Derrick Rosenbarger Takes the Belt at WPT Montreal

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Finishing the first leg of what will be a busy month for the circuit, Derrick Rosenbarger emerged as the champion of the World Poker Tour stop at the Playground Poker Club in Montreal late last night.

The six players convened on Thursday afternoon, looking for the championship belt awarded to the WPT Montreal champion and some other rewards also. Sylvain Siebert, who had spent the last two days on top of the leaderboard, was in command at the final table with a 1.5 million chip lead over Serge Cantin. Mukul Pahuja was lurking in the third place slot about a million chips behind Cantin, while Alexandre Lavigne, Rosenbarger, and Lily Kiletto filled out the other seats on the table.

Kiletto, making her third ever WPT final table, was in danger from the start with her meager 370,000 in chips. On the very first hand, she pushed all in and, after finding no callers, picked up the 150K in blinds and antes to get a bit healthier. On Hand 5, Kiletto would push again and, after a call from Pahuja, managed to hit with her A-8 against Pahuja’s pocket deuces on a 4-8-6-8-6 board to creep closer to a million chips. She’d find another double, this time against Siebert, on Hand 14 to push her stack over 1.3 million chips and become a viable force on the table.

Kiletto’s survival skills allowed her to avoid being the first elimination of the day. On Hand 34, Lavigne pushed his 1.1 million stack in from the cutoff with only a K-8 off suit and Cantin, in the big blind, woke up with pocket tens and made the call. The board would run out Jack-high and Cantin’s pair stood up, knocking out Lavigne in sixth place and pushing Cantin to the lead with over 10 million in chips.

On the very next hand, Kiletto’s luck would run out. After moving all in and getting Siebert and Pahuja to call, the trio saw a Q-J-4 flop, which Siebert and Pahuja checked. Another four appeared on the turn and, this time, Siebert bet out and Pahuja got out of the way. With Kiletto at risk for elimination, Siebert turned up his A-Q for a flopped top pair and Kiletto was drawing dead with her A-8. Once the meaningless river was dealt, Kiletto was gone in fifth after looking like she wouldn’t make it past the introductions.

Once Kiletto made her exit, the remaining four men entered into a slugfest on the felt. Over the next 45 hands, Cantin and Rosenbarger would distance themselves from Pahuja and Siebert. On Hand 79, Cantin would take out Siebert in an exciting hand that saw Siebert’s A-6 get better against Cantin’s pocket eights on a K-Q-J flop, but an eight on the turn made Cantin stronger. When the river came with a lowly four, Siebert was out in fourth and Cantin, Pahuja and Rosenbarger were within 1.5 million chips of each other.

After eight more hands of play, the trio became a duo. It was a classic race situation, Cantin’s pocket eights (again) running with Pahuja’s Big Slick, and the flop delivered an Ace to push Pahuja in front. Once Cantin didn’t find another eight on the turn or river, he was headed out of the Playground in third place and Pahuja went to heads up play against Rosenbarger with more than a 2:1 lead.

Over the first ten hands of heads up, Rosenbarger was able to take eight of the hands to whittle away at Pahuja’s lead before a clash completely changed the standings. On Hand 99, Rosenbarger raised on the button and, after a call from Pahuja, saw a 6 2 2 flop. Rosenbarger continued the aggression by firing a c-bet, but Pahuja challenged him with a check-raise. Undaunted, Rosenbarger hit the three-bet for almost 1.5 million in chips and, after Pahuja pushed all in, made the call.

Pahuja’s K 10 technically was leading Rosenbarger’s Q-6 off suit, but he would need another diamond to lock the hand and the tournament. The 8♣ was meaningless to both men and another deuce, the 2♣, on the river sealed the double up for Rosenbarger and pushed him into a 3:1 chip lead over Pahuja.

The tournament was far from over, however. Pahuja would fight back over the next TWO hands to retake the lead and extended it back out to his original 2:1 edge over the next few hands. It was now Rosenbarger’s turn to make a stunning comeback, earning a stunning double on Hand 113 when his 10-8 found trips on the flop against Pahuja’s Computer Hand (Q-7).

The twosome would joust for another 40 hands before the climactic moment of the tournament. Rosenbarger raised off the button and a disbelieving Pahuja pushed all in. Nearly beating him into the pot, Rosenbarger made the call and tabled pocket Queens against Pahuja’s A 4. The 9-3-6 flop changed nothing, but Pahuja found some life on the four turn. Once a river deuce came, however, his tournament was done and Rosenbarger was the victor.

1. Derrick Rosenbarger, $500,824
2. Mukul Pahuja, $340,928
3. Serge Cantin, $220,170
4. Sylvain Siebert, $162,936
5. Lily Kiletto, $121,848
6. Alexandre Lavigne, $98,574

There’s no rest for those in pursuit of WPT glory following the conclusion of the WPT Montreal. Today marks the start of the WPT Doyle Brunson Five Diamond World Poker Classic at the Bellagio in Las Vegas and, beginning December 15, the inaugural WPT Korea will take place.

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