News And Updates

The Playground Poker Spring Classic is back for 2017 and it’s bigger and better than ever with two new major events presented under the partypoker LIVE banner including the partypoker Million North America - which boasts the largest prize pool guarantee in Canadian poker history!

The first partypoker LIVE event in North America is the Spring Classic kickoff tournament: the $200 + $20 Grand Prix Canada. With a $500,000 guaranteed prize pool, it’s by far the largest Event #1 in Playground Poker festival history, and with a $220 total buy-in, it offers players an incredible value.

The best part? Players didn’t have to wait for the Spring Classic to play - the Grand Prix Canada has already begun! Online Day 1s have been running since February and there are already a bunch of players that have qualified for Day 2. There’s still plenty of time to join the event, though - there are several scheduled Day 1s on partypoker plus 11 scheduled Live Day 1s beginning on April 25th!

The second partypoker LIVE event in this year’s Spring Classic is the $5,000 + $300 partypoker Million North America. With a massive $5,000,000 prize pool guarantee including a $1,000,000 guaranteed first place payout!

Players may join the Million North America in one of three ways: Direct buy-in, winning a “traditional” satellite ticket, or winning a seat via a Phase 1 tournament. The Phase 1 system is an important poker tournament innovation. Players who win a Phase 1 tournament not only qualify to play in Day 1 of the Million North America, they carry their finishing stack with them. Most players will tend towards the chip average at the end of a Phase 1 - 1M tournament chips - but players may end up with less - or a lot more!

Phase 1s are running now at Playground Poker Club. As well, there are "traditional" satellites into Day 1 on partypoker. Direct buy-in is available now on partypoker and at the cashier at Playground Poker Club.

In addition to the partypoker LIVE events, the Playground Poker Spring Classic consists of 7 other side events, including a $2,300 + $200 2-Day Second Chance event and the return of the massive $500 + $100 + $500 50/50 Bounty tournament. Every event in the Spring Classic has a prize pool guarantee.

The return of the Spring Classic
History has been made once again at Playground Poker Club!

After 34 levels of play spread across 4 action packed days, Ema Zajmovic plowed through a field of 380 entries and joined an elite group of players by claiming the title of champion at the WPT Playground. Ema has also just become the first woman to have won a WPT title in an open-championship event, securing nearly a quarter-million in earnings along the way.

The World Poker Tour Main Tour returned to Playground Poker Club for the third time this season in its 20 stop program. This time the structure was a little different compared to previous visits to Kahnawake, as there were only 2 starting flights to the $3,200 + $300 NLHE event, however a single same-day re-entry was permitted on top of the usual next-day re-entry formula. A combined total of 380 entries took place, in turn generating a prize-pool of $1,179,520.

Through the two starting flights, 157 players managed to bag chips onto Day 2 of which 48 secured a cash prize of at least $5,670. A few notable players were eliminated shortly after the money-bubble burst, including the likes of Marc-Etienne McLaughlin (41st – $6,120), Christian Harder (40th – $6,120) and Marc-Andre Ladouceur (35th – $6,720).

Once the clock struck zero in Day 2, there were only 28 players remaining with Hendrik Latz leading the pack. His stack was closely rivalled by 3 other players, as Jean-Pascal Savard, Eric Afriat and Kelly Kellner bagged within a handful of big blinds of the chip-leader.

Nghi Van "Henry" Tran was the highlight at the start of Day 3, as he ran his average stack into a monster chip-lead in only a few orbits of play. His at-one-point chip-stack of 2.3 million towered over his opponents in early play, but began being chipped away at bit by bit as the day progressed. All-stars Jake Schwartz (27th – $8,100) and Anthony Zinno (24th – $9,600) were shown the door fairly early, and they were followed by Hendrik Latz (20th – $11,580), Patrick Blye (13th – $17,160) and Pascal Lefrancois (11th – $20,160) before the 10-handed final table was formed. The 10 finalists played for 17 minutes before Day 3 was declared over, and it was none other than Ema Zajmovic who was sitting atop the leaderboard, en route to her second consecutive WPT final table here at Playground Poker Club.

Early action saw Henry Tran (10th – $15,508) be the first eliminated in Day 4, followed by Ryan Tack Yu (9th – $18,554) and local hero Carter Swidler (8th – $24,000). Danny Li (7th – $29,446) was then sent to the rail by Tam Ho, and the official WPT Playground Final Table was formed.

Tam Ho started 6-handed play with the chip-lead as he watched Jean-Pascal Savard (6th – $45,690) get eliminated by Jean-Francois Bouchard. Ema eliminated Mekhail Mekhail (5th – $55,200) in 5th place to regain the lead, but it was quickly taken away by Eric Afriat during 4-way action. After Ema eliminated Tam (4th place – $71,670) to bring the field down to 3, the stacks started to even out – until a huge hand occurred between Jean-Francois and Eric, leading to Eric’s elimination (3rd place – $108,690).

Jean-Francois began heads-up play with 6,850,000 in chips, ahead of Ema’s 4,525,000, but after only 2 levels of play Ema tilted the balance in her favour and took a 2-to-1 chip lead over her opponent. Jean-Francois was on his way to evening the counts up until the final hand of play took place.

Ema was on the button / small blind, and therefore first-to-act, but before she had the chance, Jean-Francois announced all-in out-of-turn. Ema confirmed with the floor staff regarding the procedures in this case, and then made a passive-action to ensure her opponent’s out-of-turn play remained binding. The dealer then threw the “All-In” card in front of Jean-Francois, and Ema made the call – forming a pot of nearly 90% of the chips in play.

Ema tabled and was racing versus the of Jean-Francois. She took the lead on the flop by pairing her king, and faded the turn and river to secure the win on the board.

Her radiant smile described the immense joy she felt after the river dropped – she was now a WPT champion!
Ema Zajmovic makes history by winning WPT Playground!Ema Zajmovic makes history by winning WPT Playground!Ema Zajmovic makes history by winning WPT Playground!Ema Zajmovic makes history by winning WPT Playground!
Playground Poker Club is pleased to announce the launch of a major new event on the Canadian and global poker scene: the partypoker Million. The Million, sponsored by partypoker, is a multi-phase tournament that will culminate with a $5,000 + $300 event to be hosted at Playground Poker Club in May 2017.

Boasting a $5,000,000 Guaranteed prize pool including a Canadian-first $1,000,000 guarantee for the first place winner, the partypoker Million will be one of the largest events in the history of Canadian poker.

The Final Phase will be hosted in May, but players don’t have to wait until the spring to jump in the action. The partypoker Million features multiple online and live phases working together to lead to the ultimate goal of competing for the Million dollar first prize. The tournament gets underway as early as December 16th with the Live $500 + $50 Phase 1 tourney at Playground Poker Club, part of the Club’s 6th Anniversary celebrations.

Phil Sabbah of Playground Poker Club explains how a Phased tourney works: “Phases are an innovative way to offer huge tournaments to players who might not normally play such a big event. In Phase 1, the buy-in is just $500 + $50. But it’s not a satellite: Phase 1 is definitely part of the real tournament. The structure, starting stack size and blind levels will be those of a regular multi-table tournament, not a satellite. Players who qualify through Phase 1 will even take their finishing stacks to the Final Phase in May.”

Stay tuned for additional Phase 1 tournaments to be held both online and live in early 2017, and the Final Phase schedule will be released early in the new Year.

Playground to Crown its first Millionaire!