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Montreal and the Playground Poker Club play host for the second time to one of poker's largest series when partypoker LIVE MILLIONS comes to town. From April 21-May 2, the scope of the poker eye moves north of the United States border. Season 2 of partypoker LIVE starts with a bang with a C$10 million guaranteed prize pool for a C$5,300 buy-in. The top two finishers are guaranteed at least C$1,000,000. This number holds to form with previous partypoker LIVE events of similar guarantees. The 2017 rendition of this event drew an international crowd of 1,168 and put close to C$6 million in the prize pool to surpass the C$5 million guarantee. Canadian Jean-Pascal Savard emerged victorious over a strong final table featuring Ari Engel, Niall Farrell, and Matt Waxman to win C$956,050 ($696,169). Bigger and Better This year's partypoker LIVE festival features strong guarantees outside of the Main Event. partypoker's success in drawing the high rollers in at Barcelona hopes to be carried over at Playground. On the schedule of events for the MILLIONS North America series is a trio of C$1,000,000 guaranteed tournaments. The first on the list is a C$10,300 High Roller that kicks off the series on April 21 and features two starting days. A C$1,100 event follows on the schedule with two starting flights to put approximately 1,000 runners in the field to meet the guarantee. A similar event at Fallsview in February as part of the Fallsview Poker Classic drew 1,387 entrants for a C$1,100 buy-in. Finally, the big boys get in the action with the C$25,300 Super High Roller that opens on April 23 and wraps up on April 24. Main Event Across Canada The partypoker standard of including online Day 1s holds to form in Montreal (and technically, around the world). Day 1 flights are running on partypoker.com with players able to "bag" and advance to one of two Day 2s. There are five Day 1 flights at Playground and depending on which Day 1 they advance from, players return on either April 28 or April 29 for their respective Day 2. Playground is partnering with another member of the Canadian poker family for live Day 1s. The Deerfoot Casino in Calgary, Alberta is hosting $C5,300 buy-in Day 1 and Day 2 flights. Day 1 in Deerfoot is April 17 followed by Day 2 on April 18. All Day 1s at Playground carry 60-minute levels with the exception of Day 1E, which is reduced to 40-minutes. Any player who bags after Day 2 at Deerfoot earns $1,200 expenses to head to Playground for April 30th's Day 3 where the full field is to be assembled. The Main Event wraps on May 2 on Day 5 with a live-streamed final table exclusively on partypoker.com. Post-Lims Galore The seven-figure guarantees are far from over when the Main Event starts. There are two more C$ 1,000,000 prize pools that take place starting on April 30. The C$1,100 Turbo opens with two starting flights spread across April 30 and May 1. The final table plays out on May 2 with 30-minute levels for the duration of the tournament. It's not called a "High Roller" but the $10,300 Finale carries the same buy-in as is predecessor along with a seven-figure guarantee. There is only one Day 1 for the Finale followed by Day 2 on May 1 and the final table on May 2.
Hosted by PocketFives President and Editor in Chief Lance Bradley and poker writer Matt Clark, The Fives runs each week and covers the latest poker news, preview upcoming events, and debate the hottest topics in poker. Lance and Matt return this week to talk about the success of the partypoker MILLIONS North America event and the underwhelming turnout for the World Poker Tour Elite Poker Championship at the Bellagio in Las Vegas. Recorded before the European Poker Tour Main Event played down to a winner, Matt talks about what a win for Ole Schemion might mean for him and it puts him in position to be the first player to grab all three legs of poker's Triple Crown in the same year. Earlier this week, former #1-ranked online poker player Patrick Leonard released his own version of the live power rankings. Lance and Matt debate the merits of Leonard's list, get into some of the snubs and put out a list of their own top five. They wrap things up by talking about the direction Phil Galfond is taking his Run It Once online poker site. DOWNLOAD THIS EPISODE IN ITUNES GET THIS EPISODE ON STITCHER GET THIS EPISODE ON GOOGLE PLAY
Francois Billard has had a lot of success at the Playground Poker Club in Montreal over the course of his career, but Sunday night the Canadian poker pro put an exclamation point on all of them by winning the partypoker MILLIONS North America Main Event for a career-best $715,414 score. It took just 14 hands for Kevin Rabichow, who started the day as the chip leader, to pick off one of the shorter stacks. With blinds of 800,000/1,600,000, Rabichow opened from UTG for 3,200,000 and Danick Landriault defended his big blind. After a flop of [poker card="qs"][poker card="8c"][poker card="5c"], Landriault check-called Rabichow's bet of 2,400,000. The [poker card="2h"] turn saw Landriault check again before Rabichow moved all in. Landriault called and showed [poker card="ac"][poker card="8s"] which put him behind Rabichow's [poker card="qd"][poker card="jc"]. The [poker card="3c"] river was no help for Landriault and he was out in sixth. It took almost six hours before the next player was sent out. Action folded to Billard on the button and he moved all in. Alexandros Kolonias folded his small blind but Paul Fontan called all in from the big blind. Billard turned over [poker card="jc"][poker card="4c"] and Fontan showed [poker card="qh"][poker card="7h"]. The [poker card="js"][poker card="9c"][poker card="6h"] flop gave Billard the lead and neither the [poker card="td"][ turn or [poker card="2c"] river were able to save Fontan from a fifth place result. Two hours later, Rabichow found another victim. From UTG, Rabichow raised to 7,000,000 and Kolonias called from the big blind. The flop [poker card="tc"][poker card="9d"][poker card="4h"] flop got both players to check. Kolonias checked again after the [poker card="ts"] flop, but Rabichow bet 5,500,000 and Kolonias called. The river was the [poker card="qc"] and Kolonias checked again. Rabichow shoved all in and Kolinias called and showed [poker card="9s"][poker card="6c"] but lost to Rabichow's [poker card="ac"][poker card="qh"] for a fourth place finish. The final three players played for a while before coming to an agreement on an ICM chop. Francois Billard - $557,278 Joni Jouhkimainen - $434,063 Kevin Rabichow - $430,848 The players agree to leave $158,003 on the table for the eventual champion. Despite the deal, the final three players played for three hours before the next elimination. After Rabichow folded his button, Jouhkimainen moved all in from the small blind and Billard called from the big blind. Jouhkimainen tabled [poker card="qc"][poker card="6c"] while Billard showed [poker card="ad"][poker card="jc"]. The board ran out [poker card="8c"][poker card="3d"][poker card="2h"][poker card="4c"][poker card="7d"] to send Jouhkimainen's day in third position. Heads-up play started with Billard holding a 2.7-1 lead over Rabichow and it took just over an hour for Billard to finish him off. On the final hand, Rabichow raised to 12,000,0000 and Billard clicked back for 42,000,000. Rabichow called to see a flop of [poker card="kd"][poker card="9c"][poker card="8s"]. Billard bet 26,000,000 and Rabichow called. The [poker card="th"] turn was good enough to get Billard to move all in and Rabichow called. Billard showed [poker card="ts"][poker card="9d"] for a turned two pair while Rabichow tabled [poker card="jh"][poker card="td"] for second pair and an open-ender. The river was the [poker card="6d"] and Billard eliminated Rabichow to win the partypoker MILLIONS Main Event. Final Table Payouts Francois Billard - $715,414 Kevin Rabichow - $430,848 Joni Jouhkimainen - $434,063 Alexandros Kolonias - $275,331 Paul Fontan - $223,241 Danick Landriault - $186,035 Ben Heath - $148,828 Ruben Perceval - $111,621