Josh Wallace Earns $78,000 for Winter Super Stack Win

Josh Wallace Deerfoot Inn & Casino Winter Super Stack

The Winter Super Stack Main Event is a wrap. The $1,500 tournament was the marquee event of the 13-event, 12-day series at Deerfoot Inn & Casino in Calgary, and Josh Wallace came out the victor, pocketing $78,000.

There were three starting flights to give players a chance to build a stack for Monday’s Day 2. When registration closed for the final time on the last Day 1, a total of 250 entries were tallied to blow past the $250,000 guarantee (the largest Super Stack Main Event guarantee ever) to put $332,500 up for grabs.

Just 54 players had chips to return to the felt on Day 2, and only 25 would receive a piece of the prize pool. Leading the way at the start of play was Kyle Hartree who bagged 393,000 on Day 1a. Close behind was Ronnie Dattani with 350,000 from Day 1c. And the third-best stack was Day 1b’s chip leader, Michael Smith with 289,000.

Eliminations came quick and it didn’t take long before play went hand-for-hand on the final three tables for the money bubble. About 20 minutes later, Andy Truong was the final elimination without collecting a payout when he got it in with {10-Hearts}{10-Clubs} to defending champion Devin Verstraelen’s {a-Spades}{q-Clubs}. Verstraelen held a straight by the turn and Truong’s bustout put the remaining players in the money.

Despite the small boost in chips from Truong’s stack, Verstraelen was the very next player eliminated. After winning the 2016 Winter Super Stack Main Event, Verstraelen collected a min-cash in the same event a year later worth $3,350.

On the way to the final table, Michael Smith (21st — $3,650), Ryan Cairns (20th — $3,650), Ron Giles (19th — $3,800), Jordan Johnstone (18th — $4,000), and Richard Mullen (13th — $5,650) hit the exit.

2017 Winter Super Stack Main Event final table

When just nine players remained, Paul Sokoloff carried the largest stack to the final table with 1,850,000, followed by Ronnie Dattani (1,120,000) and Josh Wallace (1,080,000) as the only players to climb into seven-figure counts.

The first player to fall from the final table was the last lady standing in the Main Event. Vanessa Kade made a tough call on the river with {2-Hearts}{5-Diamonds}{k-Hearts}{q-Spades}{2-Spades} on the table. She had led out for 100,000 before Bill Thomson pushed all in and she went in the tank. She ultimately called with {a-Clubs}{k-Diamonds} and Thompson won the pot with {j-Clubs}{2-Diamonds}.

“It’s hard to put him on a two when he calls the flop,” she said on her way out of the tournament room to collect $7,900 for ninth place.

Shortly after that, Josh Wallace took over the chip lead after doubling up through Bill Thomson. Wallace was the first player to cross the two-million mark at that point.

Sam Ngai was the next to go, jamming in his 195,000 remaining chips with {j-Spades}{10-Diamonds} and getting called off by Paul Sokoloff who woke up with {a-Diamonds}{k-Hearts}. Sokoloff hit a king on the flop and Ngai never caught up, finding himself eliminated in eighth place for $9,750.

After yo-yoing from huge stack to average stack over and over for several levels, Bill Thomson met the end of his string in seventh place. He held the chip lead for a while before the final table was set, then lost it and gained it several times over. The last of his chips went in when he was holding {a-Spades}{j-Diamonds} and Ronnie Dattani called off with {a-Diamonds}{k-Diamonds} and both players whiffed the board. Dattani collected the pot and Thomson collected $12,600.

Paul Sokoloff, Vanessa Kade, Bill Thomson
Paul Sokoloff, Vanessa Kade, and Bill Thomson

Start-of-day chip leader Kyle Hartree was the next out. He had lost a good portion of his stack and was in need of a double-up. He pushed all in with a small ace and was called by Kris Klimosko who found a pair of kings in his hand. Hartree earned $16,400 for the deep run.

When five-handed play got underway, Josh Wallace was still leading with 2,700,000 chips, followed by Paul Sokoloff and Ronnie Dattani, as had been the order of big stacks for a good portion of the final table.

Then the two biggest stacks clashed. Ronnie Dattani got all of his chips in the middle on a {10-Spades}{j-Diamonds}{8-Spades} flop and Josh Wallace called. Dattani held {k-Hearts}{10-Diamonds} and Wallace was well ahead with {j-Clubs}{10-Clubs}. The rest of the board bricked out and Dattani was finished in fifth place for $20,700.

Josh Wallace racked up another knockout when he three-bet Kris Klimosko’s open and Klimosko pushed all in with {10-Diamonds}{10-Hearts}. Wallace snap-called with {k-Clubs}{k-Spades} and the board ran out pure for the bigger pair, finishing off Klimosko in fourth place for $26,100.

Anthony El-Araj seemed to be a silent witness to most of the action, laddering his way up the payouts without getting involved in too many huge pots. But his run ended when he got his strong ace all in against Paul Sokoloff who had an even stronger ace. El-Araj couldn’t catch up and collected $36,500 for third place.

Heads-up play between Paul Sokoloff and Josh Wallace began with Wallace holding a reasonable lead with 4,700,000 to Sokoloff’s 2,800,000. Bit by bit, he increased that lead and chipped away at his opponent’s stack to the point where Sokoloff had just 950,000 remaining and he shipped it in with {4-Spades}{4-Diamonds}. Wallace called with {k-Hearts}{9-Hearts} and turned the {9-Spades} to take the lead and rivered the {k-Clubs} just to make sure. Sokoloff was the runner-up for $51,500.

Josh Wallace earned an impressive $78,000 for the win, which is the largest tournament prize of his life. His previous best was when he finished seventh in the 2015 Summer Super Stack at the same venue which was worth $28,584.

2017 Winter Super Stack Main Event Final Table Results

1Josh Wallace$78,000
2Paul Sokoloff$51,500
3Anthony El-Araj$36,500
4Kris Klimosko$26,100
5Ronnie Dattani$20,700
6Kyle Hartree$16,400
7Bill Thomson$12,600
8Sam Ngai$9,750
9Vanessa Kade$7,900

Deerfoot Inn & Casino generally have three Super Stack series each year, so players can still look forward to the Spring and Summer renditions of the series in 2017.

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