Niagara Falls saw its return to WPT action on February 18th after more than a five-year layoff with Event 1 of the WPT Fallsview Poker Classic, an $1,100 buy-in. This three day event saw a complete 600 seat sell out along with 50 alternates creating a $650,000 prize pool.
Mike “GoLeafsGoEh” Leah ended Day 1 with 185,600 in chips, good enough for a top five stack with 81 players remaining.
Day 2 was more of the same for the Ivey Poker pro as he ran up his stack and finished the day with 1.46 million in chips, good for second heading into the final table of ten players.
The final table started with eight out of ten being Canadian-born players, including the top three. Leah got off to a rough start, plummeting from his 1.46 million to around 800,000 after doubling up the short stack.
Speaking with Ivey Poker, Leah stated about his start, “I didn’t win a hand for first three hours. Had a few failed three- and four-bets and doubled up a few short stacks.”
Leah couldn’t be kept down for long though; he battled back and found an opportunity to double up. “There were a few bustouts and then I won a huge flip with pocket nines vs AQ for my tournament life with about six players left. I then won another huge pot with pocket aces vs pocket nines to take the massive chip lead with four left,” said Leah to Ivey Poker.
He found himself in a position to use his edge after accumulating over 60 percent of the chips in play with four players remaining, and went on to secure the win and $118,982.
Other notable Canadian finishes include Geoffery McNeel of Thornhill, Ontario who lost heads up to Leah but still took home an impressive $83,413. Thomas Manuge of Orillia, Ontario, who started the final table in seventh, finished third for $53,636. Stephanie Goertz of Niagara On The Lake, Ontario was the highest cashing female in fourth place for $39,723 after starting the final table in eighth.
Mike Leah joins Mike McDonald as another Canadian who is off to a sweltering start in 2014. This is his second six-figure score in the first two months of the 2014 calendar year. He won the $5,000 Turbo at PokerStars Caribbean Adventure in January, defeating Ariel Bahia heads up to win the title and $119,770.