The Série Royale de Poker (Royal Series of Poker) kicked off today at the Casino de Montréal and Team Canada Poker are happy to be in attendance at this great event. The player turnout surpassed last year’s event by attracting a total of 95 competitors who made a generous $2,500 buy-in to create a combined prize pool of $211,965 for this No-Limit Hold’em tournament. The top ten finishers will share in the money but the winner of the tournament will walk away with $80,540 in cash. To make it even more lucrative, Casino de Montréal has added a WSOP Main Event package valued at about $15,000 for the winner. Eleven of the players here today satellited their way into the tournament.
The tournament began with announcer and RDS TV host Dominic Fugère welcoming the guests and reading the tournament rules. WSOP bracelet winner Pascal LeFrancois is the guest Poker Pro at tonight’s event and declared the tournament started by calling out “shuffle up and deal”.
Poker players gathered from across Quebec, Ontario, British Columbia and New Brunswick to compete and included some well known names from the Quebec and Canadian poker scene. Among them are Laurence Grondin aka “xLadyLuckx”, Eric Afriat aka “sniper”, Chris McClung aka “doritos”, Philippe Plouffe, Jean-Philippe Piquette aka “PiquetteAces”, Shayne Khanna, Jean-Philippe Matte, Tony Basile, Daniel Pelletier, and Gabriel Morin aka “Gaby Gaby”.
Last year’s $2,500 Royal Series Winner, Pierre Gauthier, who took home $72,000 and a WSOP Package in February 2010, was also in the house to defend his title. He was joined by Jean-Louis Arsenau, the winner of last October’s $1,100 buy-in Royal Series and $39,580 who travelled all the way from New Brunswick, as were Team PokerStars Pros Anh Van Nguyen and Pat Pezzin who came from Toronto to take part in tonight’s action, yet another testament to the popularity of the Royal Series and to Montreal’s thriving poker scene.
Players started with 25,000 in chips and will play a total of fifteen – 45 minute levels today with play set to resume at 2:00 PM on Saturday until a winner is crowned.
Here is a breakdown of the prize pool.
Good luck to all participants!! Click here to see photos from Day 1 in our gallery.