Friday’s action at the PlayNow Poker Championship inside McPhillips Station Casino featured Day 1 of the $1,100 Main Event sponsored by Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries. The penultimate event of the 2015 Spring series was the most notable tournament of the five-event series.
Players from all over Canada were flown in by PlayNow.com. There were 18 players who won their seats in the event via online qualifiers through PlayNow's virtual poker client. Here’s a list of all the online qualifiers:
|Cory Mcclure||Surrey, BC|
|Dung Huu Nguyen||Surrey, BC|
|Dylan Ellis||Winnipeg, MB|
|Sean Lannon||Vancouver, BC|
|Scott Craig||Vancouver, BC|
|Ivan Kermanov||Winnipeg, MB|
|Daryl Ellis||WInnipeg, MB|
|Robert McLure||Winnipeg, MB|
|Kelly Dickson||Winnipeg, MB|
|Shaun Scrymgeour||Winnipeg, MB|
|Tim Prokopenko||Port Moody, BC|
|Joseph Monteiro||Winnipeg, MB|
|Chris Salonga||North Winnipeg, MB|
|Cedric Lemieux-LaRochelle||Sherbrooke, QC|
|Simon Rosata||Montreal, QC|
|Samuel Boily||Jonquiere, QC|
|Philippe Lemay||Saint-Ignace-De-Loyola, QC|
Registration remained open till the end of Level 3 and closed with 161 entries. Nine players took advantage of reentry, firing a second bullet. The prize pool reached $161,000 with 17 players making the money. Top prize paid $43,205 and everyone at the final table was guaranteed at least $3,984.
The field played 15 full levels on Day 1 and when play concluded for the night, just 20 remained. Day 2 began Saturday afternoon with the final 20 players returning to battle down to a champion. Shane Yo entered play as the chip leader with several short stacks hoping to earn one of the 17 spots making the money. Here is how the field stacked up on Day 2:
The all-time winningest tournament player on PlayNow.com, Dung Nguyen, made the money on Day 2. Nguyen was eliminated when he shoved his pocket fives preflop running into the pocket aces of Kyle Buell. Nguyen earned $3,076 for 13th place. Others to make the money were Tim Prokopenko (17th — $2,555), Matt Carpenter (16th — $2,646), Nathan Asham (15th — $2,758), Adrian Vandal (14th — $2,899), Jerry Werestiuk (12th — $3,302) and final table bubble boy Dave Desanghere (11th — $3,596).
The first player to fall at the final table was Livio Foianesi who banked $3,984 for 10th. Robert Peters was eliminated in ninth for $4,507 when he ran into Shane Yo’s , giving Yo a massive chip lead. The pot left Yo with 40% of the chips in play. Kyle Buell and Thanh Nguyen were the next players to bust, earning $5,221 and $6,235 for eighth and seventh place respectively.
On the first hand back from dinner Anthony Imperial moved all in under the gun and was snapped off by Chris Clisby in the big blind. Imperial’s couldn’t beat Clisby’s and he was eliminated in sixth for $7,698. Faza Mohdrafis fell a couple hands later when Mark Klimchuk rivered a straight, busting Mohdrafis in fifth for $9,878. After doubling up David Sousa, Clisby busted to chipleader Yo in fourth place for $13,239.
Klimchuk, Yo, and Sousa battled for a while before a massive hand played out. With all three relatively even-stacked, Klimchuk found himself all-in and at risk with a flopped two pair against Yo’s flush draw. The turn gave Klimchuk a full house but it also gave Yo a straight flush draw. Klimchuk faded the river giving nearly 65% of the chips in play. Nearly a whole level went by before Klimchuk and Yo tangled in another big pot. Yo moved all-in on the flop with on a ten-high board and was snap-called by Klimchuk with . Yo was eliminated in third for $18,618.
Klimchuk began heads-up play with a massive chiplead, but it was Sousa who controlled play for the most part. The two battled for hours as Sousa gained on Klimchuk. At one point, Sousa took the chiplead from Klimchuk and looked to be running away with the title. At the four-hour mark, Klimchuk doubled up, taking back the chiplead and a couple hands later it was over. Sousa earned $27,580 for the runner-up finish while Klimchuk was awarded $43,205 along with the championship ring and trophy.