The first two champions of the 2016 Playground Poker Fall Classic have been crowned at the Playground Poker Club in Kahnawake, Quebec. Both Event #1: The Wild $150 and Event #2: $220 NL Hold’em Freeze came to a close early Friday morning as Jean Francois Jodoin and Chris Annis each found themselves with all the chips, all the money and a sweet trophy.
After four starting flights and two more grueling days of play, Jean Francois Jodoin had navigated a field of 1,198 entries to capture Event #1: The Wild $150 and earn his first ever live-recorded tournament cash, a win nonetheless, worth $26,083 after a heads-up deal with opponent, Maxime Heroux.
Just 27 players returned for action on Thursday evening. Jodoin, the Day 1b chip leader, came into play on Day 3 third in chips and didn’t budge from the top of the leaderboard. The final table was set with the elimination of Yan Nadeau in 11th place. Nadeau open-shoved preflop with pocket sixes but ran into big blind Rachid Bahaj’s pocket aces and could not improve.
Tina S was the first casualty of the final table, falling on the very first hand to exit in 10th place for $1,750. Pascal Monarque soon joined her on the rail after getting sucked out on the river holding pocket queens. Monarque was all in and at risk preflop against the ace-eight of Fadi Haddad, and in true Barry Greenstein fashion, an ace fell on the river and Monarque was gutted in ninth, banking $2,100.
Start of Day 3 chip leader Sebastien Proulx would be eliminated in eighth place when he ran his pocket sevens into the pocket kings of Maxime Heroux. A consolation of $3,000 was awarded for his efforts. Yang Guo was the next to depart. Guo three-bet shoved preflop with king-six but found himself dominated by the king-queen of Jodoin. Guo was unable to improve and picked up $4,100 for seventh.
Jodoin’s next victim was Haddad. Haddad moved all in preflop with pocket eights; unfortunately for him, Jodoin woke up with pocket jacks, busting Haddad in sixth. Haddad picked up $5,800. The coolers kept coming as a few hands later, Bahaj made a move with pocket nines, putting himself at risk, only to find Heroux with two queens. Bahaj found no help on the board and walked away with $8,000 for fifth.
George Kazarian had been working a short stack for a while before getting it in with queen-eight against Jodoin’s ace-six. Ace-high held for Jodoin and Kazarian was knocked out in fourth place, earning $10,600. Heads-up play was set when Mike Mirand put himself at risk, calling off his stack against Jodoin’s small-blind shove. Mirand was racing for his tournament life holding queen-ten to Jodoin’s pocket fours. Jodoin flopped a set and Mirand took his leave and a fourth-place prize of $13,600.
Jodoin and Heroux made a deal to even the gap between the first and second place payouts and heads-up play began. On the final hand of the night, a preflop raise war ended with both stacks in the middle and their hands tabled. Jodoin had woke up with pocket aces, having the ace-king of Heroux crushed. The board stayed true and Jodoin picked up the win, busting Heroux in second place for a cool $21,000.
Across the room, Event #2: $220 NL Hold’em Freeze, a one-day event, was taking place at the same time. The event drew a total of 207 entries, creating a significant prize pool of $40,158. The final eight players came to an agreement in regards to chopping up the remaining prize pool with chip leader Chris Annis locking up $5,000 and the remaining seven players banking $4,250.
As is Playground policy, a portion of the prize pool must be left for the eventual champion. In this case, $1,108 and the champion’s trophy would await the winner. Once the deal was made, the speed of play picked up and the eliminations came quick. Daniel Mason fell in eighth, with Ryan Michael Press following him out the door in seventh. Michael Afalo finished in sixth and soon after, Dov Amzallag was eliminated in fifth place. Jean-Francois Stoycheff dropped out in fourth place leaving the final three to battle it out.
Familiar face, Andrew Boujaoude lost back-to-back monster beats to Annis, before the final dagger ended his night. Boujaoude was at risk preflop with pocket sevens against the ace-deuce of Annis. After fading the flop, Annis found an ace on the turn and it held to bust Boujaoude in third.
Annis would finish off the task, taking out his final opponent, Irtiza Malik. Annis had Malik all in and at risk preflop with king-ten, crushing Malik’s five-four. Annis hit a king on the flop and it held to earn the checkmark and scoop the extra cash on top. Annis’ victory was worth $6,108, taking home the champion’s trophy.
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