After opening its doors in December of 2010, the Playground Poker Club has quickly become one of North America’s premier poker venues.
Located in Kahnawake, Quebec, just on the other side of the St. Lawrence river from downtown Montreal, the Playground Poker Club hosts several high-profile tournament series and has partnerships with some of the biggest brands in poker.
The club became a household name in the poker world in 2012 when they partnered with the World Poker Tour. Since Jonathan Roy took down the inaugural WPT Montreal for $754,210, the Canadian card room became a fixture on the WPT and is always one of the most popular stops on the schedule.
It can be argued that two of the most historic moments in WPT history took place during two of the three stops at the Playground this past WPT season. Last November, one of the faces of the WPT and Poker Hall of Famer, Mike Sexton, etched his name on the Champions Cup. He topped a field of 648 and defeated Benny Chen heads-up to win $317,817.
The third stop of the season at the Playground Poker Club saw the WPT crown its first female champion in an open event. Ema Zajmovic won $183,789 to become the second woman to have her name inscribed on the cup. She joined Van Nguyen, who won an invitational event, as the only two females to earn the title of WPT champion.
With the success of the first WPT stop in 2012, Playground added a second stop to the schedule in 2013 with the creation of the partypoker WPT Canadian Spring Championship. Since 2013, they have been one of the few venues with multiple stops on the tour in the same season.
This year, however, instead of running the Canadian Spring Championship, they are hosting the partypokerLIVE MiILLION North America stop in its place. Even with the subtraction of the Canadian Spring Championship, Playground added an event in February, which will likely become a permanent stop on the tour’s schedule to continue its trend of multiple stops a year.
The Playground Poker Club became relevant in the poker world largely after Black Friday, but since it is based in Canada, it was still able to run events with several of the biggest names in the online world. In 2013, they held the Full Tilt Poker Montreal Festival and the partypoker.net Premier League. In 2014, they hosted the PokerStars Canada Cup, which gave them an event with, at the time, the three biggest online poker rooms on the planet.
The 2014 Canada Cup was one of the most memorable ends to a tournament in poker history. Robert Notkin, a qualifier on PokerStars for $30, won a four-way all in with pocket kings to knock out three players and win $354,379.
One of the features of the club that sets itself apart from other tournament venues is that the only gambling that takes place at Playground is poker. There are no slot machines, no table games and no sportsbook for players to place other bets. It’s all poker, all the time.
The club is widely regarded as the best place to play poker in all of Canada. It spreads games of all sizes, ranging for $1/$2 No Limit Hold’em all the way up to some of the biggest games the country has to offer.
If players are looking for some time away from the tables, they are a 20-minute car ride away from taking in the sides and sounds of downtown Montreal. Between its location, selection of cash games and premier tournament schedules, it’s not a surprise that Playground Poker Club has emerged as one of the most desired places to play poker.