FTP Montreal Festival Main Event – Balcazar Claims Title

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The Full Tilt Poker Montreal Festival of Poker has now been concluded after seven days of high octane poker. Day 7 saw the remaining nine players battle it out on the final table in the hope of landing this inaugural title.

The accolades eventually went to Henri Balcazar who scooped $194,046 after a three way deal of the prize pool. He actually took home less than the third place finisher Mike Linster, though the bragging rights will always be his.

You can learn about each of the players on the final table in the video below, their start of day chip counts and their countries of origin.

The day started with Vinny Pahuja holding the chip lead, yet he couldn’t keep up the excellent momentum he has had throughout this event and eventually fell in 6th place. He was eliminated just one hand before Bill Kontaratos was to join him on the rail.


The player that eliminated him was Guillaume Rivet, yet unfortunately he was to be the next player to head for the exit signs. He pushed all-in holding pocket fives and was called by Eric Despres who held the Ah-Kd. The board fell as the Qc-6d-Js-Kh-Jc to end his event and set us up with the final three.

It was at this point that a deal was discussed and struck, with Despres and Balcazar locking up $150k apiece whilst the chip leader at that time Michael Linster locked up $200k. This left $44,046 to play for along with the title.

This loosened the play up no end and it was actually Linster who fell first at the hands of Balcazar. They were both all in with Linster holding the Ac-Jc and Balcazar the pocket eights. Those eights held up and we were down to heads up.

Just three hands into the session and it was all over, as the flop of 10d-4d-3h had both players pushing into the middle. Balcazar had a flush draw with the 5d-3d whilst Despres had slow played the Ks-Kd.

The turn was the 2s which offered nothing to both players, but the Jd on the river completed Balcazar’s flush and handed him the title.

The Final Standings

1st) Henri Balcazar – $194,046 (d)

2nd) Eric Despres – $150,000 (d)

3rd) Mike Linster – $200,000 (d)

4th) Guillaume Rivet – $96,151

5th) Bill Kontaratos – $74,714

6th) Vinny Pahuja – $58,006

7th) Roger Lamia – $44,923

8th) Zeng Yi Xie – $35,150

9th) Colin Peche – $27,269