

3)      Phil Laak – WPT winner and partypoker World Open 5 winner

4)      Vanessa Selbst – best NL hold’em tournament player in the world?

5)      Scott Seiver – partypoker Premier League 5 Champion, WSOP bracelet and WPT World Championship winner

6)      Daniel ‘Jungleman’ Cates – online legend, partypoker Premier League 5 runner-up

7)      Jason Koon – high roller, muscleman, online whizz and over $2 million in live tournament winnings

8)      Jeff Gross – Professional Best Friend, best dressed and runs good at Playground Poker Club

9)      Sorel Mizzi – controversial player and WPT high roller champion

10)   Greg ‘FBT’ Mueller – ex professional hockey player and two time WSOP bracelet holder

11)   Jonathan Duhamel – WSOP Main Event winner 2010 and Montreal’s Crown Prince of Poker

12)   Brian Rast – 2 WSOP bracelets including 50k Players Championship in 2011


The top 4 players in the League Heats go directly to Final. Places 5 to 8 play in the Heads-Up Knockout Heat (5th plays 8th, 6th plays 7th).
The two winners of the Knockout Heat go to the Final Table.

Prize Money Breakdown | Final Table ($900,000)

Winner $400,000
Runner Up $200,000
Third $120,000
Fourth $80,000
Fifth $60,000
Sixth $40,000

Prize Money Breakdown | League Heats ($100,000 per heat, $600,000 total)

Winner 14pts + $28,000 per Heat
Runner Up 11pts + $22,000 per Heat
Third 9pts + $18,000 per Heat
Fourth 7pts + $14,000 per Heat
Fifth 5pts + $10,000 per Heat
Sixth 3pts + $6,000 per Heat
Seventh 1pt + $2,000 per Heat
Eighth 0 pts + $0 per Heat




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