The Playground Poker Club played host to a fantastic poker series that produced a record turnout for the $1,100 buy-in Main Event. The final tally for the tournament saw 1,625 players register for the Full Tilt Poker Montreal Festival Main Event, shattering the previous record of 1,173 players from the 2012 WSOPC Main Event in Montreal.
After crushing the record, Full Tilt Poker Country Manager Geoff Fardy was quoted as saying:
“Quebec is a hotbed for poker, home to some of the most talented players in the world, including 2010 World Series of Poker Main Event champion Jonathan Duhamel and finalist at this year’s WSOP Marc-Étienne McLaughlin, both of whom played in this event,” adding, “Full Tilt Poker is thrilled to bring a tournament of this calibre to Quebec and have the opportunity to host many of these outstanding players. Breaking the Canadian record is a great indication of the quality of the tournament and Canadians’ love of live poker.”
Heading into the final table it looked the tournament was Vinny Pahuja’s to lose. Not only was Pahuja one of the most experienced and accomplished players at the final table but he took a commanding chip-lead into Thursday’s action.
- Seat 1: Roger Lamia — 3,380,000
- Seat 2: Vinny Pahuja — 10,910,000
- Seat 3: Colin Piche — 3,080,000
- Seat 4: Zheng Yi Xie — 1,565,000
- Seat 5: Henri Balcazar — 3,480,000
- Seat 6: Bill Kontaratos — 6,715,000
- Seat 7: Guillaume Rivet — 4,865,000
- Seat 8: Michael Linster — 6,765,000
- Seat 9: Eric Despres — 7,985,000
But the final table would not follow script, and Pahuja struggled throughout the contest, eventually finishing in a disappointing 6th place. After two more eliminations the final three players decided they wanted to lock-up a bit of the prize-money and cut a deal. The deal saw each player receive at least $150,000, but it was third place finisher Mike Linster who would pocket the most money ($200,000) just nudging past the winner of the tournament Henri Balcazar, who earned $194,046 for the win.
- Henri Balcazar — $194,046*
- Eric Despres — $150,000*
- Mike Linster — $200,000*
- Guillaume Rivet — $96,151
- Bill Kontaratos — $74,714
- Vinny Pahuja — $58,006
- Roger Lamia — $44,923
- Zeng Yi Xie — $35,150
- Colin Peche — $27,269
The festival also saw the return of the Full Tilt Poker live feed that first appeared at the UKIPT Galway series. The feed is made possible by Winmedia, and they have done an excellent job creating a product that not only works (an issue that has plagued live feeds all along) but also innovates. I wrote an in-depth article on the feed back in August, which you can read here: UKIPT Live Stream Could Revolutionize Tournament Coverage
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