Darren Elias has won his third World Poker Tour (WPT) title, joining an elite group of three-time winners made up of Gus Hansen, Carlos Mortensen, Anthony Zinno, and Chino Rheem. Nobody has won four.
This was the second Canadian WPT event of the year, quickly following WPT Playground where Quebec’s Ema Zajmovic made poker history by becoming the first female WPT Champion.
Poker players from all over descended on Fallsview Casino Resort next to the world-famous Niagara Falls to play the four-event annual series, the Fallsview Poker Classic. The series culminated in the $5,000 WPT Fallsview Main Event which saw 489 entrants, creating a prize pool of $2,229,954.
This is the largest WPT Fallsview since the event began in 2014, returning to Ontario after a six-year hiatus from Fallsview Casino Resort. The event has grown every year and 2017’s 489 entries is a significant climb from 2016’s 423.
As the tournament played down to a final table, Canada’s top-ranked female player was eyeing up a piece of WPT hardware after winning her second World Series of Poker bracelet last year. But Kristen Bicknell was eliminated on the final-table bubble in seventh place for $53,597.
With six players remaining, one half of them were Canadian and only one, American Darren Elias, had experience winning a WPT event.
Canadian Abdull Hassan was the first player eliminated from the final table, collecting $86,184 for sixth place which is the only recorded live tournament cash in his life.
In fifth, Germany’s Manig Loeser earned $107,339 to add to an impressive globetrotting career that is nearing on $2 million in lifetime cashes.
Another world-traveller, Canadian Andrew Chen was the fourth-place finisher. He added $143,199 to his career total which is approaching $5 million from countries all over the globe.
The final Canadian in contention, Jean-Christophe Ferreira, was the next player out. Although no stranger to playing large-buy-in events, the prize of $193,583 he collected for third place was the largest of his life, more than doubling his previous total.
That left two Americans to play for the title and David Eldridge fell as the runner-up, earning $300,982 in consolation. This was also the largest cash of his career.
Darren Elias pocketed $429,384 for the win, getting his name engraved on the WPT cup for a record-tying third time after doing so twice in 2014.
WPT Fallsview Final-Table Results
Fallsview Poker Classic $1,100 Event
The Fallsview Poker Classic kicked off with their usual $1,100 event which, as usual, was won by Mike Leah. Unbelievably, Leah won the same tournament for the third time in fourth years. This year, he topped a field of 1,524 entries to win the largest chunk of the $1,366,311 prize pool.
Fallsview Poker Classic $2,500 Event
The second event of the Fallsview Poker Classic saw an all-Canadian final table as the buy-in stepped up to $2,500. Coming out on top was one of Canada’s best. Xuan Liu proved to be the best out of 753 entries, earning her largest home-country cash.
Fallsview Poker Classic $1,500 Shootout Event
The final event of the Fallsview Poker Classic was the $1,500 shootout tournament, giving players one last chance at glory. Just 81 players were topped by Farbod Afshari.
That’s it for another year at Fallsview Casino Resort, which is the only major tournament series of the year in Ontario. Poker fans in Canada’s biggest province will have to head east, west, or south if they want to play more poker tournament series this year.