Playground Winter Festival: Baroud Bags WPT Playground Day 1b Lead


Day 1b of the World Poker Tour (WPT) Playground hit the floor of Playground Poker Club on Saturday. A total of 246 bullets were fired on the second and final starting flight that saw 105 players left to bag chips after 10 levels of play. Leading the charge was Ottawa, Ontario’sMike Baroud, who fell just short of notching his Day 1a counterpart’s overall lead.

With the mark set by Anthony Zinno on Day 1a, Baroud mustered a strong 201,800, just a few big blinds behind Zinno. According to the WPT live blog, this is Baroud’s second WPT event, his first coming back in November during WPT Montreal. A quick search comes up empty when looking for any previous results so it would appear Baroud is also hunting for his first live recorded tournament cash.

Also topping the counts on Day 1b include Jean-Pascal Savard (186,400), Zachary Donovan(165,400), Ramesh Puradchithasan (162,000), and recent Winter Festival Event #5 champRuben Perceval (156,500).

Adding the 246 entries received on Day 1b to the 134 from Day 1a, the WPT Playground’s registration closed with a total of 380 entries. Easily surpassing the $1,000,000 guarantee, the final prize pool closed at C$1,179,520. The top 48 spots will earn a cash with the eventual champion taking home C$241,500. The winner will also receive a unique WPT Playground Championship belt, their name etched on the WPT Champion’s Cup and an entry to the$15,000 WPT Championship, valued at C$19,500.

Some other players booking a seat on Day 2 include qualifiers Ronaldo De Oliveira, Victor Adams, Brady Hinnegan, Ema Zajmovic and Mark Radoja. There are also some WPT Champion’s Club members still in the mix. Eric Afriat, Jonathan Roy, Darren Eliasand Nenad Medic will all be looking to add another title to their resume.

The book did close for the majority of players on Saturday. Alex Fitzgerald, Chanracy Khun, Mike Dentale, Xuan Liu, Peter Jetten and Amir Babakhani were just a few of the casualties to fall on Day 1b.

Day 2 will resume at noon local time on Sunday with nine levels on the schedule.

Side event action at the Playground Winter Festival continued on Saturday evening withEvent #12: $330 NL Hold’em 50/50 Bounty. A field of 230 runners gathered, creating a prize pool of $33,465, with a bounty of $150 on every player.

After 12 hours of play and an ICM chop between the final eight players, Pierre-Andre Prevostemerged as the champion, defeating Bill Kontaratos heads up for the title and a prize of $3,115.

Final Table Payouts:

Place Name Prize
1 Pierre Andre Prevost $3,715
2 Bill Kontaratos $2,640
3 Charles-Eric Benoit $3,310
4 Khaly Dang $2,255
5 Ismael Keita $3,940
6 Benjamin Menard $3,605
7 Stephane Harvey $2,285
8 Brett Buschbascher $3,825
9 Ian Morton $780
10 Kauvsegan Ehamparam $570

Charles-Eric Benoit got the final table started off with a bang, scoring a double elimination that saw the end for Kauvsegan Ehamparam and Ian Morton. The final eight players then paused the clock and negotiated a deal to chop up the remaining prize pool. Once everyone was satisfied, the clock resumed and the all-in cards started flying.

Kontaratos took out three players in the first two hands after the restart and then Prevost finished off the rest in a similar fashion. Once heads up, the two were still playing for $600 and the champion’s trophy.

The two battled for a while, exchanging the chip lead multiple times. Prevost had fallen way behind at one time, sitting with just 300K of the 4.6M chips in play. That would be as far as he would drop, seemingly winning every pot until he regained the lead and dealt the final blow.

In the end, Prevost got Kontaratos all in preflop with ace-deuce but was dominated by Kontaratos’ ace-four. It wouldn’t matter though as a deuce fell on the flop and it held through the river to give Prevost the win.

The Playground Winter Festival runs through Feb. 15 and PokerNews will bring you daily updates of all the happenings throughout the festival. For full coverage and details check out the Playground event blog here.