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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.
Over the course of his career, Mike Leah has won five WSOP Circuit rings and a World Series of Poker bracelet. On Monday night he captured his first World Poker Tour title, winning the WPT Fallsview Poker Classic for $359,001. The victory is Leah's fourth career win at the Canadian casino and third in three straight years. His three other wins all came in the $1,100 buy-in event that traditionally opened the weeklong festival. Despite starting the final table with the third biggest stack, Joe Ferrier lasted just nine hands before exiting in sixth place. Leah raised from middle postilion to 150,000 and Ferrier re-raised to 375,000 from the button. Leah responded by moving all in for 4,400,000 and Ferrier called all in. Leah tabled [poker card="ah"][poker card="qh"] which put him ahead of Ferrier's [poker card="ad"][poker card="jh"]. The [poker card="8d"][poker card="7d"][poker card="3c"] flop gave Ferrier a backdoor flush draw but neither the [poker card="ts"] turn or [poker card="8s"] river were any help and Leah picked up his first elimination. About 30 minutes later, Daniel Wagner was shaking hands and saying "good game" after going out in fifth. Down to just 385,000, Wagner moved all in from UTG and got a call from Carlos Chadha in the small blind. Wagner was ahead with [poker card="ad"][poker card="2d"] to Chadha's [poker card="kh"][poker card="qh"] but the [poker card="qs"][poker card="9s"][poker card="2c"] flop changed that. Wagner could only watch and grimace as the [poker card="8c"] hit the turn and [poker card="5d"] completed the board. It took 62 hands and 2.5 hours to find the next elimination. From UTG, Chadha moved all in for 1,365,000 and Ryan Yu called from the big blind. Chadha tabled [poker card="5c"][poker card="5h"] and was racing against Yu's [poker card="ad"][poker card="jh"]. The [poker card="7s"][poker card="6h"][poker card="3h"] flop kept Chadha in front as did the [poker card="3h"] turn, but the [poker card="as"] river gave Yu top pair and send Chadha out in fourth place. Just 10 minutes later, Yu picked up another elimination. Tim Rutherford moved all in for 1,360,000 from the small blind and Yu called from the big. Rutherford turned over [poker card="9h"][poker card="6h"] and was drawing live against Yu's [poker card="as"][poker card="qs"]. The [poker card="jd"][poker card="8d"][poker card="3h"] [poker card="4c"][poker card="5d"] runout kept Yu ahead and send Rutherford home in third place. When heads up play began Yu had 70% of the chips in play. That changed quickly after Yu and Leah had taken an unscheduled break to discuss a deal. Over the next three hands, Yu lost almost all of his stack without seeing a flop. According to official WPT live updates, Yu raised to 4,000,000 from the button and Leah moved all in for 4,695,000 an Yu responded by folding. On the next hand, Leah limped his button, Yu raised to 5,000,000 and then folded to Leah's 8,715,000 shove. On the third hand of play between the two, Yu raised to 1,700,000 and Leah again moved all in. Yu folded and left himself just 40,000 - 1/3 of a big blind - to work with. It took three more hands before Leah finally eliminated Yu to win his first World Poker Tour title. Final Table Payouts Mike Leah - $359,001 Ryan Yu - $239,327 Tim Rutherford - $176,636.47 Carlos Chadha - $131,771 Daniel Wagner - $99,361 Joe Ferrier - $75,755
The World Poker Tour has a new WPT Champions Club member. On Monday night, Canadien Demo Kiriopoulos captured first place in the Season XVII WPT Fallsview Poker Classic Main Event. Kiriopoulos topped a record-breaking field of 602 entries to win the C$517,424 ($382,894) top prize. WPT Fallsview Final Table Results 1st: Demo Kiriopoulos - C$517,424* 2nd: Wing Yeung - C$362,853 3rd: Andrew Pantling - C$233,339 4th: Jake Schwartz - C$167,388 5th: James Morgan - C$128,471 6th: Noeung Troeung - C$105,170 *First place includes a $15,000 seat into the season-ending WPT Tournament of Champions. Nineteen players remained to enter the third and final day of play, with Kiriopoulos sitting 14th on the leaderboard. Chanracy Khun was the only remaining WPT Champions Club member in the field and Garrett Dansereau was in the lead. Khun busted in 11th place, just after the last woman standing, Christine Do, went out in 12th. Kiriopoulos then knocked out Yuri Siniak in 10th place, as Andrew Pantling continued to lead the way. Pantling padded his lead with the knockout of Jason Sagle in ninth place, and then Brad Lampman was eliminated in eighth place by Jake Schwartz. Dansereau, the start-of-day chip leader, bowed out in seventh when his [poker card="Ad"][poker card="Ts"] couldn't win against Schwartz's [poker card="Ks"][poker card="Kc"], according to the WPT coverage. With six players left, it was still Pantling out in front in a big way. He had 9.475 million and Schwartz was the next largest stack at 4.07 million. At the time, Kiriopoulos was fourth in chips with 2.855 million. Kiriopoulos began chipping up right away and soon found himself second in chips behind only Pantling, who had also chipped up to more than 10 million in chips. On the 28th hand of six-handed play, Noeung Troeung was eliminated in sixth place by James Morgan. A handful of hands later, Kiriopoulos clashed big against Pantling to take over the chip lead. During five-handed play, Kiriopoulos and Pantling exchanged the chip lead a few times. Pantling then took a big chunk out of Morgan before Morgan busted in fifth place to Wing Yeung. Schwartz then went out in fourth place when he couldn't win with the [poker card="Qh"][poker card="Jh"] against the [poker card="As"][poker card="8d"] of Kiriopoulos. Three-handed play started with Pantling and Kiriopoulos almost tied for the chip lead, and Yeung in third place. Yeung found a double through Kiriopoulos, then Kiriopoulos found a double through Pantling. After the dinner break, Kiriopoulos came back and went to work. He quickly moved into the lead before he won a big pot off Yeung who had just doubled through Pantling. That allowed Kiriopoulos to really separate himself from the pack. Pantling went out to Yeung in third place when his pocket kings couldn't hold up against the pocket twos of Yeung. Kiriopoulos had the lead entering heads-up play by about 2-1. The two battled for quite some time, but in the end, Kiriopoulos was too much for Yeung to handle. Kiriopoulos won the big pots and the majority of the small pots to finish Yeung off and win his first WPT title. On the final hand, Kiriopoulos called Yeung's shove with pocket tens. Yeung had the [poker card="Jd"][poker card="6d"] and failed to improve. He earned C$362,853 ($268,511) for his runner-up finish. Hublot WPT Player of the Year Update With the win, Kiriopoulos soared past $1 million in career live tournament earnings. He also picked up a $15,000 seat into the season-ending WPT Tournament of Champions and 1,200 points in the Hublot WPT Player of the Year race. Ping Liu added to his Hublot WPT Player of the Year lead with a 62nd-place finish at WPT Fallsview. Liu now has 1,900 points and is 50 points ahead of Tony Ruberto in second place. Liu has six cashes and two WPT final tables on the season. Schwartz, who took fourth at WPT Fallsview, added 800 points to move to 1,650 points overall. He's currently in third place. The winner of the Hublot WPT Player of the Year for Season XVII will earn a $15,000 WPT Passport that can be used as buy-in credit across global WPT events. The winner also receives a custom Hublot watch. Second place in the race will earn a $7,500 WPT Passport, and third place gets a $2,500 WPT Passport.