CanadaPoker.com has compiled a segment of top ten lists which will be published in the coming weeks. The lists have been ranked according to the specific list topic based on our own research and the feedback that we have obtained by members of the Canadian poker community.
In order to evaluate the top 10 Live Poker Tournaments enjoyed by Canadians, we have examined and ranked the tournaments using a number of factors as the tournaments would appeal to Canadian poker players: overall tournament popularity, tournament quality, tournament participation, tournament prestige, venue, tournament size and event turnout, prize pools, overall player response.
We hope you find it interesting and we welcome your feedback in our forum.
Full Tilt Poker Open (aka The Montreal Open)
A tournament that was founded to lend support to a charitable cause, the Miriam Foundation, it has blossomed into the largest single charity poker tournament in Canada (possibly the U.S. as well). Currently in its 6th year, it has gone from being an 800 player tournament to reaching a field of 1,500 players and is clearly the largest field of players assembled in Montreal. The tournament’s popularity has secured it a title sponsor, Full Tilt Poker and during the event, Full Tilt Pros are on hand.
Players register to this $275 No Limit Hold’em event and can make $125 rebuys and addons. The top 30 finalists are flown to Las Vegas all expenses paid in order to play down to a winner. The top 10 finishers share in a $250,000 prize pool including a seat to play in the WSOP Main Event.
You can win your seat to the Full Tilt Poker Open online by playing satellites on Full Tilt Poker.
WPT Borgata Open
Once again, the largest field of players at a the World Poker Tour stop and one of the largest tournaments in the east coast. With 1,018 players entered for the $3,500 main event, the WPT Borgata Open in Atlantic City once again broke the record books with the largest field ever assembled at a WPT event, surpassing the record set by the Borgata just a year ago, demonstrating the increasing popularity of this event.
Many Canadians made it to the Borgata Open this year, mainly from Quebec and Ontario but there were also Canadians from out west who made the trek to play poker in Atlantic City. A total of seven Canadians made it in the money in the Main Event and there were also some cashes by Canadians in some of the other leading up to the Main Event. Check out our gallery for photos and news from this year’s Borgata Open taken from the Canada Poker Team who were at the event (search term Borgata).
Venetian Deep Stacks Extravaganza
The Venetian Deep Stacks Extravaganza is a tournament series that’s been running since 2007 at the Venetian Casino Resort in Las Vegas and have become a favorite play among the poker crowd. Buy-ins range from $340 up to $2,500 and the prize pools total in the millions of dollars and players can play satellites into the larger tournaments. Just like the high buy-in major tournaments, the Deep Stack gives players many more starting chips and longer blind levels. Probably just the edge you need to make a final table and win an event.
Venetian is also arguably one of the nicest poker rooms in Sin City. The tournament series is extremely popular and runs four times a year and the first one of the New Year running from January 25 to February 28, 2011. If you can’t catch this one, they will run the series three more times throughout 2010, with the next one coinciding with the World Series of Poker during the summer. Canadian poker players have finished it in the money and have even won events at the Venetian Deep Stacks Extravaganza.
Poker Stars Caribbean Adventure
The PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (PCA) is a tournament that takes a sting out of winter. Players from all over the world make the trip to the beautiful sunny Bahamas in January to soak up some sun and play poker. The PCA takes place at the Atlantis Resort and Casino on Paradise Island. It’s a great tournament with an incredible atmosphere, but the catch is that the competition is fierce because the tournament attracts many of the top pros, many of them PokerStars pros.
The PCA runs many tournaments during the nine days, with buy-ins ranging from a low $270 all the way up to a staggering $100,000 buy-in Super High Roller tournament. The main event is a $10,000 buy-in.
Canada has a previous winner in 2009 PCA Poorya Nazari of Richmond Hill, Ontario who won $3,000,000 for first place, the largest prize paid to date in the PCA’s seven year existence, though Poorya hasn’t been visible on the poker scene since then. You can expect to see Jonathan Duhamel at this year’s PCA and qualifiers are running on PokerStars. Total prize pools for the series amassed to more than $12.6 million.
Last year, the timing of the PCA was perfect because it was around the same time as the Michael Jordan Celebrity Golf Classic also taking place on Paradise Island in the Bahamas. Poker players got an extra treat cause they got to meet many celebrities. Some of the celebrities on hand were Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, Bill Clinton, Samuel L. Jackson , Roger Clemens, Ken Griffey Jr., Brett Hull, Anfernee Hardaway, Vince Coleman, Julius Erving, Alonzo Mourning, Mike Piazza, Spike Lee, and many others.
The PCA is definitely one of the favourites for Canadian poker players, especially online poker players because the beautiful experience is within reach via online poker qualifiers on PokerStars.
Regina Station and Harvest Poker Classics
The Casino Regina Station Poker Classic and Harvest Poker Classic are two extremely popular tournaments representing the mid-West. They manage to attract players primarily from Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Alberta, Ontario and being three hours from the border, some U.S. players also make the drive up.
