Billed as "Canada's premier poker destination," Playground Poker Club always has the country's attention when they put together a schedule of poker events. Located in an unassuming building on the Kahnawake Mohawk Territory just across the St. Lawrence River from Montreal, Quebec, Playground put on a 15-event poker festival over the last week and a half.
The Playground Winter Festival kicked off in the poker room's customary manner — a low-priced, deep-stacked, multi-day tournament that gives the premier poker tournament feel for a fraction of the price. With a pricetag of just $150, players had four different entry flights to take their shot at the first title on the schedule and the $100,000-guaranteed prizepool.
When registration closed on Day 1d, the total entrants numbered 1,441, creating a purse of cash well over the guarantee — $188,699. When Day 3 concluded, Jean-Francois Marin was left holding all the chips and the best cashout of $20,709.
There were two deals made on this final table. With eight players remaining, the players came to an agreement that saw each of them secure $10,000, leaving the remaining prizepool to be split up (50%, 30%, and 20%) to the top three players. But when Marin found himself three-handed with Francis Dery and Sean Windover, the three players decided to redistribute the prizes again. Windover took $15,000 for third, Dery earned $17,000, and Marin scooped up the rest. For all three players, this was the largest tracked tournament cash of their lives.
With the Playground Winter Festival off to a hot start, the rest of the schedule unfolded with tournaments priced between $70 and $330, plus a $1,100 Main Event, that spanned a great variety of game formats.
The $1,100 Main Event boasted a $500,000 guarantee and two starting days. When registration closed, 494 entries were purchased, which fell a little short of the guarantee, creating a small overlay. Among those who collected a prize were some notable players like Jason Duval (eighth — $12,990), Eric Afriat (20th — $4,360), and Amir Babkhani (23rd — $3,920). Samuel Chartier, Osman Soubra, Carter Swidler, Jason Comtois, and Chanracy Khun were also in the field, but were eliminated before the money.
When the final table played down to the final two, Sergio Vigano and Hugo Fontaine elected to chop $160,000 of the remaining prize money evenly, leaving $6,640 on the table to play for. After a very brief heads-up battle, the Brazilian stole the title when he won a classic race with to Fontaine's that had all the chips in preflop. The runout of gave Vigano the win worth $86,640, his second-largest of his career as he won a $400 side event at the 2014 World Poker Tour Borgata Open for nearly $170,000.
These are the top 10 finishers:
Next on the calendar at Playground Poker Club is the second Canadian World Poker Tour event of the year: the partypoker.net Canadian Spring Championship in conjunction with the Playground Poker Spring Classic. It gets started on April 19 and runs through May 6.
Details and photo courtesy of the Playground Event Blog.