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Play just wrapped up for Day 1A of the WPT National: Canadian Spring Championship event at Playground Poker Club in Montreal, Canada. Mike Sexton, Tony Dunst, and our Royal Flush Girls, Angelique Velez & Tugba Ercan, kicked off the start of the event with Shuffle Up & Deal.


The Royal Flush Girls And Company

Though this event was part of the Main Tour schedule last season, there was still a big amount of hype from local players, as this is definitely one of the more popular poker rooms in North America, or even in the world. Numerous times, I heard players rave about the staff, the venue, and other aspects that Playground has to offer.

3 Times The Fun…

The tournament will feature three Day 1’s, and players will only be allowed to fire a total of three bullets, once a day. The blinds will last for 45 minutes on each Day 1, as well as on Day 2, followed by 60-minute levels on Day 3 & 4. The lower buy-in of CAD $1,100 definitely appeals to a lot of the local players, and there is also a $1 million guaranteed prize pool on the table.

219 Reasons To Join In….

We had a total of 219 players join us on Day 1A, and of those 219, only 62 will be returning for more action on Day 2 of the event.

There were a few notables to follow in the field including Champions Club members Gavin Smith, Antonio Esfandiari, last year’s Canadian Spring Champion winner Amir Babakhani, Tony Dunst, as well as Erik Cajelais, Bay 101 Shooting Star and Fallsview Poker Classic runner-up Dylan Wilkerson, Xuan Liu, and our very own Mike Sexton, but the question on everyone’s lips is did he call clock?

Gavin Smith

Gavin Smith

Watch Out

Season XI Ones to Watch, Xuan Liu, had a quick start when she doubled up her stack against Bill Kontaratos. With the board showing and a pot of more than 11,000, Bill Kontaratos checked, and Xuan Liu bet 4,700. Kontaratos waited a short while and then announced that he was check-raising all in, and Liu called right away.

Liu had and was well ahead of Kontaratos’ . Liu then went all in for just over 25,000 and Kontaratos had her covered. The turn was the 10h and the river was the , and Liu’s aces held up to give her an early double.

Xuan Liu

Xuan Liu

Mike Sexton Busts Out And The Whole Room Cheers….WTF? 

Sadly, Mike was eliminated during level 5, and his bust out was accompanied by a loud cheer in the poker room, though it was for reasons that had nothing to do with his departure from the tournament.

A lucky player in the cash games area had just claimed the bad beat jackpot worth over $400,000! Mike later learned that the gentlemen who won the jackpot had actually sat at his table for a while before busting out early on in the day!

The winner’s name was Richard Figiel. The flop came out to , and it checked to the button, who bet $11. Figiel and Morcos both called. The turn card double-paired the board with the , and again it checked to the button, who bet $20. Figiel and Morcos both called. The river card was the , and Figiel moved all in for about $104. Morcos called, and the button thought for a moment before he folded.

What A Way To End The Night!

Figiel turned over , expecting to win the hand with quad sevens, but Morcos flipped over for quad tens. The entire table cheered and applauded. Morcos won the pot, but by losing to quads with quads, Figiel had won the Playground Poker Club Bad Beat Jackpot, which had reached $415,551.

For holding the losing hand, Figiel received the largest share of the jackpot, worth $157,865. For having the winning hand, Morcos received $78,955. Everyone else at their table received $11,279, while everyone who was playing at a cash game table at the time received $500. This was definitely not a bad way to end Figiel’s night at the poker tables.

Bad Beat Jackpot Hands

Party People….

Of the 52 who qualified for entry into this event via partypoker, ten of them were in the field today; however, only six will be continue on to Day 2 of the tournament. Timothy Vukson, Franco Casarcia, Peter Katsoulis, and Alexandre Baron unfortunately did not make it past day 1 of the event.

We will be seeing more of Darcy Wright , Steven Schartner, Patrick Lalonde, Shane Brotherwood, Edward Hislop, and Steve Caplan in the next couple of days. After speaking with a couple of the qualifiers, Darcy and Steve C., it appears as though they’re having a great time and are enjoying themselves here at Playground Poker Club. Here is the full list of partypoker qualifiers:

  • Darcy J. Wright
  • Steven Schartner
  • Patrick Lalonde
  • Alexandre Baron
  • Shane Brotherwood
  • Edward Hislop
  • Peter Katsoulis
  • Franco Casarcia
  • Stephen Caplan
  • Timothy Vukson
Tugba Ercan & Darcy Wright

Royal Flush Girl Tugba Ercan & partypoker qualifier Darcy Wright

Day 1A Chip Counts

 Player Name  Chipcount
Eric Davis 276,300
Andre Turcotte 267,800
Boyd O’Neill 241,100
Mark Wilson 225,400
Nicolas Aubin 216,700
Steven Schartner 193,900
Eric Levesque 180,000
Michel Naggar 163,000
William Mullen 162,600
Alain Toledano 161,200
Ioannis Pentefountas 160,500
Ruben Perceval 160,000
Tony Dunst 155,000
Ioannis Pentefountas 150,000
Bill Loukanikas 148,000
Danny Ayoub 136,000
Dimitrios Helmis 132,000
Eric Afriat 131,500
Anesti Kocini 124,000
Franco Casarcia 120,000
Kevin MacDonald 114,000
Marc-Etienne Blais 103,000
Amir Babakhani 102,000
Don Fisher 93,000
Peter Labib 88,000
Xuan Liu 87,300
Antoine Berube 73,000
Demetrios Helmis 71,000
William Foxen 68,000
Edward Hislop 65,000
Patrick Lalonde 65,000
Jean-Guy Boyer 61,000
Oliver Racine 58,000
Maxime Laberge 57,000
Kyle Sparks 55,500
Dominique Prefontaine 55,000
Gerry Lye 52,000
Darcy J. Wright 51,000
Kevin MacDonald 46,500
James George 46,000
Jean-Philippe Matte 45,000
Stephen Caplan 44,000
Paul McCarthy 43,000
Shane Brotherwood 38,000
Francois Pilon 37,100
Dylan Wilkerson 26,000
Jean-Yves Blais 20,400
James Stevenson 18,700
Simon Pier Belair-Grondin 18,000
Giovanni Abate 18,000
Timothy Vukson 17,000
Hagay Brener 12,000

Coming Up….

Tomorrow we should see at least 9 more qualifiers from partypoker. Eric Davis was chip leader at the end of today, and took home $276,300 for his victory over the rest of the field! Day 1B should begin promptly at 11am tomorrow. Stay tuned for more updates!


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