A few years ago, November in Canada simply meant “winter,” or possibly an excuse to grow a “Movember” moustache. What it didn’t mean was “poker.” Over the last couple of years, however, that has slowly changed with the World Poker Tour (WPT) holding an annual event in conjunction with Playground Poker Club in Montreal.
Beginning in 2012, partypoker and the World Poker Tour have been coming to Montreal in November for the Playground Poker Fall Classic, culminating in a World Poker Tour Main Event.
The inaugural event in November 2012 showed how much Canadians craved an elite poker experience. Attracting a Canadian record field of 1,173 players to the $3,300 event, it was the largest live poker tournament ever held in Canada at the time. Poker players from across Canada made the trek to Montreal (this particular writer made the trip from Alberta), and, in the end, the final table was dominated by Canadian talent. Local Montreal player Jonathan Roy led the way, winning first prize, with Gavin Smith, Sylvain Siebert, and Pascal LeFrancois rounding out the Canadians at the final table.
The success of the first WPT Montreal event not only guaranteed the tour would be back in November 2013, it also prompted an additional event on the Canadian WPT schedule: the WPT Canadian Spring Championship, also at Playground Poker. Along with the well-established WPT Fallsview event in Ontario, the new events created what a WPT spokesperson calls a “trifecta of awesome WPT events in the Canadian market.”
The partnership between WPT and Playground Poker seems to be a match made in heaven. As Canada’s premier poker room, Playground has the experience and the facilities necessary to truly do series like the Spring and Fall Classic right. From the excellent menu in the Rail Coal Fire Grill, to the executive chairs for all players, there’s little question that Playground Poker puts a lot of thought into the player experience. Coupled with the experience of the WPT, the world’s premier televised poker tour, it makes these series the ultimate poker experience in Canada.
The 2014 Fall Classic kicks off on November 9 with The Wild $150, a three-day tournament with four Day 1 flights feeding into a single Day 2. With the ability to reenter on each flight, the Wild $150 is one of the most exciting low buy-in events at the Fall Classic, and a great way to kick off a couple weeks of excellent poker. Following the Wild $150 is an amped-up version, The $250 Frenzy with six Day 1 flights.
The Main Event kicks off the following week, with the first of three Day 1 flights starting at 11:00 on November 20. Scheduled as a five-day event with full coverage for the World Poker Tour TV show, the Main Event is sure to attract some of the top poker talent, both from Canada and around the world. In addition to the $3,850 Main Event, a $10,400 High Roller runs from Nov 24.
Jeff Gross is no stranger to Playground Poker, or World Poker Tour events. As a final tablist at the inaugural 2012 event, and runner up in the 2013 Premier League also held at Playground Poker, he is clearly excited about coming back to Montreal. The Playground Players Club member says “Playground is clearly one of the best venues in the world to play poker at, and I can’t wait for partypoker WPT Montreal and the Playground Poker Fall Classic... I look forward to making another deep run this November!”
November in Canada now unquestionably means poker. With nearly two weeks of side events prior to the start of the televised Main Event, WPT Montreal and the Playground Poker Fall Classic has become the premier poker event in Canada. Everything kicks off on Sunday November 9, so get your travel plans sorted out now. See you in Montreal!