I really had no idea what to expect.  I’ve only been playing live for a year or so, and never been to a “poker festival” as large as WPT Montreal.  In general, I play low buy-in events, in the $60-$150 range, so while the Main Event was well outside my usual buy-in levels, many of the other tournaments that made up the Playground Poker Fall Classic were right in my sweet spot.

The crowds were huge, larger than the venue expected I think.  The Main Event was the largest tournament ever in Canada, for a buy-in over $1000.  But the staff of Playground Poker really stepped up.  Even the brand new dealers employed for the festival did a bang-up job for the most part.

I played 14 tournaments at Playground (and one at VIP Poker up the street), both PPFC events as well as “normal tournaments.”  I played as many ~$100 events as I could register in (the first event, a $150 buy-in with 3 day 1’s and re-entry was sold out well in advance, and I wasn’t able to get into it), and overall didn’t do so great in most of them.  I came close to cashing in a couple of the events, and played fairly well in some cases IMO.  I absolutely had a case of run-bad in at least one case, when my  flopped a set and turned the house on a  board, only to get it in on the river against .  On the other hand, with , , , and beating me, perhaps I shoulda let it go.

In other cases I played horribly.  In two tournaments, I wasted my life on a bad , once running into , and the other time running into a turned straight.  In both cases, I should have been able to get off the hand, but stubbornly went broke with it.

I did cash in one tournament, and amazingly, it was the last $110 satellite to the Main Event.  I finished in the top 6 of 211 entries to win a ticket to the main event, but after some consideration of the way the rest of the week had gone for me, I decided to sell my ticket rather than play the Main.

As I mentioned off the top, I typically play low buy-in tournaments.  I’ve never played in anything close to a $3300 buy-in, and the truth is, the value of the ticket alone represented my best ever live cash anyway, by a fairly large margin.  Given that variance means I should probably assume I’ll bust out of 6 or 7 tournaments out of every 10 I play, at best, it seemed pretty likely that I’d bust out of the Main Event rather than cash in it, so I decided the best bankroll decision I could make was to take the guaranteed cash of a ticket sale rather than take the chance of busting out of the main.

Was it the right decision?  I think so, for now.  I’m convinced this wasn’t the only chance I’ll have to play a WPT Main Event, so I don’t feel I was passing up a once in a lifetime opportunity, and the value of the ticket will pay for quite a few buy-ins at the levels I usually play, giving me more chances to build my bankroll further.  I’d love to hear further comments on this from other players as well though, so have at ‘er in the comments below lol.

Overall, it was a great two weeks of poker.  Playground Poker is a wonderful venue, and they put on an excellent show at no small effort.  Congratulations go to Quebec’s own Johnathan Roy for taking down the Main Event after an 8+ hour final table.  It was a wonderful 2 weeks, and something I’d definitely consider doing again.