Lukas Soucek, Jean-Philippe Piquette Win Big at the 2016 Playground Poker Fall Classic

Lukas Soucek

Another day at the 2016 Playground Poker Fall Classic has led to more hardware handed out. Event #5: $1,100 NL Hold’em Deepstack Freeze resumed just outside the money bubble and played down to a champion. Across the room, Event #7: $550 NL Hold’em Freeze, a single-day $80,000 guaranteed tournament, kicked off and a unique challenge awaited the field for Event #8: $330 NL Hold’em Survivor.

Event #5: $1,100 NL Hold’em Deepstack Freeze:

Thirty-seven players returned for Day 2 of Event #5: $1,100 NL Hold’em Deepstack Freeze. The money bubble was eagerly anticipated as just the top 31 would leave with a prize. It took a little more than 12 hours for Lukas Soucek to eliminate his final opponent and lift the champion’s trophy. Soucek and heads-up opponent Christopher Willis Jackson came to an agreement early into heads-up play to chop up the remaining prize pool and play for a bit on top. Soucek’s share amounted to $51,600, while Jackson banked $41,000.

After nearly an hour of hand-for-hand play, Khaly Dang popped the bubble by winning a classic race against John Athanasiou. Athanasiou shoved with two queens and Dang came from behind, flopping a king with ace-king. The bodies fell swiftly after that, losing Paul Sokoloff (31st - $1,620), Bob T (28th - $1,620) and Jeffrey Cormier (26th - $1,900) within minutes.

Twitch streamer Jaime Staples, who recently moved to Montreal, had his deep run shot down after finding himself all in and dominated with ace-eight against the ace-ten of Soucek. Staples earned $3,980 for 14th place. Start of day chip leader Jason Conforti came up a little short of the final table, busting in 12th place, but adding another $4,640 to his Fall Classic winnings. Lastly, Salvatore Commisso hit the rail to set the final table of 10. Commisso ran a bluff into Soucek who had flopped huge and was drawing dead before the cards were tabled.

World Series of Poker bracelet winner Michael Malm, who had recent success at Playground’s World Cup of Cards Festival, was the first casualty of the final table. Malm got it in good holding ace-king but was bested by Jackson’s queen-nine, finding a pair on the flop. One of two ladies to make the final table, Dang, a familiar face around the room, found herself on the other side of the classic race. Needing her queens to hold against Pirooz Bayat’s ace-king, the flop paired Bayat’s ace and it held. Dang departed in ninth.

Short stacks Laurence Grondin and Alexander Matveev were the next to go. Grondin falling in eighth and Matveev in seventh. Bayat then found himself in a race for his tournament life against chip leader, Soucek. Bayat moved in with ace-king but lost the race to Soucek’s pocket sixes. Biding his time, Lakeram Persaud worked his short stack into multiple pay jumps, avoiding elimination. Persaud finally got his stack in the middle against Soucek. Persaud was dominated though and took his leave as Soucek faded the board.

An ill-timed button shove spelled the end for Frederic Pierre. Pierre jammed with queen-six but was dominated by Jackson’s king-queen. No help came for Pierre and he hit the rail in fourth. Jackson set up the heads-up battle with Soucek after getting the best of Daniel Mason. Jackson was in a dominating position again as Mason’s ace-six was no match for his ace-ten.

The two finalists reached a deal and play resumed. They traded the chip lead back and forth until the final hand, with only 10 big blinds, Jackson moved all-in with ten-seven of clubs. Soucek called with ace-queen, and though Jackson caught a seven on the flop, Soucek paired his ace on the turn and faded the river to capture the title, the top prize and the champion’s trophy.

Here are the results from the final table:

1Lukas Soucek$51,600
2Christopher Willis Jackson$41,000
3Daniel Mason$24,160
4Frederic Pierre$14,700
5Lakeram Persaud$11,360
6Pirooz Bayat$9,400
7Alexander Matveev$8,010
8Laurence Grondin$6,830
9Khaly Dang$5,460
10Michael Malm$4,640

Event #7: $550 NL Hold’em Freeze

The seventh event of the Fall Classic got underway at 11 a.m. on Wednesday morning. A guarantee of $80,000 awaited players, but as registration closed, 225 entries were received and yet another guarantee was smashed. When registration closed, a total prize pool of $123,675 had been built.

Playground legend Jean-Philippe Piquette emerged victorious, defeating Francois Lemyre-Charest heads-up to claim the $28,420 first-place prize. Lemyre-Charest received $20,045 for his runner-up finish.

Jean-Philippe Piquette

On the final hand, Piquette put his opponent at risk and had him dominated. Lemyre-Charest called off his stack with ace-nine, only to see Piquette had shoved with ace-queen. The board would run out clean for Piquette and he would pick up yet another title at Playground.

As expected with a larger buy-in, the field was strong in Event #7. Piquette maneuvered his stack through the likes of Marco Caza (fourth - $7,710), Andrej Markovinovic (sixth - $4,930) and Pascal Monarque (eighth - $3,460) during the final table.

Here are the results from the final table:

1Jean-Philippe Piquette$28,420
2François Lemyre-Charest$20,045
3Roger Lamia$12,670
4Marco Caza$7,710
5Marco Sousa$5,960
6Andrej Markovinovic$4,930
7Arun Kumar Singh$4,140
8Pascal Monarque$3,460
9Santos Ciulla$2,840
10Victor Artemenko$2,420

Event #8: $330 NL Hold’em Survivor

A total of 195 players filed into the tournament floor Wednesday evening for a unique chance at building their bankroll. The formula for the survivor structure was simple: When registration closes, the final 10 percent of the field will be paid out an equal share.

When registration closed, it was determined that the top 19 players would bank $2,910 and 20th place would earn $1,455. However, with 26 players remaining, the field struck a deal. The agreement reached meant the top six players would walk away with $2,700, while everyone else would take home $2,027.

Play concluded with Bob T, Sydney Barnier, Jean-Francois Lescadres, Donald Pothier, Joey ‘birdman’ Boczek and Event #3 champion Daune Fernandez taking the top six spots and $2,700. Walter and Ara Asatoorian, Armand ‘The Oyster King” King, Francesco Maltese and Danny Freitas were among the bottom 26 payouts, awarded $2,027.

Survivor Winners

Thursday is World Poker Tour (WPT) Satellite day at Playground as the partypoker WPT Montreal kicks off Friday.

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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