Calgary, Alberta has become a regular stop for the DeepStacks Poker Tour (DSPT), completing yet another series at the Grey Eagle Resort & Casino. The 11-day festival wrapped up on March 21 and consisted of 10 events, paying out $762,874 in prize money.
Ryan Smith, 2014 DeepStacks Poker Tour Player of the Year, scooped up the Player of the Series title after outright winning two events and cashing in two others. Smith proved to be a well-rounded poker player after winning the pot-limit Omaha event, the bounty event, and cashing in the turbo and six-max events. He took home a trophy as well as a ticket to the Grey Eagle monthly tournament, a two-nights stay at the Grey Eagle Resort, and a behind-the-scenes tour of a televised DSPT final table.
DSPT Calgary kicked off with Event 1 — a $550 no-limit hold’em tournament with a massive $100,000 in guaranteed prize money. Players started with 20,000 in chips and 40-minute blind levels, giving the field plenty of room to play. Edmonton’s Jimmy Lee came out on top to best 322 entries, taking home $33,800 and the trophy after making a deal with runner-up Kris Santos. Notables at the final table included Phil Sousa, Fraser Short, Tyler Bonkowski, Ron Lauzon, and Jody Lewchuk.
Up next was Event 2 which was the $200 no-limit hold’em turbo, starting with a 15,000 stack and speedy 15-minute blinds. Derek Leippi was the eventual winner, topping a field of 75 and taking home $3,955 in prize money for his efforts. Mustafa Erzincanli came in second place, which was his first of an impressive four cashes this series.
Player of the Series, Ryan Smith, took down Event 3 for $8,087 and collected his first of two trophies of the week. The game of choice was pot-limit Omaha with a buy-in of $300, which brought in a total of 112 entries. Starting stacks were 15,000 and blind levels were 30 minutes long in the one-day event. The final table was stacked with Trent Leavitt, Ryan Comely, Tony Comely, and Bobby Rutledge all fighting for the glory.
With a $50,000 guarantee and two starting days, Event 4 was bound to be a success. With a buy-in of $330, there were 236 entries, smashing the guarantee for a total of $67,260 in the prize pool and a first-place prize of $15,825. Bragging rights went to Dave Howat who defeated Calgary’s own Graeme Frank in a hard-fought heads-up battle. Familiar faces in the money in this tournament included Tyler Bonkowski, Mike Smith, Wes Hickey, Cliff Green, Tammy Wing, and Shane Brotherwood.
Event 5 was the $200 turbo bounty event awarding $50 for each knockout. Doug Ho took down this event for $3,465, defeating Nicole Lor and besting a field of 98. Starting stacks were 15,000 and blinds were 15 minutes long, forcing players to make moves early and build a stack in this one-day event. Notables at the final table included Max Hanson, Lina Niu, and Ryan Simpson.
The DeepStacks Quickie has quickly become a favourite on the DeepStacks Poker Tour. Some refer to it as the "Tristan Wade Special", with an affordable $300 buy-in and a deep 25,000 starting stack with 20-minute blind levels. With $36,052 in the prize pool and 138 entries, Abdul "Sunni" Zahir took home the trophy and $9,650 for first place. The field was stacked with many notables making the money including Connor O’Hara, Steve Smith, Raymond Trieu, Peggy Malinowski, Jeff Babante, Mustafa Erzincanli, Shane Brotherwood, and Ryan Smith.
Next up was the popular six-max tournament with a $300 buy-in, giving players 15,000 in chips and 30-minute rounds of play. Deron Noksana booked his first career win after topping a field of 107 entries in Event 7, taking home $7,725 for his efforts. Steven Collin was the runner-up, with notables David Cochrane, Mark Wilson, Ryan Smith, and Tony Comely also making the money.
Brian Killick took down Event 9, the $300 no-limit hold’em turbo tournament, beating out a field of 62 players and taking home $4,852 for the win. Pawel Wronski was the runner-up, with Mustafa Erzincanli and Tyler Bonkowski each booking their fourth cash of the series. This tournament was also a quick one with 15-minute blind levels and 15,000 chips to begin the day.
The final side event was the ever-popular bounty tournament with a $300 buy-in and $50 per knockout. The Player of the Series, Ryan Smith, scooped his second trophy after taking down this event. First place awarded $6,585 with this tournament bringing in 119 entries. Event 10 notables making the money in this final tournament included Aamir Khan, Tony Comely, Harpreet Gill, and runner-up Max Hanson.
The Main Event boasted a $250,000 guarantee with a buy-in of $1,100 which surpassed $400,000 at 420 entries at the end of two starting days. Sam Ngai took the top prize of $80,400 after mining through a tough final table. Jamil Kanji was the runner-up, taking home $56,360 for his efforts after coming into Day 3 and heads-up play with the chip lead. Familiar faces at the final table included Jonathan Sanborn, Thomas Taylor, Robert Dore, and Malcolm Bolger. This event paid out a total of 54 spots and we saw deep runs in this tournament by the likes of Wes Hickey, Ryan Comely, Tony Comely, Mike Smith, World Poker Tour Champion Sheraz Nasir, Tyler Bonkowski, Fraser Short, Tammy Wing, and Peggy Malinowski. The fields don’t seem to be getting any easier in Alberta and it is refreshing to see so many talented players rising to the top.
The next series on deck for the province is also a DeepStacks Poker Tour stop and will be in Edmonton at Casino Yellowhead. Buy-ins will range from $200 to the $1,100 Main Event, and if last year’s record-breaking headliner was any indication, there will be no shortage of action!