Canada's second-ever DeepStacks Poker Tour (DSPT) has come to an end at Casino Yellowhead in Edmonton, Alberta, running from October 4 to 12. This followed closely on the heels of the inaugural Canadian event at Grey Eagle Resort & Casino in Calgary just a couple of weeks earlier.
Calgary's Main Event had a $1,100 price of admission for the $200,000 prize pool guarantee, attracting 283 entries. For the Edmonton series, the price for a seat in the Main Event went up to $1,500, but they expected slightly fewer players and kept the guarantee at $200,000.
They underestimated the strong Edmonton poker community when a massive field of 313 players came out to test their luck, which more than doubled the guarantee to create a purse of $401,422 to compete for.
At the end of the long final day, Ryan Smith scooped the final pot for all of the chips in the tournament. The Saskatoon, Saskatchewan-based poker pro's victory was worth $88,702.
Smith plays many of the Canadian major events, and also travels to Vegas where he cashed the World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event this year in 599th place for $20,228. His biggest cash came in 2012 when he won a $2,500 Deep Stack Extravaganza event for $103,194, and this came just two weeks after he came second in an $1,100 event in the same series.
A lesser-known face at the table was the runner-up of this DSPT Main Event, Josh Steeper. DSPT video host Jeanine Deeb has given him the nickname of "Steeper the Sleeper" because everyone in attendance was wondering who Steeper was and where he came from. He played a solid game and earned $62,220 for his second-place finish, while the locals were wondering why they hadn't really seen him before. Those with a good memory would recall that he final-tabled a $340 event in the Alberta Poker Championship earlier this year at Casino Edmonton.
The DSPT live blog reported Josh Steeper as having "already locked up Player of the Series honors when he advanced to the final four players remaining," though we are uncertain why, as there is no record of Steeper cashing any of the previous events in the series. Another player with the same last name, Ronald Steeper, did, however, find two cashes in earlier events.
Third-place finisher, Jordan Cossette, keeps falling just short of a victory this year. He earned $40,020 for being the last player eliminated before heads-up action, and this comes less than a week after finishing second in the $550 SIGA Poker Championship at Dakota Dunes in Saskatchewan, as well as second in a $330 event during the Summer Super Stack at Deerfoot Inn & Casino in Calgary this August. Cossette also went deep in two $1,500 WSOP events this year, finding a 26th- and a 38th-place finish.
Vancouver's Dan Idema also made an appearance on the final table. The two-time WSOP bracelet winner with over $1.8 million in live tournament earnings has been a great supporter of the major Albertan poker events.
Also, it's worth noting that Fraser Short made the final table, but was eliminated in ninth place. He was also on the final table of the DSPT Main Event in Calgary just a few weeks ago where he finished seventh. Added to that, he came second in the fourth event of DSPT Edmonton, showing great consistency. Watch out for this player in the future, as he has just started recording results this year and seems to be able to contest the best of them.
Here are the top 10 finishers of the 36 players who split the $401,422 prize pool:
There were also four other events leading up to the $1,500 Main Event. First on the calendar was a $550 no-limit hold'em bounty tournament that was won by Jason Mackenzie — a long-time regular of major Edmonton poker series. He earned $15,000 for his win.
Next up was a $330 no-limit hold'em tournament that was won by Jonathan Sanborn who is a well-known and highly-regarded Edmonton regular with a strong history of success in Alberta. He took home $12,900.
Next up was a pot-limit Omaha tournament with a buy-in of $440 won by Jason Steeves. His victory was worth $12,120, and he used a portion of that to buy in to the Main Event where he finished 13th for an additional $5,300.
Finally, local favourite Bash Ramahi was crowned the winner of the $550 no-limit hold'em tournament which was good for $19,080. Ramahi has supported Alberta poker for several years and has won several local events. He now was lifetime tournament winnings of just under $300,000.
* Results and photos courtesy of DeepStacks Poker Tour