Jack Hardcastle of UK Captures WPT Montreal Title

Every year, poker players make their way to Montreal, specifically to the Playground Poker Club in Kahnawake. Players can travel from any country to participate, though Canadians tend to be the majority with a lot of Americans filling in the gaps.

The pandemic that just won’t quit put an indefinite stop to live poker. Playground was closed for much of 2020 due to government mandates to prevent the spread of Covid-19. The World Poker Tour knew that WPT Montreal wasn’t going to be possible during the winter months. So, the WPT and Playground hooked up with their good friend, PartyPoker, and arranged for the tournament to be online.

They arranged a WPT Montreal Online Festival that started on January 17 and runs through February 1. But the Main Event started on January 17 and wrapped up this week. And while a UK player came out on top, two other players claiming Canada finished in the top three.

Starting Strong and Getting Paid

The WPT Montreal Main Event required a $3,200 buy-in and offered a $2 million prize pool guarantee.

Play kicked off on Sunday, January 17 with the first of two starting days. Players could register through the end of Level 9 and reenter once if they desired. The event garnered 482 entries on that day and another 406 on Sunday, January 24, the second and final starting flight. That delivered some solid numbers for the tournament as a whole:

  • Total entries: 888
  • Total prize pool: $2,664,000
  • Total paid players: 133
  • Minimum payout: $6,393

The players who survived their starting days returned to the tables on Monday, January 25. That included 72 people form Day 1A and 61 from Day 1B. All of the 133 players were in the money and guaranteed at least $6,393 as a parting gift.

Some of the players who exited in a timely fashion included Stephen Chidwick, Conor Beresford, Kahle Burns, Daniel Dvoress, Martin Jacobson, David Peters, Elio Fox, and Marc-Andre Ladouceur. Recognizable names like Joao Vieira, Luc Greenwood, Grayson Ramage, Niklas Astedt, and Daniel Smyth followed. And just before Day 2 ended, Peter Jetten and Sam Grafton departed.

Day 3 brought 23 players back with a minimum payout of $18,401 available. Kenny Hallaert was the first to grab that amount, and Ryan Riess and Chris Moorman followed. Ole Schemion busted in 15th place, and Pablo Brito Silva departed in tenth for $28,147.

So Close, Canada

On Wednesday, January 27, the nine finalists returned to the virtual felt with Dan Shak – an American playing from Canada – in the chip lead and Canadian Rayan Chamas in a close second. The rest of the table, in chip order, consisted of Andrei Kriazhev, Jack Hardcastle, Charles Chattha, Felix Schulze, Marcel Kunze, and Jakob Miegel. Upeshka De Silva was the short stack.

(If De Silva and his stack sound familiar, he was supposed to be at the WSOP Main Event US final table in December but came down with a little case of the Covid.)

Kriazhev jumped out to a quick lead, while De Silva sought out a double-up. He pushed with A-K, and Chamas called with A-K of clubs. Chamas turned a flush and sent De Silva out in ninth place. Kunze was the next one out via a three-way hand with Kriazhev and Hardcastle. Chattha doubled through Chamas and kept climbing.

Hardcastle stepped in to eliminate Miegel in seventh place. Chamas doubled through Shak. Chattha got involved in a big pot with Hardcastle and pushed all-in with K-Q, but the Brit had pocket kings that held up and sent Chattha out in sixth.

Shak doubled through Kriazhev with A-K over pocket aces when Shak rivered a flush. Schulze made it official for Kriazhev a few hands later, busting him in fifth place. Chamas then busted Schulze in fourth.

Chamas and Hardcastle had solid stacks going into three-handed play. Hardcastle just extended his further and climbed over 95M chips by taking a big pot from Shak. Hardcastle busted Shak in third place.

Hardcastle took a strong lead to the final duel, and only increased his lead hand after hand. Chamas did manage a double-up to 53M, but a second one put him back into contention with 85M to the 92M of Hardcastle. The Brit surged again, though. And it came down to 9-8 of hearts for Hardcastle against the J-3 of Chamas. Hardcastle had two pair in the end, and he won his first WPT title.

The final results of the WPT Montreal Main Event:

  • 1st place: Jack Hardcastle (UK) $447,859
  • 2nd place: Rayan Chamas (Canada) $308,703
  • 3rd place: Dan Shak (Canada/US) $212,459
  • 4th place: Felix Schulze (Austria) $139,164
  • 5th place: Andrei Kriazhev (Germany) $95,673
  • 6th place: Charles Chattha (UK) $74,119
  • 7th place: Jakob Miegel (Austria) $58,650
  • 8th place: Marcel Kunze (Germany) $46,685
  • 9th place: Upeshka De Silva (Mexico/US) $28,147

Hardcastle’s name and victory information will soon appear on the Mike Sexton WPT Champions Cup, and he will receive a seat into the WPT Tournament of Champions worth $15K. Playground Poker will also present him with the WPT Montreal belt.



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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