Five more events have wrapped up at the 2014 Deerfoot Inn & Casino since Francis Rivard took down Event 2, bringing the Summer Super Stack Series to nearly $180,000 in player payouts before the halfway mark. With the $200,000-guaranteed $1,500 Super Stack Main Event along with six other events yet to be played, there is no doubt the pre-series guarantee of $400,000 in combined prize pools will be easily surpassed.
Event 2, a $300 no-limit hold’em tournament with an $80,000 guarantee, was the biggest and best attended so far. A total of 291 entries made up three starting flights for a total prize-pool of $82,935.
There were 64 players who turned out for Day 1a, with Marvin Borlaza ending the day as chip leader with 311,000. Despite playing the smallest field, he as well as three other of the day’s top five stacks, "Lucky" Will Pacarynuk, Louis Talerico, and Hiroaki Harada would eventually make their way to the final table. Surprisingly, Kevin Kammavong, the second-largest stack of the tournament after Day 1b would find himself eliminated in 20th. The largest chip stack of the event, as well as the only one to break 500,000 from a 20,000 start came from Day 1c, belonging Ryan McDowell.
McDowell would eventually take down the $20,000 up top, but not without putting in some serious work after arriving at the final table dangerously short. McDowell seemed very aware of his predicament, open-shoving five or six times uncontested before Joanna Fisher decided to look him up with to his and providing him the first double-up on his road to victory. Now unsure whether to give him credit for monster holdings or not, the table let McDowell accumulate a healthy stack until, finally, a monster confrontation found McDowell in possession of almost a third of the chips; after a bit of three-betting preflop against Day 1a chip leader Borlaza, McDowell overshoved on a flop of only to be quickly called and shown Borlaza’s pocket jacks. An ace on the turn and brick on the river seen over 2.2 million of the 5.8 million chips in play sail his way.
Things went very well for McDowell from there right until heads-up play against Ed Gaetz, who was arguably table captain for much of the final nine. After agreeing to putting aside $2,000 for a small deal, it didn’t take long until the biggest pot of the tournament occurred; Gaetz flopped middle pair with off-suit on a board of and wasn’t about to let it go, resulting in McDowell scooping a 4.8 million chip pot with pocket eights. Gaetz clung on a little while longer with his crippled stack, but couldn’t get traction as a huge 10-1 dog, allowing McDowell the title.
Event 3 was very much described by players as the equivalent of their favourite Sunday home game. The $200 limited rebuy “Five Barrel” was a not-safe-for-work affair, with a few drinks and a lot of action involved. Rather than hang out on the casino floor, players lapped up the three-hour levels of Day 1, taking their time and having some laughs over some untraditional play. At the end of Day 1, Allen Butkovic would end up with all the chips. However, with entry open four levels into Day 2, a total of 21 players took at least one shot, firing a total of 37 more bullets trying to claim the cash. First place was slated for $6,600 but, in the end, Calgary’s Tyler Bourassa and Edmonton’s Ryan Cairns chopped it for $5,510 each, with Bourassa claiming the trophy as the slightly bigger stack.
Event 4 was a $500 no-limit hold’em “Mega Stack” with a $40,000-guaranteed prize pool that drew 82 entries. Stamina was key as the eventual victor would need to play long into the night. The final table itself was highlighted by the fact that both Shawn Sperber and Hiroaki Harada were making back-to-back appearances from Event 1’s Sunday final table. This time, Vancouver’s Harada wouldn’t do quite as well as his fourth-place finish in the $300 NLHE, but Winnipeg’s Sperber would find himself doing much better as the runner up to Calgary’s Bo Fric after a grueling heads-up duel that lasted several hours and wrapped up at around 4 a.m. Fric added his sixth Deerfoot Inn & Casino mid-major tournament poker title to his poker resume, along with $13,000 for his troubles.
The $200 pot-limit Omaha, Event 5, wasn’t quite as grueling in it’s finish. A total of 64 entries created a prize pool of $12,160 with $4,300 set aside for first. When the money bubble did pop, local Nav Sherill had about a 7-1 chip lead over the other five players. Rather than battle the variance associated with the game said to be “where no-limit bankrolls go to die”, the table agreed to take $1,800 each and give Shergill a better-than-second-place $3,160 and the bragging rights.
With a $5,000 WPT Montreal package set aside for the eventual “High Points Champion” of the Summer Super Stack series, things are sure to be interesting over the back half, so check back soon for those updates!