Over the past 11 days, the 2014 West Coast Poker Championship (WCPC) has been filling tables at Edgewater Casino in Vancouver, B.C. The five-event series saw plenty of familiar names piling up chips at the downtown casino; it was a highly-welcomed poker festival after a year of poker drought in the province, despite B.C. being home to a large community of some of our country's best poker players.
After the new World Series of Poker (WSOP) Circuit schedule was released, revealing that B.C would not be getting an event, and the expected return of the B.C. Poker Championships never came to fruition, British Columbians were forced to leave their province to play any poker majors this year, except for three much smaller series this spring — one at Edgewater, one at Hard Rock Casino Vancouver, and one at River Rock Casino Resort. But, finally, Edgewater presented the fifth annual WCPC — a marquee series for locals to be excited about.
The WCPC Main Event had a price tag of $2,200 for a seat in the prestigious tournament, and 257 players put up the money to try to earn a piece of the huge prize pool. At the end of the three-day event, Hiro Harada took top honours and earned $120,790 for the win.
The last stop on Harada's road to victory was a heads-up battle against one of Vancouver's best — WSOP bracelet winner and 2010 WSOP Main Event final-tablist Matt Jarvis. The second-place finish was worth $73,245, bringing Jarvis' lifetime live tournament earnings to just under $2.3 million.
Here are all of the 24 players who cashed in the WCPC Main Event:
|1||Hiro Harada||$120,790||13||Jun Hyuk Kang||$7,710|
|2||Matt Jarvis||$73,245||14||Brian Cheng||$7,710|
|3||Scott Clements||$54,227||15||Doug James||$7,710|
|4||Rahman Khakban||$40,863||16||Tanner Mikesh||$6,168|
|5||Stephen Nahm||$30,583||17||Johnny Yu||$6,168|
|6||Keith Wintermans||$23,644||18||Lev Keselman||$6,168|
|7||Mitchell Hung||$18,761||19||Jorge Chae Dong||$4,626|
|8||Alpheus Chan||$14,906||20||Young Guo||$4,626|
|9||Ivan Crncic||$12,079||21||David Smith||$4,626|
|10||Windsor Nguyen||$9,766||22||Andrew Tai||$4,112|
|11||Ryan McDowell||$9,766||23||James Yang||$4,112|
|12||Dan Dobic||$9,766||24||Charles Shapiro||$4,112|
Prior to the Main Event, the first of the five events was a $777 no-limit hold'em tournament that was won by a name that is very familiar to Albertan poker players. Edmonton's Ryan Comely — one half of the powerhouse Comely brothers — won the event for $57,082, rising to the top of a field of 347 players. Earlier this summer, he won two events back to back during the Edmonton Poker Classic. Matt Jarvis also cashed this first event of the series.
Up next was a $600 pot-limit Omaha tournament that found 93 players to play the one non-hold'em event on the schedule. Jorge Chae Dong, who also finished 19th in the Main Event, won the second tournament of the series for a prize of $15,066. Once again, Matt Jarvis made it to the money, proving himself as one of the city's best.
Event 3 was the cheapest of the series — a $340 no-limit hold'em turbo event. With 216 players taking a shot at the fast-paced tournament, M.D. Hughes took it down and earned $15,552 doing so. Hughes is fairly well known among Vancouver regulars, and you might recognize him from the first episode of this year's WSOP Main Event coverage when he was playing on the feature table with a table full of talent including Phil Ivey. He eventually finished 426th in the tournament for $25,756.
The final event before the event-capping Main Event was the $650 no-limit hold'em bounty tournament. Each player held a bounty chip worth $250, and 212 of them were given out as the seats filled. Bryan Marthaler was the only player to hold on to his own bounty and earned $15,264 from the prize pool as well as $1,500 for his six bounties. Second-place finisher Irena Joy Booth earned the most bounties of anyone in the event. She took home $9,699 out of the prize pool and an additional $2,750 for her impressive 11 bounties.
There were also two other ladies who made the final table of the bounty event, and both of them are well known in the community. Darlene Lee finished fourth with four bounties. She ran deep in this year's WSOP Main Event with a 113th-place finish for $52,141 and also came 41st in the WSOP Ladies Championship. In eighth place was April Facey with seven bounties, a heavily-involved player with local ladies poker and one half of the partnership that runs the Vancouver Ladies Poker League.
The success of this event and the proven enthusiasm for Vancouver players to support mid-major poker events should send a message to organizers in the province. We hope to see much more action for the 2015 season.
* Results courtesy of Edgewater Casino blog