Saturday was a day of firsts at Grey Eagle Resort & Casino in Calgary, Alberta. The first-ever Western Canada Poker Open came to an exciting conclusion with Tosha Beaudry making her first-ever major tournament cash when she finished in first place.
Beaudry played a $250 satellite to win her $1,100 Main Event seat which she used on Day 1b to build a stack of 104,500. That placed her in about the middle of the pack when 41 players returned for Day 2. She carried chips all the way to the final table and then her aggression started to come out as play got short-handed.
With four players remaining, she kept putting her opponents to difficult decisions by fearlessly raising or shoving. She took over the chip lead when just three players remained and then never gave it up. Beaudry became the inaugural Western Canada Poker Open Champion, earning $36,338 for her $250 investment.
After two starting days, a total of 208 entries were tallied to create a prize pool of $197,600, easily surpassing the $150,000 guarantee. Sinan Tawfik began Day 2 as the largest stack after he bagged 319,500 on Day 1a. Jeff Cormier held the second-most with 275,500 as the Day 1b chip leader.
Early in Day 2, Cormier emerged as the chip leader by an enormous margin after another big-stacked opponent tried to bluff Cormier off of the nuts. After that hand, Cormier held about 750,000 chips when blinds were 1,500/3,000. The next-best stack had less than half as many chips.
But Cormier doubled up several opponents and was brought down closer to the tournament average. The money bubble burst with 24 players remaining and Cormier still had chips in play for the final table but was eliminated in eighth place for $6,365.
After starting the day as the chip leader, Sinan Tawfik retook the lead with 14 players remaining and he never gave it up until they were three-handed. He was responsible for two or three eliminations in a row and came to the final table with almost two million in chips. The next-largest stack was less than 600,000.
With four players remaining, Tosha Beaudry eliminated Allon Allison when they both flopped trips in a family pot. Beaudry’s kicker won her the pot and knocked out Allison in fourth place for $15,925.
Shortly after that, with a stack she could battle with, Beaudry applied pressure to Sinan Tawfik and stole the chip lead. The scales swung in a hand when Beaudry min-raised to 80,000 from the button and Tawfik threw in a three-bet to 225,000 from the big blind. Beaudry called.
The flop was and Tawfik led out with a bet of 150,000. Beaudry thought for a moment and put in a big raise to 600,000. A stunned Tawfik thought for half a minute before folding, giving up the chip lead as the large pot was pushed to Beaudry.
A deal was made three-handed with each player locking up $30,000 each and leaving $12,675 up top for first.
Russ Meilunas was the one to collect the next payout in a cooler situation. He and Beaudry quickly got it in preflop and Meilunas held to Beaudry’s . The board didn’t deliver an upset and Meilunas was eliminated in third for $30,000. This follows his two final tables at the recent PlayNow Poker Championship in his hometown of Winnipeg, Manitoba, including his win in the Main Event.
Once Sinan Tawfik and Tosha Beaudry were heads-up, the original deal was renegotiated to split the $12,675 still in play. The winner was decided to get $8,000 and the runner-up would get the rest. But an hour into the heads-up match, they decided to chop the rest of the money evenly. They promptly got all of the chips in to award Beaudry with the title and the trophy.
This was Beaudry’s first major tournament cash while Tawfik has been in this spot many times and is very familiar to us on the Alberta tournament scene. When he finished Day 1a as the chip leader, we mentioned that, in 33 career cashes, he finishes first or second exactly one third of the time, showing an incredible ability to dominate the late stages. With his second-place finish, he made good on his reputation to do it once again.
It’s also worth noting that Devin Verstraelen made the final table after he won the Winter Super Stack Main Event earlier this year at Deerfoot Inn & Casino. Also, both of Edmonton’s Comely brothers were on the final table.
2016 Western Canada Poker Open Top 10 Results
For more details on the event, visit our live reporting page where we posted updates throughout each day of the big hands, progression of chip stacks, notable players, and shared photos from the tournament floor.