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Henri Balcazar Wins the Full Tilt Poker Montreal Main Event

Henri Balcazar Wins the Full Tilt Poker Montreal Main Event 0001

After just under nine hours of play on Day 5, the Full Tilt Poker Montreal Main Event is complete, and the winner of the largest tournament in Playground Poker Club history is Henri Balcazar. After three-handed deal with Mike Linster and Eric Despres, Balcazar netted C$194,046 along with a shiny new trophy.

“I’m going to by you a new car,” Balcazar told his mother after he won, grinning.

Final Table Payouts

RankPlayerPrize (C$)
1Henri Balcazar$194,046*
2Eric Despres$150,000*
3Mike Linster$200,000*
4Guillaume Rivet$96,151
5Bill Kontaratos$74,714
6Vinny Pahuja$58,006
7Roger Lamia$44,923
8Zeng Yi Xie$35,150
9Colin Peche$27,269

*Denotes a three-handed deal

During the first hour of play, Linster ran an unsuccessful triple-barrel bluff against Roger Lamia, who called him down with just one pair. Linster was able to get his chips back, however, winning a coinflip for his tournament life with {10-Hearts}{10-Diamonds} against Lamia’s {a-Diamonds}{q-Diamonds}.

An hour into the final table, Colin Peche was the first player to exit. He three-bet jammed on the button with {8-Clubs}{8-Spades}, and Linster cold-called with {j-Hearts}{j-Diamonds}. The original raiser folded, and the World Poker Tour Champions Club member’s dominant hand held up.

An hour later, Zeng Yi Xie took his leave in eighth place. Yi Xie open-shoved in early position for 1.44 million at 50,000/100,000/10,000, and Despres called in the big blind. Yi Xie’s {a-Spades}{3-Spades} was dominated by Despres’ {a-Hearts}{q-Clubs}, and despite flopping two spades and backdoor wheel and Broadway draws, Yi Xie bricked out and was eliminated.

There was then a lull in the action, until three players were busted in a single orbit during Level 31 (60,000/120,000/20,000). Lamia was the first victim, three-betting over a raise and a call from Guillaume Rivet and Despres respectively. Rivet four-bet shoved, Despres folded, and Lamia called, having committing himself with a large three-bet. Rivet’s {j-Clubs}{j-Spades} were ahead of Lamia’s {a-Spades}{6-Spades}, and held as the board came out {3-Spades}{7-Clubs}{6-Clubs}{7-Hearts}{8-Clubs}.

A few hands later, Vinny Pahuja, who started the day as the chip leader, was eliminated. Pahuja lost a chunk of his stack, flopping two pair against Linster’s straight, and on his final hand he three-bet all in on a flop of {7-Hearts}{4-Hearts}{7-Clubs}. Balcazar, the raiser, called with {k-Hearts}{q-Hearts}, holding two overs and a flush draw against Pahuja’s {6-Diamonds}{4-Diamonds}. The {9-Spades} on the turn was clean, but the {3-Hearts} spiked on the river, and Pahuja was eliminated in sixth place.

The very next hand, Kontaratos hit the rail. He limp-called an all-in bet out of the small blind against Rivet, who held {a-Diamonds}{3-Spades}. Kontaratos only had {j-Hearts}{10-Spades} for jack-high, and was unable to connect with the flop, turn, or river.

Linster and Despres finalizing the deal
Linster and Despres finalizing the deal

Unfortunately for the local pro, he was then eliminated in fourth place. Rivet three-bet jammed with {5-Clubs}{5-Spades} out of the small blind for around 18 big blinds. Despres, the original raiser, called with {a-Hearts}{k-Diamonds}, and flopped a Broadway draw – {q-Clubs}{6-Diamonds}{j-Spades}. The {k-Hearts} on the turn had Rivet drawing to two outs, and the {j-Clubs} on the river wasn’t one of them.

After much deliberation, Linster, Despres, and Balcazar agreed to a three-handed deal. Linster, who had nearly half of the chips in play, was hesitant at first, but opted to lock up more than second-place money.

PlayerPrize (C$)
Michael Linster$200,000
Eric Despres$150,000
Henri Balcazar$150,000

The three players agreed to play for the remaining $44,046 and the title.

Balcazar quickly fell to third in chips, but proceeded to double up three times, turning 10 big blinds into 37% of the chips in play. On the final double up, Balcazar won a race with {5-Diamonds}{5-Clubs} against Linster’s {a-Clubs}{j-Diamonds}, leaving the American with 25 big blinds.

Linster was unable to run his stack up, cold four-bet shoving for 10 million at 200,000/400,000/50,000 with {a-Clubs}{j-Clubs}. Balcazar, the three-bettor, called with {8-Spades}{8-Hearts}, winning one last race against Linster.

Despres' reaction to the final river card
Despres' reaction to the final river card

Balcazar owned a three-to-one chip lead entering into heads-up play, and the match ended very quickly. On the third hand, Despres min-raised to 800,000 on the button, and Balcazar defended. The dealer fanned {10-Diamonds}{4-Diamonds}{3-Hearts}, Balcazar opted to lead out for 700,000, Despres raised to two million, and Balcazar instantly moved all in for effectively 15 million or so. Despres snap-called.

Balcazar: {5-Diamonds}{3-Diamonds}
Despres: {k-Spades}{k-Diamonds}

Despres remained ahead after the {2-Spades} turned, but it gave Balcazar an open-ended straight draw to go along with his flush, two pair, and trips draws, and the {j-Diamonds} completed the board. Despres threw his hands on his head in disbelief, and Balcazar was crowned the champion.

The Full Tilt Poker Montreal festival is now complete, and we thank you for following our coverage of the Main Event. Congratulations to Henri Balcazar for winning $194,046 and the trophy.

The PokerNews Live Reporting Team will begin coverage of the European Poker Tour London on Friday. The 10-day festival begins with the £50,000 Super High Roller, and also includes a £10,300 High Roller and the £5,250 Main Event.

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