From February 16-24, Fallsview Casino in Niagara Falls, Ontario played host to the top poker talent in the country delivering a series dubbed the Fallsview Poker Classic (FPC). The largest of Canada’s provinces is also the most poker-starved and, once a year, the World Poker Tour (WPT) makes a stop in Ontario bringing in players from all over the world. There were four events scheduled at this year’s series.
Event #1 was a $1,100 no-limit hold'em freezeout that attracted 1,305 estimated entries. A three-way deal at the final table saw Canadian poker pro Mike Leah, Chau Nguyen, and Team Gripsed founder Evan Jarvis all chop six-figure paydays. Mike Leah officially earned the top spot, which is, incredibly, his second time in three years winning this tournament.
The second event raised the stakes a bit with a $2,500 buy-in no-limit hold'em tournament. Burnaby, Ontario native Samuel Tsehai emerged victorious besting a field of 710 for a $292,561 score. Tsehai beat Rodney Ramalho (second — $205,129) heads-up for the title with 2015 FPC Event #1 champion Jason Sagle finishing fifth ($73,181).
The penultimate event of the series was a $1,500 shootout. Though official numbers are unavailable, the event was won by Playground Poker Club pro Jean-Philippe Piquette. The man better known as JPP claimed the top prize of $36,665 defeating some tough competition. A few notables from the final table included James Witowski (second — $26,190), Brian Altman (sixth — $7,857), and Ankush Mandavia (ninth — $3,929).
At the 2015 WPT Fallsview, nobody could stop American Anthony Zinno, who after claiming the Fallsview title and taking it from Canada, actually won the very next WPT Main Event in Los Angeles just over a week later as well.
When the final table of the 2016 WPT Fallsview Poker Classic $5,000 Main Event was set, one thing was clear: the title was coming back to Canada. Outlasting 422 competitors, David Ormsby carved his name on the WPT Champions trophy and walked away with a first-place prize of $383,407.
Ormsby turned around what looked to be a lock for Robert Forbes who led from Day 1 into a heads-up domination Forbes will soon like to forget. On Hand #136 of the final table, Forbes held an almost five-to-one chip lead over Ormsby. Just 30 hands later, most of Forbes’ chips had vanished and he was all in and at risk with against Ormsby’s . Ormsby paired his king on the flop and held through the river to eliminate Forbes in second place for $268,773.
When asked how he was feeling in a post-tournament interview with Remko Rinkema, Ormsby’s reply was simple, “I don’t think it’s set in yet. It’s a lot of money.” Ormsby went on to say that his heads-up opponent had a lot of sizing tells and was able to grind him down slowly. Rinkema then asked about Ormsby’s poker career. “I’ve been playing about 5 years now. Mostly in Vegas at the Bellagio grinding 10/20 or 20/40” replied the young champion.
When the final table began, most of the spotlight was on Soren Turkewitsch who won the $10,000 WPT North American Poker Championship at Fallsview Casino in 2006. Just 10 years later, Turkewitsch was poised to make history as the first player to ever win the same WPT Championship event. The all-Canadian final table was actually all-Ontario as well with all six finalists calling Canada’s most populated province home.
The first to hit the rail was Thomas Archer. On Hand #3, the short stack ran into a big pocket pair of Forbes resulting in a sixth-place finish for $76,874. After taking an early hit, Turkewitsch could not recover and found himself all in and outkicked by Forbes who hit the flop and sent Turkewitsch to the payout booth for his $95,949 cheque.
Mike Bui was the next to run into Forbes hot streak. Bui moved all in preflop holding only to be snapped off by Forbes with . Bui didn’t get any help and busted in fourth, earning $127,805.
There were 50 hands played before Derek Verrain became the final victim of Forbes. With a board of , Verrain’s tournament life was on the line showing . He was ahead of Forbes but would need to fade a number of outs. The on the turn sealed the fate of Verrain and he collected $172,823 for his efforts.
WPT Fallsview Final Table Results
Details and photo courtesy of the WPT Live Updates.