This past weekend, McPhillips Station Casino in Winnipeg, Manitoba hosted the PlayNow Poker Championship. Kicking off a busy month of Canadian poker events, the PlayNow Poker Championship offered four events over four days in the heart of the prairies.
The only government regulated and licensed poker site in the country, PlayNow.com has been trying hard to break into a market filled with tough international competition. With services available to players in BC, Manitoba, as well as Quebec under the name EspaceJeux, the site has not had an easy time of it.
Manitoba, especially, has had difficulty drawing any significant traffic. And the shortcoming is not just online, but in live venues as well. CBC recently reported that the Manitoba government's expected income from gambling in 2013 fell short by 20 per cent, which equates to being $68 million off target. Their net income was just $278 million, a far cry from the projected $346 million.
McPhillips Station Casino and PlayNow did their best to give Manitobans a good reason to come play, and the players responded by filling seats for the PlayNow Poker Championship.
The third event — the Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries Championship — was billed as the Main Event with a $1,100 buy-in. There were 128 entrants for the two-day event to create a prize pool of $128,000. Winnipeg local Mark Charles came out on top after finishing 13th in the first event a couple of days earlier. He also won the bounty event during this series in 2012. He claimed $35,012 for his victory in the marquee tournament of this year's event.
Here is the full payout table for the 13 players who cashed in the event:
The first event, a two-day $600 tournament with 30-minute levels, was won by Jordan McAllister for $20,786. He had to beat 138 other entrants to take the largest piece of the $76,450 pie.
This was followed by a $300 bounty tournament that found 307 entries. With the prize pool falling just short of $70,000, Steven Green was the only player to collect his own bounty after beating Carl Pottinger heads-up for $18,074 plus his accumulated bounties.
The final event had a price tag of $400 and was another no-limit hold'em tournament, this time with just 20 minutes for each blind level. Ryan Morrell topped the 148-entry field to take home $15,014.