Playground Winter Festival: Hendrik Latz Tops Day 2 of WPT Playground

Hendrik Latz

Quite a few familiar faces were still in the mix as play on Day 2 of the World Poker Tour (WPT) Playground came to an end. From the 157 players to start the day, just 28 hopefuls remain. Germany’s Hendrik Latz stole the chip lead from Quebec pro Jean-Pascal Savard during the final hands of the night to end on top.

Latz won a race with ace-king against qualifier Nicolas Le Floch’s pocket fives during the last level of play to bag a stack of 838,000. Latz barely edged out Savard, who had led for most of the day. Savard finished up with 834,000.

Savard could easily have been over the million chip mark if not for a race situation against qualifier Victor Adams. Adams moved all in preflop with pocket sixes and was slightly ahead of Savard’s ace-queen. A six on the flop sealed the pot for Adams, putting a small dent in Savard’s stack.

Sitting in third position is a man who knows all about closing WPT events. WPT Champions Club member Eric Afriat will come back to Day 3 with a very healthy 825,000. Kelly Kellner (809,000), Nghi Van Tran (693,000) and Kalpesh Raichura (645,000) are a few others to find success on Day 2.

Pascal Lefrancois, Anthony Zinno, Jordan Saccucci, Carter Swidler and the last female standing, Ema Zajmovic, all remain in the hunt. Zajmovic just recently made the final table of WPT Montreal back in November where she finished in fifth after coming into the final table with the chip lead. She’ll be looking to top that result in the coming days.

Ema Zajmovic
Ema Zajmovic

With just the top 48 places making the money, most of the field left without any consolation on Sunday. Some to fall before the bubble busted include 2016 WPT Montreal runner-up Benny Chen, 2016 WPT Canadian Spring Championship runner-up Ruben Perceval, the start-of-day chip leader Mike Baroud, Max Silver, Kristen Bicknell, Mike Leah and the WPT’s own Tony Dunst and Mike Sexton.

As dramatic a bubble hand as there ever could be was witnessed on Day 2. With hand-for-hand play underway, the cards delivered. With both players pretty deep-stacked, a four-bet shove from Thundup Ringpa was snap-called by Savard.

Ringpa tabled ace-king only to see the pocket aces of Savard. The flop brought a king, giving Ringpa some hope. The turn flipped the tables delivering a second king on the board and giving Ringpa the lead. Savard had just one out, the final ace in the deck. The dealer tapped the felt and slid out the ace, much to the delight of the entire room.

With the bubble broken, a number of players hit the rail. Nenad Medic (32nd - $6,720), Marc-Andre Ladouceur (35th - $6,720), Christian Harder (40th - $6,120) and Marc-Etienne McLaughlin (41st - $6,120) were just a few of the notables to bust in the money.

The final 28 players will return for Day 3 action on Monday at noon local time with a plan to play five more levels.

The ever-popular Seniors’ event took the stage on Sunday evening at Playground. Event #12: $165 NL Hold’em Seniors’ 50+ attracted 118 players, cruising past the $15,000 guarantee. In the end, it was Claude Dufresne emerging victorious. Dufresne defeated Laszlo Kassa heads up to claim the trophy and a $2,809 reward.

Claude Dufresne
Claude Dufresne

Final Table Payouts:

1Claude Dufresne$2,809
2Laszlo Kassa$3,055
3Richard Sysko$1,855
4Vital Cleary$1,985
5Nasser Amoghli$2,350
6Domenic Durante$2,125
7Murray Conrad$820
8Bryan Shailer$630
9Jared Newcombe$480
10Gerald Fehr$360

With just 12 players making the money, defending champion Bob T busted one away from the bubble. The elimination of Terry Flood opened the gates for the rest of the field. George Daoukakis was the first to fall, followed by Michel Bergeron, setting up a final table of 10.

Gerald Fehr and Jared Newcombe were the first to bow out of the final table. After Bryan Shailer and Murray Conrad hit the rail, the final six players went on break. During the break, the remaining players negotiated a deal based off their ICM numbers, leaving $354 to play for.

Not long after, just Kassa and Dufresne remained. Kassa began with a lead but a few double ups and Dufresne was in control. Dufresne was having some luck with small pocket pairs and when Kassa shoved preflop, Dufresne made the call with two fours. A race ensued with Kassa tabling ace-seven. A four on the flop had Kassa drawing dead and Dufresne was handed the champion’s trophy.

Two more side events are on the schedule for Monday at Playground, Beginning at 11 a.m., Day 1 of Event #13: $1,650 NL Hold’em Second Chance gets underway boasting a guarantee of $150,000. Later on in the evening, the $30,000 guaranteed Event #14: $330 NL Hold’em Mega Stack kicks off.

The Playground Winter Festival runs through Feb. 15 and PokerNews will bring you daily updates of all the happenings throughout the festival. For full coverage and details check out the Playground event blog here.

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