One of the largest World Poker Tour Main Events in the tour's 11-year history came to an end when all the chips in play were stacked in front of Jonathan Roy. Appropriately, for the WPT's first main event in Canada since 2008, the final table came down to two Canadians at WPT Montreal.
Roy outlasted a field a massive field of 1,173 players and walked away with $779,710 from the $3,387,930.00 prize pool.
At the front of of a packed house, Roy battled heads up with Pascal Lefrancois for a spot on the Champion's trophy, the prize money and the WPT silver belt.
The final hand came to down Lefrancois being forced all-in for less than one big blind after being severely crippled when he ran his 66 into Roy's KQ. With their stacks nearly even, Pascal raised to 1,000,000 from the button and Roy re-raised to 2,400,000. Pascal moved all-in and Roy called. The board ran out K77QJ and nearly all the chips were moved to Roy's end of the table.
On the next, and final hand of the night, Lefrancois was all-in for his last 500,000 after being dealt 83. Roy had KJ and the board ran out KJ4Q9 to end the night.
Peter Kaemmerlen's final table appearance was extremely short lived as he was eliminated on the very first hand of the day.
From under the gun Kaemmerlen raised to 300,000 and Jeff Gross answered with a re-raise from the small blind to 1,260,000. Kaemmerlen decided it was time to push his final 2,400,000 to the middle of the table. The shove was enough to put Gross into the tank before he made the call.
When the two flipped their cards over Kaemmerlen was ahead with JJ against Gross's A10 and stayed ahead after a flop of 754. The 9 on the turn was good for Kaemmerlen and he needed only to dodge an Ace in order to survive and double up. But an Ace, the A, was turned over on the river to give Gross the best hand and send Kaemmerlen away.
After Kaemmerlen's exit, Sylvain Siebert, who began the day as the chip leader, became the fifth place finisher when he moved all in from the big blind with 66. Roy called from the big blind with two black Queens. The dealer spread KK4A7 and Roy's Queens held to eliminate Siebert.
Following Siebert to the rail was Gavin Smith, who started the day with the short stack. Smith moved all-in from the small blind with A5 and Roy called from the big blind with K7. The board is dealt 88273 pairs Roy's seven on the turn to end Smith's tournament.
Smith's deep run marks his fifth WPT final table.
Gross's third place elimination set the stage for the heads-up match when he moved all-in from the button for 2,475,000. Roy called from the small blind with AQ and Gross found he was behind with KQ.The board ran out A662K to give Roy two pair and remove Gross from the table.
Gross was quickly congratulated by his friend, Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps, who was on the rail.
Hand #123: Jeff Gross Doubles Thru Pascal Lefrancois
Level 35: 150,000-300,000, 50,000 ante
Pascal Lefrancois min-raises from the small blind to 600,000, and Jeff Gross calls from the big blind.
The flop comes QQ7, Lefrancois moves all in, and Gross snap-calls with 66. Lefrancois turns over 33, and it's pocket pair-vs.-pocket pair, with Gross on top.
The turn is the 5, and the river double-pairs the board with the 7. It takes a moment for Gross to realize that he won the pot even though his pair was counterfeited -- one of his sixes plays as his kicker to win the pot.
As the dealer pushes the pot to Gross, Antonio Esfandiari yells from the rail, "You just won a pot with six high kid. That's strong!"
Hand #1: Peter Kaemmerlen Out in 6th Place ($113,155)
Level 31: 60,000-120,000, 20,000 ante
Peter Kaemmerlen raises under the gun to 300,000, Jeff Gross reraises from the small blind to 1,260,000, and Kaemmerlen moves all in for 2,400,000. Gross tanks for a while before he calls with A10. Kaemmerlen turns over JJ, and he's a favorite to double up here.
The board comes 7549A, and Gross spikes an ace on the river to win the pot and eliminate Peter Kaemmerlen in sixth place.
Jeff Gross - 11,200,000
Peter Kaemmerlen - Out in 6th Place ($113,155)
Seat 3: Jeff Gross – 8,850,000
Hometown: Ann Arbor, Michigan
Jeff Gross has taken a very interesting path to his first World Poker Tour final table. Gross attended the very first WPT Boot Camp and now he is among the final six in a field of 1,173 players. He has one previous cash on the tour, and that came at the Borgata Poker Open during Season IX. His largest cash was a second-place finish in a no-limit hold’em shootout event at the World Series of Poker in 2011. Gross recently cashed in the WSOP Main Event, taking 223rd place in a field of 6,598 players.
Antonio Esfandiari said of Gross earlier in the tournament, "This guy is the best professional best friend in the business." Esfandiari is among the friends sweating Gross at the final table today, as is Michael Phelps, who will be fulfilling best friend duties for Gross.