Daniel Negreanu may have strayed to Sin City to pursue his poker career, but he's still Canadian at heart. So it wasn't a tough choice for him to make the trip back across the border to check out the BC Poker Championships last week, and coming back to his home turf netted him a poker win.
The BC Poker Championships began last week at the River Rock Casino in Richmond, B.C., just outside of Vancouver. The tournament series hosted five events, three of which sold out.
The main event itself drew 689 players, not quite reaching the 750-player maximum. That still made for plenty of cash in the prize pool, though, and Negreanu claimed a large chunk of it when he won the main event on Sunday.
"Being Canadian myself, playing and winning the BC Poker Championships is extra special to me," Negreanu said. "The tournament was extremely well organized and my opponents were very good. It may have been a smaller tournament but I would say this has been the best $2,500 buy-in event structure I've ever played."
Negreanu wasn't the only poker celebrity in attendance either. Brad "Yukon" Booth returned to his hometown for the event along with Gavin Smith, Lacey Jones, Mark Napier, Gabe Kaplan, Dennis Phillips, Steve Paul Ambrose, Isabelle Mercier, Maria Ho, Tiffany Michelle, Liz Lieu and more.
Phillips is coming off a final-table finish in the 2008 World Series of Poker Main Event, where he finished third for a more than $4 million cash. His 30th-place cash at the BC Poker Championships may look like peanuts in comparison, but it was probably a relief for him to continue a good streak of tournament poker rather than looking like a fluke.
Ambrose picked up a cash in the event as well in 43rd place.
"This year's tournament has drawn the largest celebrity participation out of all B.C. poker events, confirming British Columbia as a hot destination for exciting poker," said Darryl Schiewe, BCLC's vice president of casino and community gaming.
It certainly won't hurt the event any that it was won by a well-known pro. Negreanu, who is a member of Team PokerStars, has won four WSOP bracelets and two WPT titles as well. With this win, he adds another $371,910 to his long list of tournament winnings.
The final-table results were:
|Place ||Name ||Hometown ||Prize|
|1st ||Daniel Negreanu ||Las Vegas ||$371,910|
|2nd ||Adam Croffut ||Everett, Wash. ||$238,191|
|3rd ||Warren Russell ||North Delta, B.C. ||$150,285|
|4th ||Vorakbotgh Eam ||Edmonton, Alberta ||$118,335|
|5th ||Vincenzo Abate ||Richmond Hill, Ont. ||$97,204|
|6th ||Tyler Patterson ||Seattle ||$76,580|
|7th ||Chad Thomsen ||Surrey, B.C. ||$59,675|
|8th ||Christopher Dinson ||Winnipeg, Manitoba ||$46,489|
|9th ||Mal Hagan ||Langley, B.C. ||$33,810|