Dvoress Wins Inaugural WPT Mike Sexton Classic Online

Last week, the centremost part of the WPT Montreal Online Festival wrapped at the virtual tables of PartyPoker. The WPT Montreal Main Event was online for the first time, due to coronavirus pandemic restrictions, and delivered solid numbers. There were 888 total entries, a $2,664,000 prize pool, and 133 paid players. And in the end, Jack Hardcastle of the UK won the tournament, the WPT title, and $447,859 in cash.

There were many more tournaments on the schedule. The World Poker Tour and PartyPoker created a festival of 24 events with the WPT Montreal at its core.

One of those events was a very special one. Event 23 was the $10,300 buy-in Mike Sexton Classic. The No Limit Hold’em event boasted of a $1 million guarantee.

More importantly, however, the hosts took the $300 in registration fees from each buy-in to donate to the Nevada Partnership Homeless Youth organization, which works to end youth homelessness in Southern Nevada. That was in honor of Mike Sexton, who died last year and was especially missed during the Montreal events. In the end, they donated $39,900 to a cause dear to Sexton and his family.

And when the two-day tournament ran its course, a Canadian player named Daniel Dvoress sat in the virtual winner’s circle.

Two Days of High-Stakes Action

Some professional poker players wouldn’t classify a $10K buy-in tournament as a high roller, but as compared to most other events on the WPT Montreal Online Festival schedule, the buy-in was steep.

Even so, the Mike Sexton Classic drew 125 entries for the tournament, some of those reentries. That created an actual prize pool of $1,287,500, well past the $1M guarantee.

Day 1 of the event played the field down to the money bubble. At that point, Sergi Reixach busted in 21st place on that bubble, and play stopped for the night.

The 20 players who returned to the tables on February 1 for Day 2 did so with a guarantee of a minimum payout of $21,887.89. Pascal Lefrancois of Canada was the first to cash out for that amount, and longtime pro Roberto Romanello followed in 19th place. Kevin Macdonald – also hailing from Canada – busted in 14th place for $25,846.52. Canadian Philippe Beaudoin Pellerin received the same amount for 12th place. Notable pro Adrian Mateos Diaz exited in 11th place for $31,337.21, and Canadian pro Ami Barer departed in ninth place with $37,094.89.

Finns and Canadians

Dvoress simply dominated the final table. He took credit for the eighth and seventh place finishers in a double-elimination hand. He busted Anssi Kintalla in sixth, and then – in another double elimination, Dvoress sent Jonathan Van Fleet and Eelis Parssinen out in fifth and fourth places, respectively. That left three Canadian players to battle it out.

Aram Zobian stepped up to bust Mike Watson in third place and take the chip lead into heads-up play. But Dvoress quickly took over and put Zobian to the final test. Dvoress started with 4-3 suited, and Zobian got involved with pocket queens. Dvoress hit some draws on the flop and made a straight on the river. Zobian bet it all and busted in second place.

The final six at the final table received these payouts:

  • 1st place: Daniel Dvoress (Canada) $294,346.36
  • 2nd place: Aram Zobian (Canada) $200,307.17
  • 3rd place: Michael Watson (Canada) $140,396.17
  • 4th place: Eelis Parssinen (Finland) $96,228.63
  • 5th place: Jonathan Van Fleet (Canada) $70,817.51
  • 6th place: Anssi Kinttala (Finland) $55,156.39

WPT Title Added to 2019 WSOP Win

Dvoress is no stranger to winning or to high-stakes poker. He had his share of wins in live events, like a PokerStars Caribbean Adventure (PCA) event in 2018 and two victories at the 2019 PartyPoker MILLIONS World in the Bahamas. He accumulated live winnings of $13.4M through the end of 2019.

When the pandemic hit, Dvoress was perfectly fine taking his action online, a place with which he was familiar and had won a hefty sum in the past.

The Canadian played the World Series of Poker when it took its gold bracelets online in the summer of 2020, and he claimed his first bracelet. He won the $1,500 buy-in Millionaire Maker for more than $1.4 million. And to kick off 2021, Dvoress won this WPT Mike Sexton Classic to cushion his online bankroll with another $294K.


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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