The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth. That’s the title unapologetically applied to the annual Calgary Stampede.
For 10 days every July, “Cow Town” hosts an enormous fair that needs to be experienced to comprehend. At the root of the event is a rodeo with steer wrestling, roping, barrel racing, bull riding, and more. And with $2 million in prize money up for grabs, it’s like the World Series of Poker for cowboys.
For several years now, nearby Deerfoot Inn & Casino has paired a poker tournament series with the Stampede called the Stampede Classic. Fun fact: the casino’s poker room manager, Robert Bowers, also happens to be a bull rider.
The Stampede Rodeo is made up of a series of rounds that, as best as we can tell (we’re lacking in cowboys on our staff), are the required preliminary rounds that qualify competitors for the finale where the big prizes are won.
The poker equivalent over at the Stampede Classic mirrors the rodeo format by offering twice-daily Wild Card Rounds (satellites) for nine days with a buy-in of $185 and one in seven players earning a seat to the $1,100 Showdown (tournament) taking place on the last day of the Stampede — July 12. The trophy, in keeping with the rodeo parallel, is a gleaming belt buckle worthy of inspiring envy in the most heftily-buckled cowboy.
Once all the satellite entries and direct buy-ins took their seats on Sunday, 121 players amassed a prize pool of $114,950. Gurdeep Dhillon was the player able to outlast all of the competition, earning $31,000 along with the signature Stampede Classic belt buckle. With 12 of the entrants earning a prize, here are all of the paying results:
Deerfoot Inn & Casino has become well-established as one of the premiere places to play poker in Alberta, hosting several tournament series throughout the year. The next one on the calendar is Summer Super Stack coming up next month, running from August 5 to 17 with over $400,000 guaranteed in prize pools and a $5,000 World Poker Tour Montreal package awarded to the High Point Champion of the series. If you recall the exclusive PokerNews Canada coverage of the Winter Super Stack earlier this year, you’ll know that this series will be sure to create a lot of buzz in the poker community all across western Canada and will be a must-play series.
Photo courtesy of Deerfoot Casino Facebook page.