The World Poker Tour made history in Canada on Saturday. The first-ever $3,300 buy-in WPT Montreal Main Event saw 695 players enter on the second Day 1 flight, creating a total field of 1,173 entries — a new record in Canada for a tournament with a buy-in of $1,000 or more.
The massive turnout generated a prize pool of $3,387,930. The top 117 places will receive a minimum payout of just about $5,500, with the winner taking home $755,601, which includes a $25,000 seat into the WPT Championship at Bellagio next spring. Each member of the historic WPT Montreal final table at the Playground Poker Club will collect a six-figure payday, and here's a look at the top payouts:
2nd | Pascal Lefrancois | $473,572
3rd | Jeff Gross | $319,238
4th | Gavin Smith | $212,937
5th | Sylvain Siebert | $147,184
6th | Peter Kaemmerlen | $113,792
Only 221 of the 695 Day 1b entrants survived the 12 hours of play, with Kalpech Raichura finishing on top with 314,000. Raichura will be second overall in chips entering Day 2, trailing only Day 1a chip leader Patrick Lelievre who bagged up 326,000. Others boasting big stacks at the end of play Saturday were Jeff Gross (284,000), Glen Cymbaluk (270,700), Everol Davis (243,900), Louis Rousseau (236,200) and Daniel Ricci (231,000).
Gross, a two-time WSOP final tablist, scooped a big pot late in the day to vault up the leader board. According to the WPT Live UpdatesTeam , Gross put in a three-bet preflop to 15,800, and the original raiser called to see a flop. Both players checked, and the fell on the turn. Gross called a bet of 16,000, and the dealer rolled over the on the river. After his opponent checked the paired board, Gross pondered his next move before betting 39,000. The other player quickly called, but he mucked when he saw Gross table the for two pair, aces and sixes. That pot sent Gross to around 196,000, and he continued accumulating the rest of the night to finish at 284,000.
Among the other notables who advanced to Day 2 were Amanda Musumeci, Andy Frankenberger, Bruce Buffer, Todd Terry, Timothy Adams, Ashton Griffin, Mohsin Charania, Tom Marchese, Erik Cajelais, Gavin Smith, John Racener, Trishelle Cannatella, Isabelle Mercier, Will Failla and Dan Smith, who currently holds a huge lead in the Global Poker Index Player of the Year race.
While those players thrived, many hit the rail on Saturday. Among the less fortunate were Faraz Jaka, Jonathan Duhamel, Daniel Negreanu, Brian Rast, Justin Zaki, Joe Serock, Matt Salsberg, Matt Marafioti, Marvin Rettenmaier and recent WPT winner Noah Schwartz. The WPT bestbet Fall Poker Scramble champ was eliminated when he moved all in preflop with the and was unable to out-flip his opponent's pocket fours as the board ran out .
Here are the unofficial top 10 chips counts at the end of Day 1b:
Day 2 of the WPT Montreal Main Event will commence at 12:00 EST (17:00 BST), and the remaining 362 players from Day 1a and 1b will attempt to play through the money bubble and down to the final 27. As always, you can find a recap of all of the action right here on PokerNews.com.
Data and photos courtesy of WorldPokerTour.com.