Jean-Pascal Savard Wins the partypoker MILLIONS North America

Jean-Pascal Savard

The partypoker MILLIONS North America Main Event wrapped up an exciting week at the Playground Poker Club in Montreal, Canada. The premiere destination for poker in Canada delivered what was a record-setting festival. The CA$5300/$4000 Main Event set a record in Canadian live poker with a prize pool of CA$5,709,750, beating the guarantee of CA$5,000,000 put up by partypoker.

There were 1,168 entries through online and live satellites, Phase 1 qualifiers, and Day 1 participants. 119 players made the money and were guaranteed to take home at least CA$10,000. When Day 5 finally arrived, there were eight players remaining who made up a star-studded final table. The final four all hailed from the host province, Quebec.

Final Result 2017 partypoker MILLIONS North America Main Event

PositionPlayerCountryPrize (CAD)
1Jean-Pascal SavardCanada$956,000*
2Jonathan BussieresCanada$693,950*
3Philippe D'AuteuilCanada$450,000
4Louis BoutinCanada$335,000
5Ari EngelCanada$238,350
6Niall FarrellUnited Kingdom$160,000
7Matthew WaxmanUnited States$110,000
8Rayan ChamasCanada$80,000

* denotes a deal

The tournament reached the money early on Day 3, when the bubble boy, Steven Walburton, was left with less than a single ante and was forced all in. He revealed queen-deuce off suit, but Tim West flopped top set with pocket tens and Walburton was drawing dead by the turn. The remaining 119 players were all guaranteed a min-cash worth CA$10,000 and that is when the real journey to the big money began.

It was a long final table that lasted over ten hours until heads-up play finally began. Jean-Pascal Savard held a two-to-one chip lead over his country-mate, Jonathan Bussieres. With the two remaining players being close friends, a deal was struck before play would begin, thus resulting in a quick heads-up battle.

Throughout the final table you could hear his rail chanting "Jean, Jean, Jean!"

The pair decided to decrease blinds to just 20 minutes and to skip a level and begin at 6,000,000/12,000,000. After just 30 minutes of play, Bussieres shoved queen-jack suited into Savard's ace-jack, finding himself in a dominated position. The board would be of no help and the rail rejoiced in loud chants.

Savard just took down his first career major title, and he did so in none other than his hometown, with many friends supporting him on the rail. Throughout the final table, you could hear his rail chanting "Jean, Jean, Jean!" with every pot he won. Savard would go on to celebrate with his friends off of the final table stage with hugs and high-fives all around.

Savard's biggest cash prior to this event was at the 2015 PCA Bahamas High Roller where he finished in 4th place for $508,080. With this being his largest live poker cash, Savard's total live earnings have now increased to $1,566,896.

Bussieres came into the final day as one of the shorter stacks among the elite eight. He continued to grow his stack by making strong play after strong play and out-duelling many of his opponents. His passion for the game was visible, as a fist pump followed every major pot he took down.

By Bussieres finishing in second place and scoring a six-figure win of CA$693,950, he has just increased his career live earnings exponentially. Prior to this big score, Bussieres had just $72,763 in live tournament winnings.


Day 5 Action

The elusive final table came together on Day 5 with eight players having their sights set on the CA$1,000,000 top prize, along with the bragging rights that came along with taking down Canada's biggest prize pool in live poker history.

The shortest stack of the day belonged to Louis Boutin, but he chipped his way up and brought himself back into contention after cracking Matthew Waxman's queens with ace-jack.

The first player to go, after three hours of play, was Rayan Chamas, who started the day third in chips. He got off to a good start, but found himself raise-folding and playing some big pots with the two chip leaders. Eventually, Chamas found himself in a cooler and four-bet shoved with jacks but ran into Savard's aces, sending him home with CA$80,000 for his deep run.

Louis Bussieres found himself on the ropes as one of the short stacks and got it in with ace-jack. He was well behind Boutin's ace-king but spiked a jack on the turn to stay alive, arguably the turning point for Bussieres on this final table. Matthew Waxman was ousted in 7th place (CA$110,000) after losing a big chunk of his stack early on with queens. He got his last remaining chips in the middle with ace-queen but Farrell didn't want to fold six-seven suited in the big blind and turned a pair to eliminate the WSOP bracelet winner.

Engel began the day as the chip leader but slowly found himself slipping down the leaderboard.

Engel began the day as the chip leader but slowly found himself slipping down the leaderboard. It was clear he was getting hands but was unable to come out on top with the best of it. Despite this, he found a way to ladder up once Farrell trapped Savard with kings, getting him to shove with ace-jack after limping in from the small blind. Farrell snap-called with his monster hand. The flop came ace-high, sending Niall Farrell home in 6th place for a nice sum of CA$160,000.

After seeing the two big stacks clash, Ari Engel managed to ladder up but then busted out shortly after. He shoved his last few chips in with six-five on the button but ran into the pocket tens of D'Auteuil in the big blind. Engel leads Canada in the GPI rankings and is 13th in the world, however, it is likely this result will bump him up that list quite nicely. He earned himself CA$238,350 for his 5th place finish today.

The four remaining players were all friends and all hailed from Quebec, Canada, making for a fun and interesting dynamic on such a big stage. Louis Boutin started the day as the shortest stack but grinding his way to a 4th place finish, losing a flip with pocket nines to a shove from Bussieres holding queen-ten. Boutin took home CA$335,000 for his impressive run in this event.

Three-handed play would not last long either. Philippe D'Auteuil attempted to pull off a bluff against Savard, but the latter wasn't buying it and snapped him off on the river with jacks on a queen-high board. Shortly after, D'Auteuil called a shove from Bussieres with ace-queen, but his opponent out flopped him with king-six and D'Auteuil hit the rail in 3rd place for just shy of half a million dollars.

Savard and Bussieres solidified their deal and the rest is history, with Savard taking home the title on his home turf.

Jonathan Bussieres and Jean-Pascal Savard

Notables that busted prior to the final table but still took home some money included Scott Montgomery (13th place - CA$45,000), Michael Addamo (24th place - $35,000), Sam Greenwood (27th place - CA$32,500), Joseph Sicko (30th place - CA$32,500), Carlos Mortensen (38th place - CA$30,000), Benny Chen (43rd place - CA$27,500), Ema Zajmovic (48th place), Sam Trickett (50th place), Anthony Zinno (54th place - CA$25,000), Jason Koon (56th place - CA$25,000), Cate Hall (63rd place - CA$22,500), Xuan Liu (71st place - CA$20,000), Upeshka De Silva (81st place - CA$15,000), Darren Elias (101st place - CA$12,500), Mike Mcdonald (109th place - CA$10,000), and Ryan Riess (119th place - CA$10,000)

Congratulations to everyone involved in the partypoker MILLION North America series in Montreal, Canada. It was a record-setting event that will go down in history, with the hopes of breaking through more barriers in the future. Partypoker has started a chain of Live events that are spreading across the globe. Be sure to keep an eye on the schedule for an event near you!

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