GPL's Montreal Nationals Week 10: Lavallee Sweeps Mercier and Nationals Extend League Lead
The Global Poker League (GPL) was back in action this week for Week 10 of their inaugural season, and Canada’s sole team, the Montreal Nationals, continued to dominate the leaderboard, extending their lead over second-best team L.A. Sunset.
Managed by Quebec’s Marc-Andre Ladouceur, the Nats played another series of online six-max and heads-up matches and finished the week with 174 total points in the season. The L.A. Sunset trail with 165 in the Americas conference, followed by the Moscow Wolverines with 143 from over in the Eurasian conference.
Montreal Nationals Week 10 6-Max
As usual, the week started on Tuesday with two six-max matches between the six teams in the Americas conference. After taking the helm last week, Xuan Liu returned again this week and found victory in the first match of the day, earning her Canadian team seven points.
Liu faced conference rivals L.A. Sunset when down to the final two, represented by Olivier Busquet. Holding a bit of a chip lead, Liu limped in preflop with and Busquet checked the big blind with , going to a flop of . Both players had strong drawing hands with Liu eyeing up the potential flush and Busquet looking at odds of making a straight, though Liu had the advantage of already holding a small pair.
Busquet checked and Liu bet out 2,400. Busquet responded with a raise to 6,200 and Liu called. The turn was the and Liu had made a flush. Busquet led out with a bet of 11,500 and Liu called. The river came and Busquet pushed all in for a pure bluff, holding nothing but nine high. Liu made the easy call with her dominating flush and won the first match. Busquet picked up five points for his team.
The results reversed themselves the next week with the L.A. Sunset claiming the seven-point win and the Montreal Nationals settling for the runner-up score of five points. Liu was up to bat once again but the Sunset switched it up to put Chance Kornuth into action.
Suffering from a two-to-one chip deficit, Liu looked down at as Kornuth chunked all in from the button with his . Liu called, hoping to find a double-up to take over the chip lead and put her in contention for a second win in as many matches, but the board ran out and Kornuth won the final pot with a straight.
Montreal Nationals Week 10 Heads-Up
Two days later, the Montreal Nationals were back at the tables for head-to-head action against the New York Rounders. The Canadians selected Jason Lavallee to play the match against Rounders’ Jason Mercier in a series of three rounds of heads-up play.
The first round took 37 hands to decide the winner and it was Canadian Lavallee who won the three points. On the final hand, Lavallee held about 61,500 chips to Mercier’s 38,500 and he found himself sitting with on the button. He elected to raise to 4,444 and Mercier pushed all in with . Lavallee made the easy call and the board ran out and Mercier was eliminated, giving the Nats the win.
The second round took just one hand longer — 38 in total — and again it was Lavallee who won the three points when he took all of Mercier’s chips. It ended in much the same way, though the two players were much more even in chips this time. Lavallee held the dominating ace when it all went in preflop, holding to Mercier’s . Mercier looked like he might have found salvation when a matching eight hit the flop, but a nine was found on the river and Lavallee won the second round.
The third and final round took much longer, requiring 60 hands of play before the result was decided, and it was Lavallee once again finding the win and completing the sweep to earn another three points.
On the final hand, just as Mercier’s fiance Natasha Barbour walked into the room behind him on webcam, he pushed his short stack all in from the button with and Lavallee called with . Barbour peered over Mercier’s shoulder as the board ran out ten-high and he was eliminated, giving Lavallee the final round and all nine of the available points in the match. Mercier was forced to walk away from the day empty-handed.
GPL Week 11
Next week, the Montreal Nationals will choose a player for two more six-max Americas conference matches before facing the Las Vegas Moneymakers for three rounds of heads-up matches on Thursday. You can watch all of the action on Twitch or, with the recent signing of PokerStars as their lead sponsor, on PokerStars.tv.