On Thursday, Mike Leah took down the opening event of the World Poker Tour Fallsview Poker Classic for $118,982. The victory in the $1,100 No-Limit Hold’em tournament marks Leah’s second six-figure score of 2014 after he won the $5,000 NL Hold’em Eight-Handed event for $119,770 at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure.
The Fallsview Poker Classic returned to the WPT schedule after a five-year hiatus, and it kicked off among a bit of controversy. According to our colleagues over at ca.pokernews.com, the tournament issued vouchers to fill 600 seats, and some of them ended up being scalped at huge mark-ups.
According to ca.pokernews.com:
“Selling multiple entries or allowing multiple satellite winners is common for events that have more than one Day 1 as players have the option of re-entering each day in hopes of building a better stack then the day before and taking their biggest stack into Day 2. All three events in the Fallsview Classic only have one Day 1 flight, though. Fallsview also capped the seating at 600 entries with 50 alternate tickets, making for a market where supply fell short of demand and scalpers found an opportunity to make a profit, selling seats at escalated prices.”
Leah even weighed in on the situation:
Any media want to do a story about the Scalping madness @WPT Niagara Falls contact me; 1100 tickets going for 1800 because of awful systemFollow @GoLeafsGoEh
Despite the drama, the tournament proceeded accordingly and Leah eventually found himself among the surviving 81 players from Day 1 with a healthy stack of 185,000. On Day 2, Leah managed to make it through the money bubble at the top 72 and then made it all the way down to the final table second in chips with 1.46 million.
On Day 3, Leah returned to play down to a winner.
“I didn’t win a hand for first three hours. Had a few failed three and four-bets and doubled up a few short stacks,” Leah told Ivey Poker. “There were a few bustouts and then I won a huge flip with pocket nines vs. A-Q for my tournament life with about six players left. I then won another huge pot with pocket aces vs. pocket nines to take the massive chip lead with four left.”
Leah put those chips to good use and outlasted the remaining competitors Thomas Manuge (3rd - $53,636) and Geoffrey McNeely (2nd - $83,413).
“Feels amazing of course," Leah said. "I don’t know if I’m doing anything differently, but I have played two great tournaments. I had the chip lead in both almost from start to finish and I think I played the big stack as well as you could.”
We win! @WPT Fallsview Event #1 #shippitydoooodah 2nd 6 figure score of 2014; 1 in Jan, 1 in Feb....Can't wait till March!Follow @GoLeafsGoEh
Leah will play the WPT Fallsview Poker Classic $5,000 Main Event on Saturday before making his way to California for the L.A. Poker Classic.
For more on Leah’s win, visit iveypoker.com.