Quick Highlights- Which Canadian Tournament Players Have Been Running Good This Week

Mike Mcdonald EPT Prague

With the holidays just around the corner and most looking forward a little “R&R”, we’ll keep today to some short highlights of which Canadian players are running good as poker begins to wind down for Christmas. Here are some quick updates:

EPT Prague is very near the money bubble, with just 136 players remaining of 722 entries; here again Mike “Timex” McDonald is proving to be one of our best performers, advancing to Day 3 just with a slightly below average chip count. If (or when) McDonald makes it to the 104 spots paying out, it would be his 3rd straight cash in the past week in Prague; a fifth place or better finish here could make this Mike’s best single year on the live felts since his grand entrance in 2008. First place is set at a sweet €775,000; roughly $1,048,560 CAD.

The WPT has headed back to Vegas for it’s signature Five Diamond Poker Classic; at the time of writing registration had just closed, with an “unofficial” field size of 412 entries floating around. At $10,000 a head, the World Poker Tour’s Bellagio stop will certainly have a top spot pay-out around the million dollar mark. Unfortunately however, much like EPT Prague, it was over almost as quickly as it began for many of Canada’s top professionals. Ontario’s Matt Marafioti and Gavin Smith both look to be still in the mix, but according to many of our other “well knowns” tweets, it’s “game over.” The final table for this one will crown it’s next Champion on Sunday, December 11th.

Epic Poker’s third series will also get underway this weekend, with the $1,500 Pro/Am getting underway from December 10th to 13th; with a $2,000 Turbo also running on the 13th. A $240 charity event with re-buys will also run on the 12th, followed by the $20,000 “Mix-Max” Main Event. A $1,000 Turbo on the 17th, and $3,000 6-Max on the 16th-17th. Expect to see a few of our pros in these; Greg “FBT” Mueller, Gavin Smith and Mike McDonald all seem to be staple Canadian names in the Epic Poker tournaments.

Online at PokerStars, a few players we have been following have had some pretty notable results this week; Steve “BetrThanPhil” Tripp had an “oh-so-close” Sunday, finishing 12th in the $109 Sunday Re-buy for $3,381 then following up in the $215 Sunday Million just a few hours later with a 13th worth another $5,795. Over the past week, Tripp has been haunted with final table bubbles, finishing deep in the $109 re-buy twice more for almost $2,000 more.

Canadian poker instructor Casey “bigdogpckt5s” Jarzabek did go the distance in several $109 No Limit events, with a couple of final table finishes worth roughly $5,000 combined. Jarzabek has raked in more than $160,000 in MTT winnings over the past few months; perfect timing it seems as he will welcome a new baby in family any day now and will be slowing down a little on the virtual felts…with over $4,000,000 in career earnings we would have to say he’s both earned and deserves it.

Lastly, a couple of Canadians are clawing their way up the PocketFives World Wide Rankings; Toronto’s Griffin “Flush_Entity” Benger and London Ontario’s Mike “Pipedream17” Dietrich hold the 3rd and 4th spots respectively. “Flush_Entity” has owned the top spot in the past and we’re pretty sure it will be on his New Years goals to get there again in 2012. “Pipedream17” however is holding steady and approaching some a “bragging rights” mark reserved for those truly elite; Mike has less than $180,000 to go before breaking the $4,000,000 mark in online MTT winnings himself.

That’s all we have for now and we tried to keep each topic short this time; we will be releasing a series of Top 10 lists over the next little while though, highlighting some of the best Canadian players, stories and tournaments of 2011, so be sure to visit again soon. Please check out some of our 2010 picks in the meantime!


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Jon Harnish
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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