Canadian Blye Wins APAT WCOAP on PartyPoker

For the first time in its history, the Amateur Poker Association and Tour (APAT) held its signature event online. Due to the pandemic, of course, the APAT was unable to host its World Championship of Amateur Poker (WCOAP) live and in the UK, as usual. So, organizers coordinated with PartyPoker to offer the series online.

With its dedication to amateur poker players, the APAT offers poker tournaments with affordable buy-ins. The 12th iteration of the WCOAP offered 16 events to award primary event bracelets, as well as a mini-series with even lower buy-ins for 15 of the events. The main series guaranteed at least $750K in prize pools, all for buy-ins between $5.50 and $55, the only exceptions being the Main Event with its $109 buy-in and the High Roller events.

Players responded in a big way from around the world. And in the end, a Canadian player named Patrick Blye took down the 2021 WCOAP Main Event.

First Four Events

The very first event was an invitational. There was $2K up for grabs and 10 teams of four APAT members competing in SNGs. They played No Limit Hold’em, Pot Limit Omaha, and PLO Hi-Lo to earn points. And in the end, the team from Wales – Richard Rudling-Smith, Dylan Herbert, Dan Owston, and Greg Mawson – won the event for the gold medal. Germany finished second for the silver, and Austria took third.

Event 2 was the $55 buy-in NLHE 6-Max Knockout Championship. With 1,456 players, the tournament just missed its guarantee, so PartyPoker added $2,200 to make the prize pool $75K as promised. The top 20 finishers in the money, four of whom were Canadian, took home a solid piece of the prize pool

  • Winner: Sander Totuli (Brazil) $4,866.93 + $5,244.45 in bounties

Event 3 was the $55 buy-in Mix-Max Championship. That one attracted 508 players to nudge the prize pool just over the guarantee to $25,400. Twenty players made the top 20 finishers’ list, and, again, four were Canadian.

  • Winner: Roman Matveichuk (Russia) $4,489.79

The fourth event on the schedule was the $55 PLO-8 Knockout Championship. It brought 294 players into the mix, though only 20 would be paid. The prize pool came up just $300 short of the guarantee, but PartyPoker made it right by the $15K guarantee. Two Canadians were in the group of top players.

  • Winner: Ron Marshalok Jr. (Canada) $1,112.57 + $1,496.31 in bounties

Events 5-8

The first high buy-in event of the series was Event 5 and required $265 to play and offered a $75K guarantee. The 284 entries fell short of that promise, so PartyPoker put in $4K to make it work. While no Canadians made the money in the top 20 positions, the UK represented all the way to the winner’s circle.

  • Winner: Adam Snee (UK) $13,850.41

Play started on January 28 for Event 6, the $55 FL 7-Card Stud Championship, and this one brought in 122 participants. That surprised many and far surpassed the $2500 guarantee with an actual prize pool of $6,100. Of the 20 finalists in the money, second-place finisher Samuel Roussy-Majeau was the sole Canadian representative.

  • Winner: Joris De Baas (Netherlands) $1,494.46

Event 7 was a big one, the $55 PLO Knockout Championship with a $15K guarantee. A sizeable crowd of 350 players turned out for the PLO PKO, sending the prize pool to $17,500. Two Canadians finished among the top 20 paid players, but they missed the final table.

  • Winner: David Danil Owston (UK) $1,269.93 + $1,978.95 in bounties

The halfway mark of the series put Event 8 on tap with the $55 NLHE 6-Max Championship. This, too, surpassed the guarantee, with 603 participants pushing the prize pool past the $25K promise to $30,150. Four Canadians made the final four tables, with Brian Windsor taking second place.

  • Winner: Jan Strazisar (Slovenia) $5,252.87

Events 9-12

The ninth event of the series was a $55 buy-in NLHE Knockout Championship for more PKO action. A whopping 1,530 players entered this one, creating a prize pool of $76,500 and passing up the $75K guarantee. The top 20 paid players included no Canadians but was exciting nonetheless.

