One of the Canadian prairie's most popular recurring poker series hosted hundreds of poker players this past week in Regina, Saskatchewan. The 2015 Station Poker Classic was the 19th annual rendition of the event — the first of two yearly series hosted at Casino Regina.
There were four no-limit hold'em tournaments on offer with buy-ins escalating daily from $400 on kickoff day Wednesday to $1,100 on Saturday. The final and highest priced event saw 219 entries take to the tables, paying out 22 people a piece of the $219,000 prizepool.
The player to win the most was a man easily recognized from the Calgary, Alberta poker scene. Jazz Brar earned an impressive $57,224 for his win, defeating Joe Gallo heads-up for more than a $20,000 pay difference. Gallo is from the hosting province and has been cashing tournaments in Saskatchewan and Manitoba for the last dozen years.
Station Poker Classic $1,100 Results
The series got under way on March 25 when Casino Regina opened the doors for a $400 bounty tournament. Interestingly, the structure was set to pay the final table of 10 players, regardless of number of entrants. With the room at capacity, 217 entries created a prizepool of $65,100 plus $10,850 in bounties for a total of $75,950 at stake. With the unique payout format, the 10th-place min-cash was worth $2,453 — more than six times the buy-in.
When the lights went out, Dustin Hockley was headed home with the largest prize. The local earned $18,313, not including the bounty chips he accumulated on his way to victory. The final table also saw an appearance by the likes of Trevor Norlander (fourth — $6,196) and Ryan Smith (seventh — $3,363), who are two of the best players Saskatoon, Saskatchewan can claim as their own.
Station Poker Classic $400 Results
When players returned on Thursday they were welcomed by a $600 tournament. The room was still capped at 210 players at a time, but with reentry, 230 entries created a prizepool of $124,200 and 23 of them were set to collect a payout.
Among those to make their way into the money included another of Saskatoon's best, Mike Smith (17th — $1,482), World Series of Poker bracelet-winner Tyler Bonkowski (12th — $2,059), and 2014 Canadian Poker Tour Player of the Year Ryan Cairns, who settled for second in the heads-up match for $20,788, giving local Terry Menezes the win for $32,842.
Station Poker Classic $600 Results
Friday had the $800 bounty tournament on the schedule and the event attracted the most entries of all at 264. With a total of $163,680 to play for between the bounties and general prizepool, there were some great prizes awarded for a three-figure buy-in.
Tyler Bonkowski earned his second cash of the series when he came out in 19th for $1,546, and 2013 World Series of Poker Ladies Event final-tablist Cindy Kerslake also made it in the money, finishing 16th to earn $1,777. Francois Lincourt also found a deep run, who you may remember for having multiple second-place finishes at Deerfoot Inn & Casino's Winter Super Stack in February. He managed a fifth-place finish and cashed in for $9,129. Ryan Smith returned to beat his result in the first event by coming third for $18,014.
That left Calgarian David Lee and Glen Adams from Lethbridge, Alberta playing heads-up for all the chips. Having won the culminating $1,100 tournament at this series in 2012, Adams was in a familiar position as the two Albertans played heads up for all the chips. However, it was Lee who rose to the top to collect the better prize of $43,012 while Adams was consoled with $27,127.
Station Poker Classic $800 Results
That closes out another Station Poker Classic at Casino Regina with over $580,000 in prizes awarded. The second of the city's two annual poker series is the Harvest Poker Classic and can be expected this fall.
* Results and lead photo courtesy of Casino Regina's Station Poker Classic blog.