The partypoker LIVE MILLIONS North America Finale has brought the curtain down on the incredible MILLIONS North America festival at the Playground Poker Club in Montreal, and at the end of it all it was the Czech Republic's Michael Sklenicka who emerged victorious to earn a CA$242,370 payday.
It is Sklenicka's second biggest live tournament cash in a career that has seen him pick up more than half a million in live earnings. Sklenicka defeated a tough final table that contained some huge names, including Chance Kornuth, Team partypoker Sponsored pro Anatoly Filatov, and Manig Loeser.
The Finale finished at 4:30 AM this morning after a mammoth final day of action which lasted nearly 15 hours, with the final table lasting ten. The Main Event and Turbo were long finished by the time Sklenicka beat Timothy Reilly heads-up.
A total of eighteen players came back for Day 3 of the Finale after having survived two tough days of competition to make it that far. Eliminated on the bubble were Matas Cimbolas, Arkadiy Tsinis and Aaron Mermelstein, when his ace-three couldn't get there against the kings of David Lopez.
Making the money but going out before the final table included Jonathan Vanfleet, Joey Weissman, WSOP Main Event champion Jonathan Duhamel, Samuel Chartier and Victor Ramdin.
The final table actually started pretty quickly, with Nik Khan exiting in ninth for $40K when he couldn't fade Sklenicka's flush draw. Start of day chipleader Chance Kornuth had been at the forefront of the action all day, but he was next to go in eighth for $50K when he incorrectly called Philippe D'Auteuil's shove on the river, with the Canadian's straight beating Kornuth's two pair.
Out in seventh was Team partypoker's final representative Anatoly Filatov, who earned $60K for his deep run. After the Russian's exit, play slowed right down, and there were six players left for at least three hours, as the deep-stacked structure of the tournament and some skilled play kept everyone afloat.
Finally, David Lopez hit the rail in sixth after being crippled by Timothy Reilly with jacks against ace-jack before losing the rest a few hands later. Lopez took $70K for sixth, before the players took a lengthy time-out to discuss a deal after Philippe D'Auteuil and Manuel Loeser had benefitted from double ups.
The players eventually settled on an ICM deal which would leave $50K for the winner. That didn't speed the pace of eliminations up, however, as the five players kept battling back and forth for a while before something had to give.
In the end, it was Josue Sauvageau who was next out when his ace-seven couldn't catch Reilly's ace-king. The Canadian earned $167,190 for his deep run. Following him out of the door was Philippe D'Auteuil in fourth for $133,300 after losing a flip to Sklenicka.
Manig Loeser was forced to settle for third and $162,825 when his king-queen was cracked by Sklenicka's queen-jack, leaving the Czech player and Reilly heads-up for the title and the extra $50K.
It didn't take too long for Sklenicka to get the job done, crippling Reilly in one hand before taking the rest with against the when the board ran out .
Reilly's runner-up finish netted him $131,515 for his fantastic Finale campaign, while Sklenicka was delighted to take the title and $242,370 home after the ICM deal.
The Finale was a fitting conclusion to the fantastic MILLIONS North America festival. Bring on the next MILLIONS for more action, drama, and jaw-dropping prize pools!