For the past seven days, Playground Poker Club outside Montreal, Quebec has been hosting the first-ever TonyBet Winter Festival. The $1,100 Main Event kicked off Friday with the first of three starting flights. After registration closed on Day 1a, 137 runners had entered chasing the $500,000 guarantee.
Leading the pack at the end of the night was Rabah Belal Ahin Al-Nasseri building an impressive 336,100 from his 30,000 starting stack. Ryan McGarry (273,9000), Bill Kontaratos (235,000), Tony Laughing (218,400), and Marco Sousa (204,500) round out the top 10.
According to the Playground Poker Club blog, Al-Nasseri scored a massive double knockout late in the day holding and having two players all in and at risk preflop. After a board, Al-Nasseri’s pair of kings bested the and of his opponents to give him a huge chip lead.
Some notable players also moving on to Day 2 include Marco Caza (168,500), Kevin Dawe (115,900), Rayan Chamas (79,600), Yann Dion (68,700), Alexandre Nadeau-Levesque (65,5000), Benoit Jean (63,600), and Jonathan Roy (32,500). This is a next day reentry event so players may opt to buy in on either of the next two starting flights for a shot at a bigger Day 2 stack. If players qualify with multiple stacks, only their largest will be carried forward.
A few players to likely take advantage of that option are Mike Leah, Eric Place, Ami Alibay, Chanracy Khun, Jean-Philippe Piquette, Jason Comtois, and Alexandre Lavigne who all busted on Day 1a.
Play resumes at 11:00 a.m. local time in Kahnawake. Another 13 45-minute levels are scheduled as players vie for their seat on Day 2. Stay tuned to PokerNews Canada throughout the event as we bring you daily recaps until a champion is crowned.