Playground Winter Festival: Le Floch Wins Second Title
France's Nicolas Le Floch is having a great trip in Montreal.
Just days ago, Le Floch lifted a Playground Winter Festival Champion’s trophy for topping the field in the Omaha event. Le Floch, who won a package to the WPT Playground Main Event online through partypoker, then made a deep run in the WPT event, finishing in 29th. A day later, Le Floch captured the Winter Festival Second Chance title, bringing his total earnings at Playground this week to $62,355.
Day 2 of Event #13: $1,650 NL Hold’em Second Chance resumed on Tuesday with 21 players left in the mix, just seven away from the money. Le Floch began the day among the leaders in a field that also included Daniel Dvoress, multiple Playground trophy winner Shawn Daigle, Thomas Lefort, Danny Le and chip leader Chad Coombs.
Play quickly moved down to the final two tables. Soon after, Le Floch busted the bubble by eliminating Scott Diver in 15th place. Lefort, Martin Szlavy and Matthew Wantman found the exit before Dvoress hit the rail, setting the final table.
Final Table Results:
|1||Nicolas Le Floch||$47,140|
|6||Michael Garry Aron||$7,220|
Daigle and Le Floch picked away at the field and Alexandre Lavigne scored a few knockouts. With the final three set, Lavigne and Le Floch tangled in a pot that would see the former hit the rail. Lavigne shoved preflop with pocket fours, racing against the ace-ten of Le Floch. An ace landed on the river and Lavigne’s day was done.
Le Floch had more than a 2-1 chip lead on Daigle when heads-up play began. Interestingly enough, according to the Playground live blog, Le Floch’s heads-up opponent in his Omaha win, Andre Markovinovic, is a roommate of Daigle’s.
The two battled for the better part of three levels without much change in the chip counts before Le Floch was able to seal the deal. In a pot where both players hit the flop, the money went in on the turn with Daigle having ace-five and Le Floch holding ace-nine on an eight-ace-nine-seven board. Daigle needed a six to stay alive but the river bricked and Le Floch earned his second title of the Winter Festival.
The penultimate event of the Winter Festival got underway Tuesday evening. Event #15: $550 NL Hold’em 6-Max attracted a field of 100 players. Bill Kontaratos took down the event and put himself on top of the Playground festival all-time cashes list.
Kontaratos made several deep runs this festival including a runner-up finish in Event #11 three days ago. Early Wednesday morning, Kontaratos busted his final opponent to claim the champion’s trophy and bank a score of $12,050.
Final Table Payouts:
|3||Charles La Boissonniere||$7,000|
|5||Alexander Mackenzie Fitzgerald||$4,090|
Kontaratos’ victory was no easy task given the field he topped en route. Jonathan Bussieries, Brian Morgan, David Valcourt-Dube, Rodney Ramalho, Michael Malm, Laurence Grondin and Ruben Perceval all took their shot but faded out before the money.
Just 12 players earned a cash in the event. Once Shu Pui Philip Tse fell in 13th place, the remaining players locked up a min-cash and play quickly accelerated to a final table. Raphael Bernard held the chip lead when the final table commenced but Kontaratos would score the first elimination.
Patrick Braga put his tournament life on the line with ace-queen and Kontaratos put him at risk, calling with pocket fives. Kontaratos won the race and Praga fell in sixth. Then Bernard took his turn at shortening the table. Bernard scored a cooler to send Alex Fitzgerald to the rail with both men turning a full house; Bernard had the best of it.
With just a 12 big blind average, play moved along quite quickly for the final four as Bernard and Charles La Boissonniere succumbed to the stack of Kontaratos. Patrick St-Onge was able to battle back from a chip deficit to even out the playing field.
With both players relatively short-stacked, they each picked up an ace preflop and the chips went into the middle. Kontaratos had St-Onge outkicked with his ace-queen to St-Onge’s ace-six. Though St-Onge picked up some extra outs on the turn, Kontaratos’s kicker played and the victory was his.
With the WPT Playground Main Event finishing a day early, just a single lone event is on the schedule for Wednesday. The final event of the series, Event #16: $330 NL Hold’em 8-Max Bounty, kicks off at 7 p.m. and boasts a guarantee of $35,000.
The Playground Winter Festival runs through Feb. 15 and PokerNews will bring you daily updates of all the happenings throughout the festival. For full coverage and details check out the Playground event blog here.
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