With a massive 1,109 entries, the World Poker Tour Season 18 Montreal Main Event saw great drama, huge names and massive fireworks, and that was just at the six-handed final table. When the smoke cleared, it was Geoffrey Hum who had his hands on the trophy.
With just 10 players heading into the final day’s play, some big names remained in the reckoning to emulate Patrick Serd, last year’s WPT Montreal champion, and other former champions in the mix, such as partypoker Chairman, Mike Sexton.
The final day kicked off with a fast elimination, Jason Sagle’s move with an off-suit ace-ten called by Mike Watson’s pocket queens, which held. Nine players meant one table, but it wasn’t long before just eight hopefuls remained, former champion Mike Leah not feeling the benefit of the heat from the studio lights on his head before his ace-king was defeated on the river by Adedapo Ajayi’s ace-queen, a lady on the river drowning Leah’s chances of another WPT Main Event victory.
There was hardly time to appreciate Leah’s loss to the table before he was joined on the rail. Michael Robar moved all-in with pocket tens for his tournament life and Ajayi made the call with the worst hand again, this time pocket sixes needing help to bust another opponent. Again, the river saved Ajayi, a third six proving the devil’s own luck for Robar.
It looked like there would be two female players at a WPT Main Event final table, but Kelly Minkin busted in seventh place to mean only Kristen Bicknell, current GPO Female Player of the Year and just an all-round powerhouse, was flying the flag for female players. She would not go on to win, but neither was she the first out at the final table. That honour belonged to former WSOP Main Event champion, Martin Jacobson.
The Swede moved all-in with jack-ten of diamonds and Ajayi was again the grim reaper to another superstar’s chances, his call from the cutoff with ace-queen of hearts meeting with a queen on the river after a jack on the turn had given Jacobson some false hope.
Bicknell would however be next to go. She raised in first position with pocket kings, and when Geofrey Hum re-raised in the big blind, Bicknell four bet. Hum set her all-in, and when Bicknell called, Hum turned over pocket aces, which held with ease through the board, which send the talented Bicknell to the rail.
Play slowed a little four-handed, but it was Hum who kept the pressure on. Eventually, fortune favoured his bravery, as he picked up pocket queens which eliminated Mike Watson who was all-in pre-flop with ace-queen. Watson had the similar misfortune of seeing his hand take the lead on the turn then lose on the river, meeting a straight on 4th street, but seeing Hum flush him away on the river.
Joseph Cheong was looking to add a WPT Main Event tile to his already spectacular year which has included a maiden WSOP bracelet win. But his luck ran out in stunning fashion when he was all-in with pocket jacks, called by Hum with pocket eights and then saw an eight on the flop give his giant-killing adversary wield his own version of a sling in amazing style.
Heads-up began with Geoffrey Hum holding 60% of the chips in play, not a huge edge, but it was enough. Hum took just eight hands of play against Ajayi to claim the win, and both players were committed with flush draws on a two-heart flop. Ajayi held jack-nine, but Hum had king-seven, and a pair on the board to boot. When the ace of hearts came on the turn, the Montreal Main Event was effectively over, the two men already shaking hands by the time the ten of spades was slid pointlessly into place in the centre of the table.
For Geoffrey Hum, who had won a little over $50,000 in his entire career, it was the moment of a lifetime at the live felt. For the World Poker tour’s many fans, it was yet more evidence that somehow, some place, they always seem to come with the drama as guaranteed as the huge prize-pools on offer.
WPT Montreal Main Event final table results: