The World Poker Tour rolls on.
Just days after Eric Afriat’s epic victory in the WPT Borgata Winter Poker Open the Championship tour turns its attention north of the border to Niagra Falls, Ontario in Canada and the WPT Fallsview Poker Classic.
The second Canadian stop of WPT’s Season XVI, the Fallsview Poker Classic brings with it a $5,000 CAD (~ $4,025 USD) Main Event. Unlike the recent WPT stops of the Lucky Hearts Poker Open or the Borgata Winter Poker Open, the Fallsview Poker Classic has a more compact schedule with a single starting day, February 10. Should players bust out on that starting day, it offers a single same-day re-entry to get back into the action. While the event doesn’t carry a guarantee, event organizers advertise the Main Event prize pool to be an estimated $2,055,000 CAD based on projected number of players.
The first nine levels of the four-day tournament come with slightly expedited 40-minute levels and increase to the more-standard Main Event 60-minute levels thereafter. Once the final two participants are ready to determine a winner, the levels dip back down to 30-minutes. Despite the rate of play moving a little faster, players can expect to get more hands in per hour as the Main Event is once again utilizing a shot clock. The shot clock gives players 30 seconds with which to make any given decision and time extensions for those extra tricky spots.
The Fallsview Poker Classic has been a staple of the World Poker Tour since Season XII when Canadian Matthew Lapossie bested 383 runners to take the inaugural Fallsview Poker Classic trophy and $342,266. After a successful start in 2014, the stop has become more popular every year since with ever-growing prize pools. In Season XIII Anthony Zinno took down the tournament helping propel him to earn Player Of The Year honors that year. Season XIV’s brought it’s own distinction of having an “all hometown” final table as six Canadian players dueled for the top prize of $383,407, eventually won by David Ormsby. Finally, last year, in Season XV, Darren Elias used the Fallsview Poker Classic to make history when he won his third World Poker Tour title, becoming only the fifth player in history to do so.
Of course, if chasing history in the Main Event isn’t enough action for you, the festival comes with a pair of big-time prelims. On February 5 the $1,100 CAD event gets underway. This tournament has two starting days and wraps up on February 8. Organizers expect the prize pool to be over $1.3 million CAD.
Just as the $1,100 tournament is ending the $2,500 CAD tournament kicks off. The four-day tournament is expected to have a prize pool of just under $1.5 million CAD.
Finally, should you bust out of the Main Event and are looking for a “trip-saver”, there’s a Shootout starting on February 11 for $1,500 CAD and an expected prize pool of roughly $132,000 CAD.
Headed into the final stretch of Main Tour contests, two-time Main Event winner Art Papazyan still holds the lead in the WPT Player of the Year race. But after Eric Afrait’s victory at Borgata, combined with his prior final table in Montreal, there’s finally someone who can possibly overtake the one-time seemingly insurmountable lead held by Papazyan. With only five events left on the WPT Season XVI schedule before the season-ending Tournament of Champions in Las Vegas, everyone will be keeping an eye on if one of these two men post another big result or if someone else makes a move for the POY crown.
The WPT Fallsview Poker Classic Main Event fires up on February 10 with live updates available by the World Poker Tour.