PokerStars has posted a video of the action that took place at the Canada Cup Final Table that took place at the 2012 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure. With commentary from James Hartigan and Joe Stapleton, the video also features interviews with players. You hear about, for example, how Final Table participant Qi Hu was gaining reads from his opponents the night before the event at a dinner they all had together. Below you will find the video, followed by additional information on the Canada Cup.
This 9-man duel was the culmination of a tournament that started months earlier in the online arena. 412 players paid $530 for a chance at $250,000 in prizes, including the trip to the Bahamas to escape the cold months in Canada.
For the last leg of the tournament the setting changed from the laptop to the casino and from the tundra to the beaches. The Canada Cup Final Table looked more like the Stanley Cup Finals, as each of the players donned their respective hometown’s NHL jersey. Not only were they duking it out for a first place prize of $47,500, but there was a $25,000 ticket to the PCA High Roller event on the line as well.
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Most notable among the Final 9 was Team PokerStars member Adrienne “talonchick” Rowsome. With such an intimidating nickname, it is disappointing to report that it comes from the subpar carshe used to own, an Eagle Talon. But after having 6 straight notable achievements with the World Series of Poker (WSOP)—qualifying for the WSOP-Main Event through PokerStars for the first 3 years straight and then finishing in the money at the WSOP in Omaha the next 3 straight—Rowsome is likely riding in more style these days. The occupational therapist from Edmonton is also a frequent top-4 finalist in the weekly Women’s events on PokerStars.
There were two other players who could match Rowsome’s multi-table tournament résumé in David Labchuk and Benjamin Leblond. Labchuk, a chiropractor out of Calgary, had about $250,000 in tournament winnings going into this tournament. Leblond’s career highlight was winning the 2009 Canadian Open Poker Championship $5,000 heads up event, beating out names like Phil Hellmuth, Jeff Madsen and Brad Booth.
The short stack coming into the event was Andrew Virgo, a recreational poker player who works as a financial consultant. He wasn’t going to let his stack of just 12 big blinds keep him from enjoying the trip, though. “My family just arrived," he said the day of the event, “They wanted to go somewhere, so we're making a vacation of it." He did get knocked out first, but he couldn’t feel too bad about cashing $4,150 and a free vacation.
On the other end of the spectrum, Jeet Shergill came in with a 2:1 chip lead over the majority of the field. Shergill, a land developer, comes from a family of avid poker fans. He learned the game from his son, playing home games with his family that were so serious, they would frequently have to make them multi-table events.
Even though his chip lead whittled away as the blinds got pricier, Shergill managed to live two lives in this tournament. With the table 4-handed, he shoved his A-2 into Travis Wigle’s almost-identical A-2. Wigle had a slight advantage because his hand was suited in spades, and sure enough the spades hit, giving him the nuts on the turn. Shergill was already up from his seat and ready to accept his 4th-place finish when the dealer announced that “TraVision” didn’t have him covered. The dealer’s diligence saved Shergill his tournament life and 31,000 chips.
He was in the BB the very next hand, so the once-tourney-leader called the remaining 4k of his stack without looking at his hole cards. As it turns out, he had pocket Tens, but that was made moot when Labchuk showed a nut 4-flush. So Shergill was the 4th-place finisher after all, hardly sulking away with $19,500 in tow.
After that, it was a three-horse race between Labchuk, Wigle and Luc Lafontaine. Three quickly became two as Wigle’s K-Q—ahead after the flop, having hit two pair—fell to Labchuk’s J-J when it rivered a straight.
The remaining players, Lafontaine and Labchuk, had even enough stacks to be able to duke it out in good-old, shootout fashion. Lafontaine took the lead early by slow playing a flopped triplet of Jacks and then successfully check/raising them for value on the river against Labchuk’s single pair.
It was a slim lead, though, and Labchuk was able to retake it before the fateful hand of the match. Lafontaine made a massive misstep with A-J on a K-J-7 flop. He check/shoved his second pair, top kicker on the flop, a raise that was over 2.5 times pot-sized! Labchuk had a pair of Kings with a weak, but irrelevant, kicker. The top pair held up, and Labchuk was crowned champion.
He was able to hoist the cup, cash the $47,500 score and move on to the PCA High Roller event. Unfortunately, he finished out of the money in that event, being knocked out by Jennifer Harmon.
All-in-all, it was certainly a thrilling event that PokerStars will almost certainly want to repeat in next year’s Caribbean tournament series.
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