There was plenty of excitement in the poker world this week to fill our headlines. In case you missed any of them, here's a recap of our major stories this past week. We get you caught up on everything to do with poker in Canada, online, and around the world.
Canada Poker News
The World Poker Tour (WPT) Fallsview Poker Classic came to a close on Monday and Matthew Lapossie collected every chip in the room, topping a field of 383 players and earning $363,197. Lapossie, from nearby London, Ontario, gained a chip lead early in the $5,000 WPT Main Event and kept the momentum going all the way to his first-place finish.
Combined with his 60th-place finish in the previous $2,500 Fallsview event, Lapossie earned himself the top spot on the Canadian Poker Tour (CPT) Points Race. With equal points, Mike Leah sits in second on the leaderboard after winning Fallsview's $1,100 Event 1 and finishing 35th in the $5,500 Main Event. You can read more about the CPT and the current Points Race standings here.
A few thousand kilometres away in Calgary, Alberta, players sat down to play a three-event series at Cash Casino Calgary called the Great Canadian Freeze Out. The $330 Main Event attracted 212 entries and was won by Lance Bryant for $17,000. We were also excited to see three women on the 10-handed final table, and Toby Tinordi was the last survivor, losing to Bryant heads-up.
Hopping back across to Canada's East coast, Red Shores Racetrack and Casino in Charlottetown, PEI hosted their annual Deep Freeze Bounty tournament with a $400 buy-in. The event sold out with 160 players over two starting flights on Saturday. John Jadis topped the remaining field on Sunday and earned $17,500 in addition to the bounties he collected along the way.
Online Poker News
This week's online poker news was filled with announcements rather than action. PokerStars released the schedule for their highly-celebrated MicroMillions series in its seventh reincarnation now. The series will begin on March 13th and offers 100 events! The festival guarantees a collective $5 million in guarantees even though the buy-ins hover between just 11 cents and $11, with a single $22 tournament for the Main Event.
PokerStars also released a preliminary schedule for the 2014 Spring Championship of Online Poker, a much-anticipated series. The 135 events on the calendar are still tentative, and PokerStars is looking for player feedback before the schedule is finalized, so send your questions and requests to email@example.com.
Full Tilt Poker, operated along with PokerStars under the prestigious Rational Group, is also looking for player input for their upcoming Full Tilt Online Poker Series (FTOPS). They are trying out something called MyFTOPS that allows players to vote for which event they want to see as Event #25 on the schedule, but you only have until tomorrow, March 2nd, to make your pick. These efforts from the Rational Group to create even better events that suit their players' desires are a welcome idea and show the dedication they have for being the best online poker provider in the world.
Global Poker News
Likely the biggest story in the poker world this week is that American players have finally started receiving their Full Tilt account balances since they were frozen on Black Friday almost three years ago. The wait has been so long and full of constant setbacks that the day players would actually start receiving their funds became a bit of a unicorn and people doubted whether it would ever really happen. On Friday, players started receiving wire transfers in disbelief and the day was quickly dubbed "Green Friday." The Department of Justice approved the disbursement of approximately $82 million to around 30,000 U.S.-based players.
On a less optimistic note, Neil Channing's Black Belt Poker, operating on the iPoker Network from the U.K., announced that they are closing down their poker skin. All funds are safe and accessible, but players will have to find a new iPoker room to play in. Channing ran a great site that was well-received by the poker community for almost six years.