Jaered Besse Wins Playground 1000 at Playground Winter Festival
Playground Poker Club, located just outside of Montreal, has been putting on some of the top poker festivals in Canada for a number of years now, and the 2018 edition of their Winter Festival was no exception. Running from January 14 through 31, the series featured 17 different no-limit hold'em and Omaha events.
One of the marquee events of the series was Event #14 - $1,100 50/50 Bounty. The event drew a total of 84 entries with fast action on Day 1 as players were willing to gamble on a chance at a $500 bounty chip. The fast play on Day 1 meant that only 18 players bagged at the end of the day, and led to a more measured day of action on Day 2.
The tournament came down to heads-up play between Kathy Sawers and Isham Yamani after the final three players agreed to a chop of the remaining prize pool. Sawers had the chip lead going into heads-up, but it wasn't an easy win for her. The two players waged a jovial battle for more than an hour before Sawers took it down on a very standard poker situation: versus a middle pair. She paired the ace on the flop, and Yamani was unable to find an eight for his set, sending the $15,100 top prize to Sawers. Yamani had to settle for $9,780 for second place.
As always, the big tournament was the Main Event, Event #11 - $1,100 Playground 1000. With 499 total entries, the tournament would pay out 63 players. The four day event had three Day 1 starting flights, and concluded play with Day 4 on Wednesday, January 31.
Day 4 saw eight players returning to the felt for the final day after a double elimination knocked out two players simultaneously at the end of Day 3. It took about eight hours to play down to a winner on the final day, and it all came down to a battle between Jaered Besse and Ruben Perceval. Perceval came into heads-up with the chip lead, and the players immediately agreed to a chop. Perceval locked up $77,500 while Besse took $69,070, leaving $10,000 up top for the winner.
Heads-up went on for nearly two hours, with the chip moving back and forth across the table. Finally, both players were dealt a pair in a deciding hand. Perceval has a small chip lead when he got it in with pocket sevens, only to see Besse wake up with pocket jacks. The board was no help for Perceval, sending the massive pot to Besse and leaving Perceval on fumes. Those fumes were snuffed on the very next hand when Besse's jack-high held up against the of Perceval. With the previous deal, Besse took home $79,070 and the trophy, while Perceval had to be satisfied with the previously agreed upon $77,500.
Below is a list of all the event winners and their prizes:
2018 Playground Poker Club Winter Festival Winners
|#1 - $160 NL Hold'em||Yu Chen||$18,150|
|#2 - The Crazy $80 Re-entry||Jason Mottershead||$3,900|
|#3 - $300 NL Hold'em 50/50 Bounty||Ian O'Shaugnessy||$5,269|
|#4 - The $250 Frenzy||Sasan Mehrabian||$25,070|
|#5 - $110 Deepstack Turbo||David Bonneau||$1,500|
|#6 - $110 NL Hold’em 50/50 Bounty||Alain Lavoie||$1,357|
|#7 - $220 PL Omaha 50/50 bounty||Jonathan Marrie||$2,000|
|#8 - $220 Survivor||Final nine||$2,100|
|#9 - $550 NL Hold'em Freeze||Ami Alibay||$12,150|
|#10 - $220 8-Max Freezeout||Simon Assouline||$3,900|
|#11 - $1,100 Playground 1000||Jaered Besse||$79,070|
|#12 - $165 Seniors' Tournament||Denis Giguere||$3,208|
|#13 - $330 Re-Entry||John Yang Huynh||$4,570|
|#14 - $1,100 50-50 Bounty||Kathy Sawers||$15,100|
|#15 - $220 Deepstack Turbo||Nicholas Soller||$3,320|
|#16 - $110 8-Max Freeze||Ronald Lei||$2,115|
|#17 - $330 Bounty||Stephane Bedard||$6,160|
* Photo courtesy of Playground Poker Club.