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Francois Billard Wins 2019 partypoker LIVE MILLIONS North America Main Event

Canadian Defeats Field of 521 Entries To Win $740,000 USD

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The 2019 partypoker LIVE MILLIONS North America $10,300 CAD no-limit hold’em main event attracted a total of 521 entries, surpassing the $5,000,000 CAD guarantee by more than $200,000 CAD. It took five full days of play and more than 14 hours of final table action to narrow that field down to a singular champion: Francois Billard. The Montreal area native earned $1,000,000 CAD ($740,000 USD) as the winner, the largest score of his live tournament career. Billard’s lifetime earnings now sit just shy of $2.9 million.

In addition to the title and the money, Billard also was awarded 2,100 Card Player Player of the Year points for coming out on top in this event. This was his first POY-qualified cash of 2019, but it alone was enough to catapult him into 22nd place in the overall standings for the POY race, which is sponsored by Global Poker.

The fifth and final day of this event began with six players remaining and Kevin Rabichow in the lead with over 110 big blinds. Billard had the second largest stack when play resumed, sitting with 90 big blinds.

Rabichow got off to a strong start, extending his lead by knocking out Danick Landriault in sixth place ($185,000 USD). Five-handed action lasted for 140 hands over the course of roughly six hours. The second elimination of the day finally took place when it folded to Billard on the button and he moved all-in holding JClub Suit4Club Suit. Paul Fontan called for his last 7 big blinds with QHeart Suit7Heart Suit. Billard flopped a jack and held from there to send Fontan home in fifth place with $222,000 USD.

With four players remaining, Billard had taken control of the final table. Rabichow closed the gap somewhat by busting Alexandros Kolonias in fourth place ($273,800 USD). He then regained the lead by winning a huge preflop race against Billard, with his pocket nines beating Billard’s ADiamond SuitKHeart Suit.

Billard was able to rebuild after that key hand, fighting his way back to the top of the chip counts by the time the next big showdown took place. Joni Jouhkimainen was the clear short stack. He shoved all-in for just under 14 big blinds with QClub Suit6Club Suit from the button. Billard made a quick call with ADiamond SuitJClub Suit. Neither player improved and Billard’s ace high was enough to send Jouhkimainen to the rail in third place ($350,538 USD).

Billard took more than a 2.5-to-1 chip advantage into heads-up play against Rabichow. The two battled it out for 37 hands before the final hand of the tournament arose. Rabichow raised to 12 million on the button with JHeart Suit10Diamond Suit. Billard three-bet to 42 million holding 10Spade Suit9Diamond Suit. Rabichow called and the flop brought the KDiamond Suit9Club Suit8Spade Suit. Billard bet 26 million and Rabichow called. The 10Heart Suit hit the turn, giving Billard two pair while Rabichow made a pair and picked up an open-ended straight draw. Billard moved all-in and Rabichow called for his last 168 million. The 6Diamond Suit on the river secured the pot and the title for Billard. Rabichow earned $481,000 USD as the runner-up finisher, by far the largest payday of his live tournament career.

Here is a look at the payouts and POY points awarded at the final table:

Place Player Winnings (USD) POY Points
1 Francois Billard $740,000 2,100
2 Kevin Rabichow $481,000 1,750
3 Joni Jouhkimainen $350,538 1,400
4 Alexandros Kolonias $273,800 1,050
5 Paul Fontan $222,000 875
6 Danick Landriault $185,000 700
7 Ben Heath $148,000 525
8 Ruben Perceval $111,000 350
9 Armin Rezaei $74,000 175

Winner photo via @partypokerlive Twitter account.