The Station Poker Classic runs in March and is made up of four tournaments: a $200 NLH-Rebuy, $800 Freeze-Out, $600 NLH Freeze-Out, and $1,100 NLH Freeze-Out. All four tournaments combined managed to generate $496,000 in prize pools at the 2010 Station Poker Classic.
The Harvest Poker Classic runs in November and comprise of three NLH Freeze-Out tournaments with $600, $1,100 and $1,700 buy-ins. The last Harvest Poker Classic achieved a prize pool of almost $589,000.
The tournaments are very popular with very good player attendance.
LA Poker Classic
The simple fact remains that poker players don’t like travelling thousands of miles to play in a single tournament with the possibility of having to turn back home after a couple of days. The LA Poker Classic is a series of tournaments part of the World Poker Tour which is hosted at the Commerce Casino, the largest card room in North America with 160 poker tables. There is just as much cash action there as there is tournament action. The LAPC runs from Wednesday January 19 through to Sunday February 27. The Main Event is a $10,000 No-Limit Hold’em taking place on Friday, February 25 at Noon and runs for 6-Days. There is a $25,100 highroller event taking place on the 27th running for 3 days.
The LAPC’s tournament structure was designed by Matt Savage, the most sought out poker tournament director, who has carefully crafted the 2011 LAPC schedule to provide great payouts, plenty of variety, exciting challenges, and structures the players will love.
Canadian Open Poker Championships
This year was the 4th coming of the COPC, a series of eleven tournaments organized by the Canadian Poker Tour that took place in late August and that were spread out across three casinos in Calgary. There was $1.7M in prize money awarded with about 2,000 entrants over the 11 days. In the Main Event, the Heads-Up Poker Championship, Matt Jarvis outlasted some big names in Canadian poker to take the championship and $100,000 first prize that came with it. Last year, Benjamin LeBlond of Quebec took the title.
2006 was the inaugural year of the COPC and it was only a heads up event, and it skipped 2007 but was followed in 2008 by its best star showing: Joe Hachem, Jennifer Tilley, Phil Laak, Antonio Esfandiari and Gavin Smith were just some of the big names. Gavin went on to cash, but the highlight was Huck Seed vs Brad Booth in the finals. Also worthy of mention is that COPC is also one of the few major events to offer a wider variety of tournaments beyond the traditional Texas Hold’em including Pot Limit Omaha and of course it’s signature Heads-Up tournament. The team from Canada Poker had a lot of fun covering this great event, you can find coverage in our historical articles and many of photos in our media gallery (search term COPC).
Niagara Fallsview Poker Classic
Poker on a picturesque setting and the largest tournament in the region – the Fallsview Poker Classic. Three events showcase the Fallsview Poker Classic, an $1,000, $2,500 and impressive $5,000 buy-in, one of the largest buy-ins at a Canadian poker tournament which pulled in $775,000 prize pool last year. The combined prize pools for the 2010 Fallsview Poker Classic events were well over $1.6 million with a total of 731 players. Simon Charette won $270,630 in the $5,000 event, Gavin Smith won 1st prize and $188,743 in the $2,500 and Khai Ngo won the $1,000 event which paid him $81,888.
Niagara is about midpoint in Canada so its a good compromise for players from East and West to meet and battle it out. The Fallsview Casino Resort was also once a stop on the WPT circuit and counts the largest top prize ever awarded in Canadian poker to Scott Clements $1,361,724 in a tournament that showcased the who’s who of the poker world.
The team from Canada Poker will be on hand next week at the Fallsview Poker Classic taking place from from January 6 to 11 at the beautiful Fallsview Casino Resort so if you see them, stop by and say hello and have your photo taken and share your poker story with us.
BC Poker Championships
The BCPC is the largest and most popular tournament in the west coast. It practically sells out every year and has managed to attract some big names in poker including Daniel Negreanu who won a previous title. The BCPC is considered one of the best structured tournaments in Canada for the buy-in. This year, the BCPC prize pools totalled over $2.1M spread across three events held at the River Rock Casino Resort with 1,700 entrants so it definitely receives the top tournament honours for an event hosted in Canada. A higher turnout can normally be expected but this year due to scheduling conflict with American Thanksgiving, fewer players from across the border showed up to play. The team from Canada Poker recently covered this successful event and you can find lot’s of photos from the tournament in our media gallery (search term BCPC).
World Series of Poker
It’s no surprise that the biggest poker event worldwide is also the largest draw for Canadian poker players. Although we cannot tell you the exact amount of Canadians poker players who make Vegas their home for all or part of the 2 month tournament series in the summer, Canada is surely one of the top countries sending players to Vegas during this peak poker season.
Las Vegas is no doubt the world poker hub and during the WSOP, Vegas casinos pull out all the stops and poker players can find their game.
There are online satellites to WSOP events taking place on many online poker rooms, and even poker players on a budget can find their way to Vegas to play in the coveted WSOP.
With 6 WSOP championship bracelets won by Canadians poker player in 2010 including Jonathan Duhamel, Gavin Smith, Scott Montgomery, Pascal Lefrancois, Miguel Proulx, Aadam Daya, and many more cashes throughout the WSOP, it’s likely that next year we will see more Canadians try their luck at WSOP money.