Wins for Dustin Melanson, Francois Billard and Christopher Taylor featured in the Playground Poker Club’s hosting of the recent WSOP-Circuit tour stop. With an appearance from GGPoker Global Ambassador Daniel Negreanu, incredible victories in the big events and massive prizepools saw millions of dollars awarded to the winners.

Dustin Melanson Wins Playground WSOPC Main Event for $339,000

“This poker room groomed my game and the player I am today.”

With 1,660 entries, the $1,700-entry WSOPC Playground Main Event was won by Dustin Melanson as a final table full of Canadian players produced a top prize of $339,770. The final day began with 22 players and Melanson was in the lead. Robert Wong’s exit in ninth place saw the final table begin with an elimination, but it was the double-up for Melanson shortly afterwards, his ace-high winning against Matthew Paplyk’s pocket tens, which changed the momentum of the finale.

By heads-up, a heads-up deal had been agreed. Sergei Gurin held the chip lead but Melanson battled back as he had done all day. Getting into the lead, the winner hit a wheel straight in the final hand, taking the top prize and the biggest one of his career. With just under $200,000 in his entire career earnings before this week, Melanson’s victory more than doubled his live results.

“I felt like I was at my best [today] and I felt like my opponents couldn’t really keep up with my aggression and the pressure I was putting on,” Melanson revelled shortly after victory. “These guys, and this poker room groomed my game and the player I am today. These guys are fantastic. They run tournaments better than anybody else in the world. Their staff, top to bottom, is incredible. This place is one of a kind.”

WSOPC Playgroud $1,700 NLHE Main Event Final Table Results:
1stDustin MelansonCanada$339,770*
2ndSergei GurinCanada$285,230*
3rdMohammad FeiziCanada$181,600
4thGeorge JamesCanada$140,000
5thNghi Van TranCanada$105,000
6thJoey MessinaCanada$82,500
7thIsrael PantaleonCanada$65,000
8thMatthew PaplykCanada$50,000
9thRobert WongCanada$35,000

Francois Billard Bags High Roller Title for $112,000

In the $3,000-entry WSOPC Playground High Roller, 178 entries yielded a prizepool of $534,000, with Francois Billard winning the $112,500 top prize after bettering Kevin Rivest heads-up. Players like the 2022 WPT World Championship winner Eliot Hudon, and fellow poker professionals Chanracy Khun and Mike Leah all departed outside the money places, before the Main Event winner Dustin Melanson departed in 23rd place for $5,500.

By the time the final table was reached, legendary poker personality Jaime Staples was the first player to leave, exiting in 10th place for $12,000. Kyle Yun-Wing Ho busted in 9th for $15,000, and a flurry of eliminations eventually left three players in seats with Adil Morkos holding a huge chip lead.

Going from hero to zero, Morkos busted in third place, losing to Billard and cashing for $52,500. Heads-up, Kevin Rivest  had the lead but Billard doubled up not once but twice. Now in the lead, Billard won a coinflip and that was enough to clinch victory and $112,500, Kevin Rivest winning $77,500 in second place.

WSOPC Playground $3,000 NLHE High Roller Final Table Results:
1stFrancois BillardCanada$112,500
2ndKevin RivestCanada$77,500
3rdAdil MorkosCanada$52,500
4thTimothy UlmerUnited States$40,000
5thAnoop JugurnathCanada$31,000
6thStephane Blouin-VerroeulstCanada$26,000
7thRenmei LiuCanada$22,000
8thWenping ChenCanada$18,000
9thKyle Yun-Wing HoCanada$15,000
10thJaime StaplesCanada$12,000

Chris Taylor Wins Closing Event for $26,000

The final event of the WSOP Circuit series at the Playground Poker Club was a $600 event, where Chris Taylor beat Zacharie Desautels heads up for a top prize of $26,190. With 320 players all entering the event, only 49 came back on the final day, with the final table of nine all guaranteed a payout of $3,500.

Isabelle Tremblay busted for that amount, and she was followed from the felt by Charles-Eric Benoit for $4,400. Ghislain Pigeon (7th for $5,400) went next before Nicolas Duteau ran his ace-king into the pocket kings of Louis Pierre Daniel Collette. Anthony Potis repeated that trick, doing the same against the same player to leave in fifth for $6,500.

A four-way deal followed, which guaranteed everyone $18,150.

Eventually, after Collette’s departure in fourth was followed by that of Deven Lane in third, Christopher Taylor took a lead into the final duel for the title. Shoving with king-three in the first hand of heads-up play, Zacharie Desautels called with a suited jack-seven but couldn’t get lucky, a board of K-5-2-4-4 playing out to secure Taylor victory and the top prize to go with the first WSOP Circuit Ring of his career.

WSOPC Playground $600 NLHE High Roller Final Table Results:
1stChristopher TaylorCanada$26,190*
2ndZacharie DesautelsCanada$18,415*
3rdDeven LaneCanada$19,245*
4thLouis Pierre Daniel ColletteCanada$18,150*
5thAnthony PotisUnited States$7,800
6thNicolas DuteauCanada$6,500
7thGhislain PigeonCanada$5,400
8thCharles-Eric BenoitCanada$4,400
9thIsabelle TremblayCanada$3,500


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Paul seaton


Paul Seaton, a poker luminary with over a decade of experience, has reported live from iconic poker events, including the World Series of Poker, European Poker Tour, and World Poker Tour. He’s not just a spectator; he’s been the Editor of BLUFF Europe Magazine and Head of Media for partypoker. Paul’s poker insights have graced publications like PokerNews, 888poker, and PokerStake, where he’s interviewed poker legends such as Daniel Negreanu, Erik Seidel, Phil Hellmuth, and The Hendon Mob’s, entire lineup. His exceptional work even earned him a Global Poker Award nomination for Best Written Content. In the poker world, Paul Seaton’s expertise is a force to be reckoned with, captivating enthusiasts worldwide. 

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