WPT Montreal won from the UK as tourney moves online

Jon Pill
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Posted on: January 29, 2021 1:22 pm EST

Canada, unlike many nations, is taking the pandemic seriously. As a result, the WPT Montreal’s usual host, the Playground Poker Club, was boarded up under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s orders. All Canadian WPT Montreal events were therefore held online using PartyPoker’s poker client. This included the $3,200 Main Event.

The Main Event ultimately finished up by crowning UK poker-pro Jack Hardcastle as 2021’s WPT Montreal Champion.

With a couple hundred thousand under his belt in live winnings, the $447,859 is gonna look pretty sweet on Hardcastle’s tax return. Especially as the UK government doesn’t skim anything off winnings from gambling.

Hardcastle updated his Facebook status to read: “I’m so good that I managed to win WPT Montreal without leaving my house.”

Early days

Hardcastle earned his win hy wading through the bodies of 888 other entries. The resulting prize pool exceeded the $2 million guarantee by $664,000.

Hardcastle played, and watched as the 888 entrants were slowly whittled down by the rising blinds. Day one saw the field narrow to 132 players. Day two to 23. But the player almost didn’t make it to Day 3.

With pocket eights in front of him, he found himself in peril for his whole stack pre-flop. His opponents were playing pocket kings and pocket jacks. But the miracle two-outer was the first card off the deck, giving him trip eights.

Hardcastle took the chip lead for a bit. And when the final nine had been decided, play stopped and the countdown to day three began.

A tough crowd

Even with his massive pile of chips, Hardcastle can’t have liked the look of things as they stood.

Upeshka De Silva was in the line-up, coming hot off the back of three WSOP final tables in 2020. These included his 9th with a COVID-DQ in the WSOP Domestic Event.

Charles Chatta is a less well-known player, but no pushover. He has $1.4 million in tourney wins ground out over a long career of small-to-mid-stakes tourneys.

But the real killer was the Canadian pro: Dan Shak. A $3k event is small change for a high-roller like Shak. He has over $10 million in lifetime tourney winnings. But high-rollers don’t get to roll that high by leaving money on the table. He was gonna make Hardcastle play for every penny. And Shak had overtaken Hardcastle for the chip lead going into day three.

Lucky for Hardcastle, De Silva repeated his WSOP ME performance and got himself knocked out in 9th. Shak held on a bit longer, but Hardcastle’s A-5 held against Shak’s K-J to send the latter home in 3rd.

Heads-up showdown

Hardcastle was heads up against yet another Canadian, Rayan Chamas.

With twice Chamas’s chips, Hardcastle must have been feeling much more confident than his opponent. Hardcastle managed to finesse his chip lead almost into a win, until a couple of bad hands and a filled gutshot knocked him right back to even.

But Chamas couldn’t convert his newfound chips into a real lead.

All it took was a couple of mis-timed bluffs, and Chamas was down again. This time, to the felt.

For his second place finish, Chamas won $308,703.

Final table results

1st – Jack Hardcastle United Kingdom $447,859
2nd – Rayan Chamas – $308,703
3rd – Daniel Shak – $212,459
4th – Felix Daniel Schulze – $139,164
5th – Andrei Kriazhev – $95,673
6th – Charles Chattha – $74,119
7th – Jakob Miegel – $58,650
8th – Marcel Kunze – $46,685
9th – Upeshka De Silva – $37,024

Featured image source: Twitter