On Friday, the C$1,000,000 guarantee Full Tilt Poker Montreal Main Event kicked off with the first of three starting days at the Playground Poker Club outside of downtown Montreal. Day 1a attracted 491 entrants, clearing nearly a half of the guarantee in one fell swoop. Leading the 140 survivors was Vinny Pahuja. Pahuja bagged a massive stack of 456,500 chips, putting him well into the lead.
Pahuja, whose brother Mukul recently finished third in the Seminole Hard Rock Poker Open $10 Million Guarantee, won a massive pot off of Team PokerStars Pro David Williams during the final level of play. Williams opened preflop, Pahuja was one of three callers, and the dealer spread the flop. Pahuja checked in the small blind, the player in the big blind fired out 10,500, Williams called, the player in the hijack seat called, and Pahuja check-raised to 35,500. Only Williams called.
The turn was the , Pahuja led out for 80,000, Williams instantly called, and the completed the board. Pahuja moved all in, Williams mucked, and Pahuja raked in the massive pot. The New Jersey native is hunting for his first six-figure score since finishing fourth in the 2012 Borgata Fall Open ($107,067).
Williams ended the day with 76,000.
Yann Dion is trying to add to his already impressive 2013. The hometown player finished seventh in the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Main Event, earning $230,000, and 66th in the World Series of Poker Main Event for $102,102. Dion won a big pot in Level 6 (200/400/50) when he and Andre Smith were heads up on a board of . The French Canadian fired out 18,000 into a pot of around 25,000, Smith called, and Dion showed for two pair. Smith mucked, Dion pushed his stack over 70,000, and he eventually bagged 217,400.
Russell Crane survived after picking off a bluff from Full Tilt Poker Tour Ambassador Martins Adeniya. The two were heads up on a flop of , where Crane called a bet, and Adeniya fired out another 12,000 when the turned. Crane called. The river was the , Adeniya moved all in for effectively 45,000, and Crane called, putting himself at risk. Crane showed the for effectively a pair of queens, and Adeniya mucked his hand.
Crane took a hit near the end of the night, bagging 92,600, while Adeniya rebuilt to 174,600.
Vanessa Rousso then proceeded to lead out for 5,100, 14,200, and 40,000 as the board came . Markovic called the first two bets, then ultimately folded to the third and final bullet. Hansen too took a few hits during the last three levels of play, ending with 35,600 chips.
Not all of the Full Tilt Poker representatives were as fortunate as Hansen, however. Dermot Blain, Ben Jenkins, and Danielle Moon-Andersen were all eliminated before play concluded. Blain lost a race with jacks against an opponent’s ace-king, Jenkins also lost a race but with fours against jacks, and Moon-Andersen thought an opponent made a mistake, so she jammed with ace-queen. The player called with pocket kings.
Day 1b will begin at noon on Saturday at the Playground Poker Club. PokerNews will be on hand for features, interviews, and a recap of the day’s events.
Photo courtesy of the Full Tilt Poker blog.