Daune Fernandez and Karam Saleh Win Titles; Jason Conforti Leads Event #5 at the Playground Poker Fall Classic

Daune Fernandez

Playground Poker Club has crowned two more champions. Tuesday’s action at the 2016 Playground Poker Fall Classic featured the final day of Event #3: The $250 Frenzy, the start of Event #5: $1,100 NL Hold’em Deepstack Freeze and the single day Event #6: $220 NL Hold’em 50/50 Bounty.

The final 27 players returned Tuesday evening at 7 p.m. for the restart of Event #3: The $250 Frenzy. One whole table of players fell in the first hour of play, with Tomas Larivee Magni (24th - $1,800) and Randy Khalil (22nd - $1,800) among them.

Marco Caza and Mathieu Leclerc dropped out just before Sayed Hossieni fell in 11th, setting the final table. Pascal Fournier was the first casualty of the final table. Fournier ran his ace-three into the pocket queens of Thomas Lefort and could not improve.

Robert Violo got his chips in good with ace-king against Daune Fernandez’s queen-nine of hearts. Though Violo hit an ace on the flop, Fernandez found two hearts and would find a third on the river to eliminate Violo in ninth.

Poker can be a cruel game. Tony Stratopoulos fell victim to its harshness, busting in eighth place. Stratopoulos put all his chips on the line with pocket queens ahead of opponent Fernandez’s pocket jacks. Unfortunately, the flop brought a jack and Stratopoulos’ journey came to an end.

Fernandez then took out Georges Hallak in seventh before knocking out David Kovacic in sixth. Kovacic’s pocket-threes were no match for the ace-king of Fernandez. Start of day chip leader Mike Fraser then went to work. Fraser called off an all-in shove by Stergios Alexandrakis, tabling two queens and besting his opponent’s pocket jacks. Alexandrakis didn’t find any help and departed in fifth.

Eric Ranger chose a bad time to make a bluff and it cost him the tournament. Fernandez had flopped two pair and Ranger was drawing dead by the turn and went out in fourth. Fraser had lost a few pots in a row before getting his short stack in the middle against Fernandez. Fraser was in a dominating position, though, holding ace-seven to the queen-seven of Fernandez. The board, however, gave Fernandez a straight and Fraser was eliminated in third.

Fernandez held an almost three-to-one chip lead over Lefort when heads-up play began. On the final hand, Lefort shoved with ace-jack of diamonds and Fernandez called with pocket tens. The tens held and Fernandez claimed the $50,000 first-place prize and the champion’s trophy.

Here are the payouts from the final table:

1Daune Fernandez$50,000.00
2Thomas Lefort$34,069.00
3Mike Fraser$25,700.00
4Eric Ranger$20,000.00
5Stergios Alexandrakis$15,160.00
6David Kovacic$11,100.00
7Georges Hallak$7,700.00
8Tony Stratopoulos$5,600.00
9Robert Violo$4,000.00
10Pascal Fournier$3,100.00

Earlier in the day, Event #5: $1,100 NL Hold’em Deepstack Freeze kicked off with Day 1 action. The event received a total of 243 entries creating a prize pool of $235,710.

No stranger to success at Playground, Jason Conforti ended the day with the chip lead, leading the remaining 40 players with a stack of 377,000. Paul Mohorea, Khaly Dang, Fabio Luongo, Paul Sokoloff, Michael Malm and Jaime Staples are still in mix as the event approaches the money bubble.

Jason Conforti

Day 2 will begin at noon on Wednesday with just 31 players making the money. The event will play down to a winner with the eventual champ earning $54,630 and the champion’s trophy.

The final event of the day got underway at 7:30 p.m. Event #6: $220 NL Hold’em 50/50 Bounty featured a guaranteed prize pool of $20,000 and a $100 bounty for every elimination. A monster field of 347 players gathered, creating a prize pool of $33,659.

At just after 6 a.m. early Wednesday morning, Karam Saleh defeated heads-up opponent, Basavakoti Bunthu, to earn a score of $7,359 and the champion’s trophy. On the final hand, a very short-stacked Bunthu moved all in and Saleh made the call. Bunthu was ahead, tabling ten-nine against the seven-five of Saleh. Saleh flopped a pair of sevens, but Bunthu had outs to an open-ended straight draw. Saleh was able to fade the turn and river to claim the victory.

Karam Saleh

Here are the results of the final table:

1Karam Saleh$7,359
2Basavakoti Bonthu$5,250
3Soterios T$3,860
4Jean-François Dubé$2,840
5Antonin Duda$2,090
6David Cadoch$1,530
7Robert Lalonde$1,130
8Hamid Reza Ofogh$830
9Hubert Morissette-Darsigny$610
10Marton Szlazy$450

Check out PokerNews daily for a recap of all the action at the Playground Poker Fall Classic. Follow all of the action on the Fall Classic Event Blog.

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