Raphael Duval may be primarily a cash game player but he showed he has the skills to mix it up with the best in the tournament arena after he outlasted 3,745 opponents to win the partypoker LIVE Grand Prix Canada Main Event for CAD$200,000.
|Debra Ann Holman
|Brandon Aaron Kitchen
Duval went into the unofficial nine-handed table holding a third of the chips in play and in pole position for a $200,000 score. Another player looking to win big was Jeff Cuccurullo who would win a $10,000 Caribbean Poker Party package if he finished in the top eight place thanks to winning his seat for Grand Prix Canada online at partypoker.
That package was secured when Eric Portelance was eliminated in ninth-place when his couldn’t get there against the of Sean Burstein. In fact, it was Burstein who improved to a set on the flop to bust Portelance.
Said Michailidis then bust in eighth-place after also running into pocket aces. This time the pocket rockets were in the hand of Cuccurullo and they held against a pair of nines to reduce the player count by one.
Seventh-place went to Paul Scott during the 400,000/800,000/80,000a level. Brandon Aaron Kitchen raised to 1,800,000, Scott three-bet all-in for 8,400,000 and Kitchen called. It was one of tournament poker’s coinflip scenarios, Scott holding and Kitchen the . The four remained the best hand on the flop, but fell behind on the turn. The river sent Scott to the rail.
Another pay jump occurred when Anatoly Zharnitsky fell in sixth-place at the hands of Duval. Duval opened the betting with and then called when Zharnitsky moved all-in for 11,700,000 with a pair of nines. A queen on the flop was enough for Duval to win the hand and eliminate Zharnitsky for the Grand Prix Canada event.
Duval then sent Burstein to the rail after the latter moved all-in on a flop with a pair of red sevens only to be called by Duval with the . No help arrived for Burstein on the turn or river and the tournament lost another player.
The deep run of Cuccurullo came to an end in fourth place, again at the hands of the seemingly unstoppable Duval. Cuccurullo moved all-in for a shade under 10 big blinds from under the gun with pocket jacks and Duval called from the small blind with [Ac4c]. By the river, Duval had improved to a five-high straight and was the overwhelming chip leader.
Duval then bust yet another player when his pocket fours won a coinflip against the ace-jack of Kitchen to send the tournament into the heads-up stage where Duval enjoyed a 158,000,000 to 30,000,000 chip lead over Debra Ann Holman.
It was one-way traffic when heads-up and it didn’t take long for Duval to win Holman’s stack. After blinding down to a handful of big blinds, Holman moved all-in with and Duval called with . A final board reading gifted Duval a flush and with that he was crowned the 2017 Grand Prix Canada champion.
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