Lacey Jones played the main event and was a member of the panel for the Johnny Chan Poker School that took place last November at the River Rock. With 50 full tables, she found herself across from Nenad Medic, before that table broke early in the tournament. Although Lacey did well by advancing deep in the tournament, Nenad was eliminated early and did a quick disappearing act to hop a flight to Vegas; such is the life of Canada’s top pros, who plays in many of the $10,000 events across the globe.
A brilliant structure for the event gave starting stacks of 15,000 with 45-minute rounds for the first day, and 60-minutre rounds for the final 2 days. Daryl McCullough, the most Senior Manager of Poker Operation and Development for Great Canadian Gaming described how many of the players complimented the expanded structure.
Several players approached them to say how much they loved the structure of the tournament. Getting 15,000 in chips is unheard of in other Canadian events and with the hour levels on the second and the final day, everyone was pleased with the amount of play. They expected the final table to showcase some great poker.
Events like these also rely on collaboration between River Rock and the BC Lottery Corporation to make them successful. With over 7,500,000 in chips in play, there would be no shortage of opportunity for patient players. At 4:00 Friday – 4 hours into battle, there were still 400 players left at LVL 5 (blinds 100/200 + 25 ante). The first day played down to either 200 players or LVL 10, whatever came first. As it turned out, there were a few minutes left in LVL 10 before the number of players narrowed to 197 and it was called a day. The second leg of the journey would be the longest on Saturday.
The most notable elimination of the day was from the Orient Express himself, checking out in 304th place. He left to a standing ovation of the table, which may have been more of a relief reaction than anything else, having the back-to-back WSOP main event winner out of the mix. Gavin Smith gave his thoughts on the World Champion.
“Johnny and I have known each other for quite a while. In terms of playing I think the only time I’ve really had the chance to play against him was in the NBC Heads-up tournament in the second round and obviously we know the conclusion of that.”