Amir Babakhani Wins 2013 WPT Canadian Spring Championship for $442,248
The 2013 PartyPoker World Poker Tour Canadian Spring Championship came to a close Wednesday night with a new WPT champion emerging at the Playground Poker Club in Montreal. Amir Babakhani steamrolled the six-handed final table to win a WPT championship belt along with the top prize of $442,248, which includes a ticket to the $25,000 WPT World Championship at Bellagio later this month.
WPT Canadian Spring Championship Final Table Results
Babakhani began the day with the chip lead with more than 6.6 million in chips, but it was the two small stacks who were the most active early on. Jonathan Bardier and Martin Leblanc were both working with between 10 and 20 big blinds and managed to stay afloat in the first level of the day by using preflop aggression. Then they went head-to head in a hand which left Bardier crippled.
According to the WPT Live Updates, Bobby Liang min-raised from middle position to 160,000 and Bardier moved all in from the cutoff for 1,570,000. Leblanc called all in for 1,100,000 from the big blind, and Liang folded.
Bardier had a slight lead and it got better when the dealer rolled out a flop. The increased his lead, but the on the river paired Leblanc and doubled his stack to 2,460,000.
Bardier was left with around six big blinds, but he found a double of his own a few hands later. Bardier moved all in from middle position for 640,000 with and Jason Duval called from the button with . The board ran out and Bardier stayed alive, leaving the six-handed final table intact.
The first elimination occurred more than an hour later, and once again Bardier was involved. Action folded around to Bardier in the small blind and he completed to 100,000. From the big blind, Babakhani raised to 300,000, and Bardier moved all in for 1,865,000. Babakhani called, and Bardier was at risk again.
Bardier's ace was dominated, and his fate worsened when the hit the flop. The rest of the board bricked for Bardier and he exited in sixth place for $81,767.
Leblanc failed to gain any momentum after doubling through Bardier and his stack dipped all the way down to 880,000 before he was eliminated in fifth place. Bobby Liang opened with a raise from the cutoff to 250,000, Babakhani three-bet from the button to 700,000, and Leblanc responded with a four-bet shove. Liang folded and Babakhani called instantly with , which was way out in front of Leblanc's . The brought no help to Leblanc and he was sent out the door in fifth place for $102,251. Babakhani, meanwhile, increased his stack to more than 12 million.
With Leblanc gone, Duval and Liang were the new short stacks and they went to battle a short while later. Duval raised from the button to 300,000 and Liang moved all in from the big blind for 1.2 million. Duval called with and he had Liang's in a world of hurt. The board came up empty for Liang, and he busted in fourth place for $199,029.
With three remaining, Babakhani played executioner again by eliminating Duval. Babakhani raised to 400,000 from the button, and Duval moved all-in for 1.7 million from the small blind. Kruger folded his big blind and Babakhani called.
The dealer fanned a flop of , giving Duval an open-ended straight draw. According to the PokerNews Odds Calculator, Duval was suddenly a 52% favorite to double up. However, the turn and river failed to improve his hand and he exited in third place for $199,029.
Babakhani began heads-up play with a 2.5-to-1 chip advantage over Kruger. The two clashed for more than an hour and Kruger doubled up twice to stay alive, but he eventually succumbed to a cooler situation. With the blinds at 125K/250K/25K, Babakhani raised to 625,000 and Kruger called. The flop brought , and Kruger check-called a bet of 600,000. On the turn, Kruger checked again and Babakhani fired 1.3 million. Kruger paused before moving all-in for a little more than 3 million, and Babakhani called instantly.
Both players flopped trip fives, but Babakhani's eight kicker had Kruger on the ropes. The river was the , and Babakhani secured his first WPT title. Kruger earned $272,555 for his runner-up finish.
Here's a look at Babakhani's interview with WPT reporter Jeanine Deeb after his victory:
Season XI of the World Poker Tour will come to a close this month with the final stop in Las Vegas for the WPT World Championship. Babakhani will join all of the Season XI winners as well as the game's top pros in what will be one of the toughest fields of the year at the Bellagio beginning on Saturday, May 18. Stay tuned to PokerNews.com for daily recaps from that event and the $100,000 Super High Roller.
Data and lead photo courtesy of WPT.com.