It's fitting that two Québécoise reached heads-up play in the inaugural World Poker Tour Montreal on Tuesday night, but in the end, only one player could take home the title. That player was Jonathan Roy, who bested fellow French Canadian Pascal Lefrancois heads-up, earning the bragging rights, a whopping $755,601 and a seat in the $25,000 WPT World Championship to be held at the Bellagio in May of 2013.
WPT Montreal Final Table Payouts
There were fireworks on the very first hand of the official final table. With the blinds at 60,000/120,000/20,000, Peter Kaemmerlen opened to 300,000 from under the gun. Jeff Gross three-bet to 1.26 million from the small blind, Kaemmerlen moved all in for 2.4 million, and Gross called.
Kaemmerlen held on the flop () and the turn (), but the spiked on the river, eliminating him in sixth place ($113,115). Gross, who began the final table second in chips and had 18-time Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps and Big One for One Drop winner Antonio Esfandiari on his rail, was suddenly the chip leader with 11.2 million.
On the fourth hand of play, Lefrancois received a much-needed double-up. Facing a raise to 320,000 from Sylvain Siebert, Lefrancois defended his big blind. The flop fell , and Lefrancois check-called 440,000 from Siebert. The turn was the , Lefrancois led out for 820,000, and Siebert moved all in. Lefrancois called all in for less at 5.05 million holding the , and Siebert tabled the . The bricked on the river, and Lefrancois doubled to 11.75 million. Siebert slipped to three million in chips.
Despite doubling through Roy a few hands later, Siebert, who entered the final table as the chip leader, exited in fifth place. He moved all in from the small blind holding the , and Roy snapped him off with two black queens. The board ran out , and Siebert was off to the cage to collect his $146,360 payday.
Gavin Smith, who entered the final table as the short stack, was the next player to bow out. After treading water for 46 hands, Smith moved all in from the small blind on Hand #47 of the final table. Roy looked him up in the big blind holding the , and Smith was ahead with the . The flop was dry, but the turned, giving Roy a leading pair of sevens. A meaningless complete the board, and Smith was out in fourth place ($211,745).
Over the next 75 hands (roughly two-and-a-half levels), there were very few significant pots played between Roy, Lefrancois and Gross. Then, on Hand #123, Lefrancois min-raised to 600,000 from the small blind. Gross called, and the dealer fanned the flop. Lefrancois moved all in, and Gross snap-called with . Lefrancois was dominated, holding , and the turn and rive came , respectively. Gross was now second in chips with 10.25 million, while Lefrancois was on the bottom of the counts with 8.8 million.
Twenty hands later, Lefrancois and Gross played another all-in pot, but the roles were reversed. Lefrancois open-shoved for around six million on the button with the blinds at 200,000/400,000/50,000. Gross called in the small blind with , which was racing against Lefrancois' . Lefrancois was nearly dead after the flop came , but miraculously the turn and river came the and to give him a winning flush. The pro-French Canadian crowd exploded, and suddenly Lefrancois had 12.8 million chips. Gross was left with only 825,000.
Gross proceeded to triple up the next hand and then take down a few pots preflop with no showdown, but he eventually busted in third place. On his final hand, Gross moved all in on the button for 2.475 million, and Roy called out of the small blind. Roy's dominated Gross' , and Roy held as the board ran out . Gross was all smiles as he exited, and for good reason — his third-place prize of $319,238 represents the largest score of his poker career.
Roy began heads-up play with a slight chip lead, holding 19.175 million to Lefrancois' 15.925 million, and also won the first significant pot of the match. Lefrancois limped in, Roy checked, and the flop came . Roy fired 500,000, Lefrancois called, and the turn was the . Roy led again — this time for 900,000 — and Lefrancois raised to 2.55 million. Roy called. Both players knuckled the felt after the completed the board, and Roy tabled the for a straight, winning the pot.
Roy continued to pull away for a bit, then suddenly Lefrancois went on a sick run, winning 13 of 15 hands after the start of Level 37. He gained the chip lead, but then Roy won a massive, 34-million chip race. Lefrancois opened to 1 million on the button with the blinds at 250,000/500,000/50,000. Roy three-bet to 2.4 million, Lefrancois moved all in, and Roy called with just 525,000 separating the two.
The board ran out , and Lefrancois was left with less than a big blind.
It was all over the next hand. Lefrancois was all-in before the cards were dealt, and his was behind the of Roy. The board came , and that was all she wrote. For his runner-up finisher, Lefrancois added $473,572 to his wallet.
The next stop on Season XI of the WPT has already begun in Mazagan. As always, you can find a recap of the day’s action right here on PokerNews.
Data courtesy of WorldPokerTour.com. Photos courtesy of CanadaPoker.com.
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