The richest festival to ever hit Playground Poker Club is underway. The 2017 Playground Poker Spring Classic presented by partypoker Live kicked off on April 25 and runs through May 10. Headlined by the partypoker Million North America, there is almost $6,000,000 up for grabs.
Getting the party started was the Grand Prix Canada, offering a $500,000 guarantee for just a $220 buy-in. After a total of 28 qualifying flights, 17 online and 11 live, the remaining field is moving on to Day 2. It is not quite clear yet how many total entries the event received but, when registration closed for the final live Day 1 flight at Playground, the guarantee threshold had been crossed with 2,526 entries.
There will be just 269 players return for Day 2, already guaranteed a min-cash of $400 that was paid out to their partypoker accounts after bagging their Day 1 stack. There was also eight players who bagged multiple Day 1 stacks including partypoker ambassador Tony Dunst. Those players will carry forward their largest stack only.
Leading the pack is Francois Allard, who amazingly built a stack of 1,176,300 from just a 30,000 starting stack. Two other players were almost able to hit the milly-mark, falling just short. Victor Artemenko qualified online with a stack of 990,000, impressively eliminating the entire field six levels before the flight was supposed to end. Tyler St. Clair was the other, carrying forward 934,300.
Some notable players still in the mix include the aforementioned Dunst, Mike Leah, Eric Afriat, Michael Malm, Carter Swidler, Scott Montgomery and Will Molson.
A fantastic promotion by partypoker is giving 73 players the chance to win $20,000. The first 100 players to qualify for Day 2 online received a ‘Golden Chip.’ The golden chip entered them in a last longer contest where the final player standing, with their golden chip intact, will win a bonus prize of $20,000.
Day 2 will play out 14 levels of 40 minutes each with the remaining field playing down to a winner on Day 3. PokerNews will provide daily recaps throughout the festival along with live coverage of the $5,000,000 guaranteed partypoker Million North America.
For full festival details and live updates from the Playground blogging team check out the official blog here.