  • Winner: Paul Paelchen (Germany) $4,769.41 + $2,204.65 in bounties

Event 10 went far beyond what organizers expected. There were 291 participants in the $55 PLO-8 Championship, which sent the prize pool soaring past the $10K guarantee to $14,550. Four Canadians again made the top spots, but Germany took it down again.

  • Winner: Sebastian Posch (Germany) $2,687.11

By contrast, Event 11 was much less popular than anticipated. The $55 NLHE Heads-Up Championship had a $12,500 guarantee, but the field of 154 players forced PartyPoker to post another $4,800 in overlay money. A Canadian found himself in the final 20, but the UK took the majority of the money.

  • Winner: Robyn Gale (UK) $3,375

In the world of high-stakes players, they anxiously awaited this $5,300 buy-in for the Super High Roller Championship. The field of 223 players took part in the highest buy-in of the series, which pushed the prize pool past the $100K guarantee to $111,500. No Canadians made the top 20 in this one.

  • Winner: Tenno Tonts (Estonia) $22,357.63

Three More Preliminary Events

With a few more events on the schedule, players gathered for the $55 PLO Championship with its $10K guarantee. The 249-player field took the prize pool to $12,450. No Canadians ranked in the top 20 of the PLO field, but one Finn ranked best.

  • Winner: Jarkko Suokas (Finland) $2,386.45

The two events before the Main Event were turbos. Event 14 was the Turbo Knockout Championship with a $55 buy-in, and the turnout of 962 players blew past the $40K guarantee with a $48,100 prize pool. Of the top 20, only one Canadian made it but bubbled the final table.

  • Winner: Tomas Lestina (Czech Republic) $3,160.78 + $3,035.75 in bounties

As far as blowing past a guarantee, Event 15 did it in a big way. The $55 Turbo Championship drew 657 entries for a $32,850 prize pool, leaving the $20K guarantee in the dust. No Canadians made it to the top 20 paid spots.

  • Winner: ΓεωργιϚ ΚαφουροϚ (Greece) $5,696.12

Two-Day Main Event

The Main Event of the series was its 16th event and required a $109 buy-in. The guarantee was $150K, but when 1,751 players got involved, it ratcheted the prize pool up to $175,100. The last 263 players standing received a piece of the prize pool, with the min-cash shown as $212.

According to PartyPoker, the final table was all action. Patrick Blye of Canada eliminated the eighth and seventh place finishers, but O’Connor picked up the action a bit later to send Errington out in fourth place and take a serious chip lead over the table. But Blye chipped up at O’Connor’s expense, and Blye then sent O’Connor out in third.

Blye took 145.6M chips into heads-up against fellow Canadian Randy Vermette and his 29.5M. The chip leader took the win in short order, putting it all-in with two pair on the turn against Vermette’s singular top pair. The river blanked, and Blye took the title, along with an APAT gold medal and WCOAP bracelet.

  • 1st place: Patrick Blye (Canada) $27,408
  • 2nd place: Randy Vermette (Canada) $18,618
  • 3rd place: Jamie O’Connor (UK) $12,709
  • 4th place: Michael Errington (UK) $8,436
  • 5th place: Shane Pollington (UK) $5,748
  • 6th place: Zachary Lipeles (Austria) $4,390
  • 7th place: Jelmer De Visser (Netherlands) $3,406
  • 8th place: Stephen Prandstatter (UK) $2,706
  • 9th place: Julian Selinger (Malta) $2,116



Jennifer Newell

Jennifer Newell

Jennifer Newell has been writing about poker and gambling since 2004. From her days in the WPT offices to covering summers of WSOP tournament action, she also followed gambling legislation to Washington D.C. and women-only poker to the Bahamas. Meanwhile, she lived in Los Angeles and Las Vegas for many years before moving back to her hometown of St. Louis, Missouri. Now, Jen travels less, writing about poker and online gambling from her home with her two dogs watching her every move. In her spare time, she follows politics, works on her never-finished novels, and learns Italian in the hopes of retiring to Italy someday.

If you want to know more, you can follow Jen on Twitter @WriterJen


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