David Dongwoo Ko Captures WPT Montreal Main Event Title

S22 WPT Montreal Championship

David Dongwoo Ko emerged victorious at the 2024 World Poker Tour Montreal $3,500 CAD no-limit hold’em main event held at the Playground Poker Club in Quebec. The 23-year-old poker pro from Burnaby, British Columbia triumphed over a field of 882 entrants to claim his first WPT title and the top prize of $319,217 USD.

This victory marks Ko’s largest tournament win to date, surpassing the $50,800 he earned for winning a £450 World Series of Poker International Circuit event. Now a three-time WSOPC ring winner, Ko’s total recorded tournament earnings approach $400,000 following this significant win.

“I really wanted to prove to myself and to the world that I can compete in these higher level tournaments, and today I think I did,” Ko told WPT reporters. “Being a WPT Champion is something that will last forever, so that just by itself means a lot.”

Ko faced more than just his fellow competitors at the final table; he also had to endure a two-hour delay caused by a storm-induced power outage. Play eventually resumed at 11:00 PM local time.

The event featured three starting flights and three additional days of play. The top 111 finishers shared a $2,071,642 USD prize pool, with six-figure payouts for the top four finishers. Notable deep runs included Mike Leah (57th), Xuan Liu (54th), WPT commentator Tony Dunst (34th), and three-time WPT champion Eric Afriat (19th).

Ko began the final day as the chip leader with six players remaining. The first three eliminations happened in rapid succession during the early stages of six-handed play. Charles Kassin finished sixth ($65,326) after his pocket queens fell to Tommy Nguyen’s pocket kings. Shortly after, Tamer Alkamli’s pocket queens lost a preflop coin flip against Ko’s A-K, placing Alkamli in fifth ($85,878).

Rayan Chamas, known online as ‘Beriuzy’, was the next to exit, finishing fourth ($113,770) after his K-7 failed to improve against Ko’s A-9.

Three-handed play extended for several hours before the aforementioned power outage delayed the action. Once resumed, Ko maintained his lead, and it took over four hours for the next elimination. Nguyen, who finished third ($150,470), got all-in with Q-3 suited against Ko’s A-10, and Ko’s trip tens held.

Entering heads-up play with a roughly 3:2 chip lead over Dan Stavila, Ko eventually secured the title. The final hand saw Ko limping from the button with K♣3♣ and Stavila raising to 1,800,000 with Q♣6♣. Ko called, and the flop revealed 10♣8♣2♠, giving both players flush draws. The turn brought the 9♣, completing both flushes. After a series of bets and a check-raise all-in from Stavila, Ko snap-called, winning with a higher flush. Stavila finished as the runner-up, earning $205,520.