At the end of each week, PokerNews Canada reviews the last seven days in a turbo-paced recap of notable poker headlines. If you missed any of our stories this past week, this is all you need to know to catch up on what's happening across Canada, around the world, and online, in poker.
Edmonton Kicks Off the Season
Alberta further established itself last year as one of Canada's hot spots for tournament poker series. The trend will surely continue in 2015, and the province's first major event of the year came from Casino Edmonton.
The Alberta Poker Championships was a six-event affair culminating in a $1,100 Main Event. With 272 entries, first place was worth $64,000, and George Hussein was the player to claim that money. For more details about this series and results from all of the events, go to George Hussein Wins Alberta Poker Championships Main Event.
Poker Bowl Deals an Event to Atlantic Canada
On the East Coast, Atlantic Canada also had a major poker tournament running at the same time. On Sunday, Casino New Brunswick hosted their one-day annual Poker Bowl — a $1,100 tournament. With 57 players in the event, six were paid, but none of them earned more than Rob Taylor who collected $22,230 for first place.
More details, including the full payout table, can be found at Rob Taylor Wins Casino New Brunswick's Annual Poker Bowl.
Introducing Winter Super Stack
This week, we also announced the next major poker event for Canadians which will be at Deerfoot Inn & Casino in Calgary, Alberta. This huge 15-event series features some unique tournaments like $1,100 heads-up events in both hold'em and pot-limit Omaha formats. It all leads up to a $1,500 Main Event with a prizepool guarantee of $200,000, but that should be easily exceeded as approval has been granted to move the event into the ballroom where plenty more players can find a seat.
There is also a High Point Champion to give players some incentive to play as many events as they can. The player who accumulates the best results across all 15 events will win a one-year lease on a brand new Toyota and a $10,000 ticket to this summer's World Series of Poker Main Event. Also, PokerNews Canada will be on site for live reporting of the Main Event to our readers across the country.
You don't want to miss this one. It's shaping up to be the best event Alberta has ever seen. You can find the full schedule, the points formula, and more information at Packed Tournament Lineup and Big Guarantees at Deerfoot Inn & Casino's Winter Super Stack.
WSOP Listens to the People
In 2014, the World Series of Poker (WSOP) did something it had never done before; they guaranteed the winner of the Main Event would receive $10,000,000. Martin Jacobson ultimately claimed that prize, with runner-up Felix Stephensen receiving just over half of that amount. The first-place guarantee was officially said to be repeated this year, but, after consulting with the poker community, the WSOP has changed their payout structure.
The $10M first-place guarantee has been revoked, and now the guarantee is that the top 1,000 finishers will win a prize, and the min-cash will be worth at least $15,000. This is intended to attract more poker players who may have it on their bucket list to cash the Main Event. With 1,000 players making the money this year, that goal just became a bit more attainable.
For more information, including a sample payout structure using last year's attendance numbers, head to World Series of Poker Changes Main Event Payout Structure, Removes $10M Guarantee Top Prize.
Nominees Are In for GPI American Poker Awards
The very first PokerStars-sponsored Global Poker Index American Poker Awards will be hitting the stage in late February in California, presented by our Canadian super-host Kara Scott. With the 60-member nomination panel (two of which represent PokerNews Canada) all casting their ballots in 10 different categories, the 35 nominees have been announced.
With categories like Tournament Performance of the Year, Breakout Player of the Year, Poker Media Content of the Year, and Poker Innovation or Initiative of the Year, this "Oscars of the poker world" will recognize some real stars from the North American poker community.
All of the nominees can be found at Nominees Announced for 2014 GPI American Poker Awards.
Aussie Aussie Millions, Oi Oi Oi!
One of the most exciting and anticipated poker festivals of the year is still under way at Crown Casino in Melbourne, Australia. The PokerStars Asia Pacific Poker Tour (APPT) Aussie Millions is a 21-event series headlined by a $10,600 Main Event and the $25,000, $100,000, and $250,000 Challenges.
Our coverage began at the beginning of this week and as this week comes to a close, the $100,000 Challenge winner has been crowned and the Main Event is set to resume shortly with its final table set. Next week we'll be following the tail end of this series with the Main Event Champion and the $250,000 Challenge.
There have been some great, deep runs by our Canadian players, and there are many who make the trip to Australia for this annual event, but none are more noteworthy than Ami Barer's 11th-place finish in the Main Event. You may recall that Barer won this same event last year when he beat fellow Canadian Sorel Mizzi heads-up for the title. Barer came back and put in a monumental performance to nearly repeat his victory. This repeat of a deep run in the same event shows the great strength of Barer's game.
To catch up on all that has been happening down under, check out our daily recaps of the action:
2015 Aussie Millions Day 1: Ami Barer Off to Strong Start in Main Event
2015 Aussie Millions Day 2: Chen, Giesbrecht, and Srinivasan Bag Main Event Chips
2015 Aussie Millions Day 3: McDonald, Roy, and Watson Will Return
2015 Aussie Millions Day 4: Andrew Chen Leads Canadians in Main Event
2015 Aussie Millions Day 5: Andrew Chen Continues to Dominate
2015 Aussie Millions Day 6: Main Event Final Table Set; Canada Shut Out
2015 Aussie Millions Day 7: Richard Yong Defeats Stacked Final Table
Snowmageddon Doesn't Stop WPT Borgata
Another major event this past week was World Poker Tour's (WPT) annual stop at Borgata in Atlantic City, New Jersey. We followed the progression of WPT Borgata with special attention on our Canadian contenders, and none went deeper than Montreal, Quebec's Philippe Belley who earned the cash of his career thus far. Finishing in eighth place, Belley took home $85,476.
For our recaps of all of the action and to find out who else from our side of the border went deep at Borgata, look back on these reports:
WPT Borgata Day 1a: Ami Alibay Leads the Canadians
WPT Borgata Day 1b: $3M Guarantee Met Despite Winter Storm
WPT Borgata Day 2: Belley, Afriat, and Lokken Push On
WPT Borgata Day 3: Philippe Belley with Top-3 Stack
WPT Borgata Day 4: Last Canadian, Belley, Out in 8th
Aaron Mermelstein Wins WPT Borgata for $712,305