The World Poker Tour (WPT) tournament in Montreal began this weekend at the Playground Poker Club, and within the first two days set new records for major poker events in Canada. The WPT decided to have two official ‘Day 1s’ of the tournament in order to allow players the option of buying back in on Saturday if they were eliminated Friday. This decision allowed 1,173 poker players to register during the first two days of the tournament, which smashed the previous WPT record of 504 Canadian players. After the games wrapped up for the day on Saturday, 362 remaining players survived to play in Sunday’s events.
With the record turnout of players, the prize pool is valued at over $3,300,000, and the WPT has guaranteed the top 117 players a minimum payout of $5,421. Once the third day comes to an end, the remaining 6 players will play at the final table on Tuesday. The final table promises payouts of $113,157 for the sixth place player, while the winner of the tournament will win $754,162 as well as a seat at the WPT Championship inside the Bellagio casino in Las Vegas next spring.
One of the most successful players thus far has been Jeff Gross, who has been a World Series of Poker finalist twice in his career. He is currently one of the leading chip leaders heading into Sunday’s games having trailed only Kalpesh Raichura in chips through Saturday. However, Daniel Negreanu perhaps the most famous Canadian poker player did not finish Saturday so lucky. He was eliminated along with fellow Canadian Matt Marafioti, who has competed professionally for 5 years running.
The WPT has been absent from Canada for several years, so the Montreal tournament was considered an important reintegration into the Canadian poker market. Given the new records of participation, it’s safe to say the WPT succeeded at bringing competitive poker back to Canada.
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