The 2015 Harvest Poker Classic: A Chance at Prairie Gold

Harvest Poker Classic Casino Regina

The time is fast approaching for the annual Harvest Poker Classic (HPC) at Casino Regina. The longstanding tournament series is one of the highlights of the November poker season in western Canada, this year featuring four events including the $1,100 Main Event. Begun in 1997, the 19th Annual Harvest Poker Classic features a range of buy-ins, with knock-out tournaments priced at $400 and $800, and a $600 freeze-out along with the Main Event.

The series has something for every bankroll level. See the full schedule below.

Event 1$400No-limit Hold'em Freeze-out Knock-outNov. 1112 p.m.
Event 2$600No-limit Hold'em Freze-outNov. 1212 p.m.
Event 3$800No-limit Hold’em Freeze-out Knock-outNov. 1312 p.m.
Event 4$1,100No-limit Hold’em Freeze-outNov. 1412 p.m.

Built inside what was once Regina's Union Train Station, Casino Regina has a long history with classic poker series in western Canada. The former train station was a meeting place for people of all kinds, and the HPC, as well as its sister series, the Station Poker Classic (SPC) which runs annually in the spring, bring together poker players from across Canada for a chance at poker glory.

With this, the 19th edition, the venerated series has a long history at Casino Regina. The inaugural series was held way back in 1997, making this a series that predates "the Moneymaker Effect" and the explosion of poker across Canada and the world. The Harvest Classic began as a rather modest affair, with just five low buy-in events. The Main Event, labeled the Canadian Hold'em Championship, was a mere $225 and, interestingly for modern tournament players in western Canada, featured side events including seven-card stud and Omaha hi-lo.

The honour of the the title "First Harvest Poker Classic Champion" sits with Russ Eaton, who took down the 1997 Canadian Hold'em Championships that highlighted the '97 series. He bagged $10,829 for the win, which, when adjusted for inflation, is well over $15,000 in 2015 dollars. Eaton went on to become a fixture in early HPC and SPC series over the next few years, with cashes in Harvest or Station events in seven-card stud, Omaha hi-lo, and pot-limit Omaha, as well as several more hold'em cashes.

The HPC stayed small for the next few years, with the feature event a $225 limit hold'em tournament through the year 2000. In 2001, the feature tournament first bore the Main Event name, and fitting that new moniker, was nearly double the previous buy-in at $525. The 2001 Main Event went to Trinh Nguyen who bagged over $25,000 for the win. The $225 "Canadian Championship" returned in 2002 and the $225 tournament, as well as the varied side game schedule, remained the marquee event until 2005.

In 2005, the HPC introduced a new $1,050 no-limit hold'em event in addition to the $225 Canadian Poker Championship. The high buy-in event attracted 181 entries, demonstrating the appeal of bigger games. Calgary's Claude Amor won it all, taking home $35,545 from a prize pool that topped $180,000. The 2005 Canadian Poker Championship saw 344 entries for a prize pool that capped even the high roller at $207,300. Mel Podaima of Manitoba took home the biggest share of that, collecting $53,143 for the win.

The following year, the $1,050 tournament was back, this time bearing the Canadian Championship name, and over the next few years it grew in size well passed 200 entries. With the success of the tournament, the buy-in went up to $1,500 in 2009 and $1,700 in 2010. In 2011 the tournament returned to the more reasonable $1,000 level and the $1,000+$100 format of this year's series.

Last year, the 18th running of the series, saw 210 entries generate a prize pool of $210,000. Saskatoon's Jared Klimsko was the last player standing in the 2014 HPC Main Event. Kilmsko won $55,750 for the first-place finish. Last year's series ended up with a whopping $585,700 in prize pools across the four events of the series, so there's sure to be lots of money up for grabs at Casino Regina this November.

The 19th edition of the Harvest Poker Classic runs from November 11 through 14, as well as a Satellite Extravaganza day on Tuesday November 10. Single table sit-and-go satellites will run for all four events on the 2015 schedule starting at 7 p.m. on the 10th, so head to Regina early to get in on some of the satellite action. Single table sit-and-go satellites will run as per below.

$501 Ticket to Event 1
$701 Ticket to Event 2
$901 Ticket to Event 3
$1201 Ticket to Event 4

PokerNews Canada will be on site at Casino Regina covering the series from start to end, with feature articles and live updates. Join us here to follow all the action, or better yet, book your ticket to Regina and get into the action. You just might see yourself featured here in our live updates.

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