The World Poker Tour made history in Canada on Saturday. The first-ever $3,300 buy-in WPT Montreal Main Event saw 695 players enter on the second Day 1 flight, creating a total field of 1,173 — a new record in Canada for a tournament with a buy-in of $1,000 or more.
The massive turnout generated a prize pool of $3,387,930. The top 117 places will receive a minimum payout of $5,421, with the winner taking home $754,162 which includes a $25,000 seat in the WPT Championship at Bellagio next spring.
Only 221 of the 695 Day 1b entrants survived the 12 hours of play, with Kalpech Raichura finishing on top with 314,000. Raichura will be second overall in chips entering Day 2, trailing only Day 1a chipleader Patrick Lelievre who bagged up 326,000. Others boasting big stacks at the end of play Saturday were Jeff Gross (284,000), Glen Cymbaluk (270,700), Everol Davis (243,900), Louis Rousseau (236,200) and Daniel Ricci (231,000).
Gross, a two-time WSOP final tablist, scooped a big pot late in the day to vault up the leaderboard. According to the WPT Live Updates team, Gross put in a three-bet preflop to 15,800 and the original raiser called to see a flop. Both players checked, and the fell on the turn. Gross called a bet of 16,000 and dealer rolled over the on the river. After his opponent checked, Gross pondered his next move before betting 39,000. The other player quickly called, but he mucked when he saw Gross table for two pair, aces and sixes. That pot sent Gross to around 196,000, and he continued accumulating the rest of the night to finish at 284,000.
Among the other notables who advanced to Day 2 were Amanda Musumeci, Andy Frankenberger, Bruce Buffer, Todd Terry, Timothy Adams, Ashton Griffin, Mohsin Charania, To Marchese, Erik Cajelais, Gavin Smith, John Racener, Trishelle Cannatella, Isabelle Mercier, Will Failla, and Dan Smith, who currently holds a huge lead in the Global Poker Index Player of the Year race.
Whole those players thrived, many hit the rail on Saturday. Among the less fortunate were Faraz Jaka, Jonathan Duhamel, Daniel Negreanu, Brian Rast, Justin Zaki, Joe Serock, Matt Salsberg, Matt Marafioti, Marvin Rettenmaier, and recent WPT winner Noah Schwartz. The WPT bestbet Fall Poker Scramble champ was eliminated when he moved all-in preflop with and was unable to outflip his opponent's pocket fours as the board ran out .
Each member of the historic WPT Montreal final table at the Playground Poker Club will collect a six figure payday. Here's a look at the payouts:
Day 2 of the WPT Montreal Main Event will commence at 12:00 EST (17:00 BST), and the remaining 362 players from Day 1a and 1b will attempt to play through the money bubble and down to the final 27. As always, you can find a recap of all of the action right here on PokerNews.com.
Data and photos courtesy of WorldPokerTour.com.