Nationals Survive Game 7 Against Rush, Surge to GPL Finals

Mike McDonald mtl nationals
Timex was in beast-mode for the Nationals.

The San Francisco Rush nearly pulled off the biggest upset in Global Poker League history by ousting the Montreal Nationals but the Canadians battled back and earned a trip to the first-ever finals.

The Rush went the distance on a jam-packed day on the GPL and took the Nationals to seven games before getting eliminated from the competition.

There was plenty of Game 7 action on the first day of GPL playoffs ever as the LA Sunset beat the Sao Paulo Metropolitans in seven games.

That led to a final confrontation between the Nationals and Sunset with a trip to the finals on the line. The Nationals prevailed with a 4-2 series victory.

San Francisco Rush Nearly Pull Off Huge Upset

The Rush, who were the fourth seed in the Americas’ bracket, rode early wins by Jonathan Jaffe and Phil Galfond to a 2-0 lead making the Nationals’ position perilous.

Jonathan Jaffe
Jonathan Jaffe couldn't quite complete the upset.

Instead the Nationals fought back with wins from Pascal Lefrancois and Marc-Andre Ladouceur and that set the scene for a winner-take-all Game 7 match between Mike “Timex” McDonald and Jonathan Jaffe.

In the end McDonald got revenge against Jaffe and earned the Nationals a trip to the conference-finals.

Meanwhile the LA Sunset vs. Sao Paulo Metropolitans was a nail-biter in its own right.

Olivier Busquet lost his first match against Darren Elias but came through in the clutch by getting revenge on Elias to even things up at 2-2.

Busquet went on to and win the decisive Game 7 match against Thiago Nishijima.

Nationals Overpower Sunset to Book Finals

The final series of the day saw the Nationals taking on the Sunset for a trip to the first-ever GPL finals.

Both teams had already gone seven games so stamina was starting to come into play for this one.

Marc Andre Ladouceur Maria Ho Final Match
Manager vs. Manager.

The Nationals ran-out an early 2-0 lead thanks to Pascal Lefrancois and Mike McDonald but the Sunset battled back with wins by Maria Ho and Chance Kornuth.

From there Lefrancois reeled off a win against Olivier Busquet, which put the LA Sunset into win-or-go home mode for game 6.

Team Managers Marc-Andre Ladouceur and Maria Ho faced off in the final match of the evening with Ladouceur finally beating Ho with Q 6 over Q 2. Ladouceur spiked a six on the river to send his team to the finals.

The Eurasian Conference begins today at noon PST with the Moscow Wolverines, London Royals, Hong Kong Stars and Berlin Bears looking to do battle. You can watch all the matches live on

Here’s one more look at how it all went down yesterday:

First Round

Montreal Nationals (1st Seed) Beat San Francisco Rush (4th Seed) 4-3
LA Sunset (2nd Seed) Defeat Sao Paulo Metropolitans (3rd Seed) 4-3

Conference Final

Montreal Nationals (1st Seed) Beat LA Sunset (2nd Seed) 4-2

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