Event 1 of the Playground Poker Spring Classic presented by partypoker LIVE was the $200 + $20 Grand Prix Canada, which featured a massive $500,000 guarantee. Through a total of 28 starting flights, including 17 online at partypoker.net and 11 live at Playground Poker Club, the combined number of entries was of 2,570, creating a prize pool slightly over the guarantee.
269 players returned to the felts on Sunday for Day 2 of this multi-flight event, all of which had already collected a min-cash of $400. 14 levels of play filtered the field down to just 38 finalists, who bagged and tagged their chips onto Day 3.
Leading the field at the start of Day 3 was pro Mike Leah, who was also one of 11 remaining players holding a Golden Chip, a promotion held for online qualifiers. The last player standing with a Golden Chip was awarded a cash bonus of $20,000, and the race was close all the way to the finish as 2 players amongst the final 4 were in contention.
Once the official 8-handed final table was formed, it was Cassidy Battikha who held the chip lead. Dilovan Hussein was the first eliminated from the final table, falling to the hands of Mike Leah. He was followed by Emmanuel Kyrkinis, who ran his pair of 6s into the pair of Kings of Kevin Zeidler. Shahar Ohaion picked up a 5-figure score after going down with Ace-King versus the pocket Kings of Cassidy.
5-handed action went on for the better part of two levels before Leandre St-Laurent hit the rail to the hands of Mike Leah. Cassidy was on the shorter end of the spectrum 4-handed, however he found a double up from Mike before taking him out a few hands later.
With Mike elimination in 4th place, Kevin Zeidler was awarded the $20,000 Golden Chip last longer. At this point the final 3 players then paused the clock and negotiated an ICM deal, leaving an additional $20,000 behind for the eventual winner. In the deal, Cassidy locked in $64,050, while Karim took $62,500 and Kevin $53,450.
Shortly after the deal, Cassidy scored a big double-up versus Karim with pocket Tens winning over pocket Sixes. Karim was crippled in the process, but before he found a hand to move his short stack in a huge pot occurred between his two opponents. Cassidy and Kevin formed 63-million chip pot, which represented roughly 80% of the chips in play. Cassidy had an Ace-high flush draw, and was up against a pair and a lower flush draw. The turn was a brick, but the river brought and Ace to give Cassidy a higher pair and the win. Kevin was eliminated, and heads-up play began with Cassidy holding a 10-to-1 chip advantage.
A few hands into heads-up play, Cassidy open-shoved with and Karim called with . Cassidy found a pair on the to win the pot, eliminate Karim and claim victory in the Grand Prix Canada!
Grand Prix Canada Champion: Cassidy Battikha – $84,050.00
Grand Prix Canada Runner-Up: Karim Abdelhamid – $62,500.00
Last hand of Play