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David Dongwoo Ko Captures World Poker Tour Montreal Main Event Title

23-Year-Old Canadian Survives 882 Entries And A Final-Table Power Outage In $3,500 CAD Buy-In Event To Earn $319,217 USD

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David Dongwoo Ko has won the 2024 World Poker Tour Montreal $3,500 CAD no-limit hold’em main event at the Playground Poker Club in Quebec. The 23-year-old poker pro based out of Burnaby, British Columbia overcame a field of 882 entries to secure his first WPT title and the top prize worth $319,217 USD.

This was the largest tournament score yet for Ko, topping the $50,800 he earned for a win in a £450 World Series of Poker International Circuit event. The three-time WSOPC ring winner now has nearly $400,000 in recorded tournament earnings to his name after this latest victory.

“I really wanted to prove to myself and to the world that I can compete in these higher level tournaments, and today I think I did,” Ko told WPT reporters. “Being a WPT Champion is something that will last forever, you know, so that just by itself means a lot.”

Not only did Ko have to contend with his fellow poker players at the final table, he also had to wait out the impact of a passing storm that knocked out power in the area. Play was halted for over two hours, but eventually resumed at 11:00 PM local time.

After closing out the win, Ko was awarded 1,368 Card Player Player of the Year points. This was enough to catapult him up the rankings and into 115th place in the 2024 POY race presented by Global Poker.

This event featured three starting flights and three more days of action. The top 111 finishers earned a share of $2,071,642 USD prize pool, with six-figure payouts for the final four. Among those that ran deep were Mike Leah (57th), Xuan Liu (54th), WPT commentator Tony Dunst (34th, and three-time WPT champion Eric Afriat (19th).

The final day began with Ko in the lead and just six contenders remaining. After several orbits of six-handed action, the first three eliminations took place in consecutive hands. Charles Kassin ran his pocket queens into the pocket kings of Tommy Nguyen to finish sixth ($65,326). Moments later, Tamer Alkamli’s pocket queens lost a preflop coin flip against the A-K of Ko (5th – $85,878).

Rayan Chamas was the next to fall. The poker player and online streamer, known to many by his screen name ‘Beriuzy’, got all-in for around 16 big blinds with K-7 facing the A-9 of Ko. Neither player improved and Chamas was sent to the rail in fourth place ($113,770).

Three handed play went on for several hours before the power outage that was previously mentioned further delayed the crowning of a champion.

Ko held the lead when action picked up again. It took more than four hours for the next knockout to take place. Nguyen got all-in with Q-3 suited facing A-10 for Ko, who flopped trips and held from there to enter heads-up play with roughly a 3:2 lead over Dan Stavila. Nguyen earned $150,470 as the third-place finisher.

The final hand of the tournament began with Ko limping from the button for 500,000 with KClub Suit3Club Suit. Stavila raised to 1,800,000 from the big blind with QClub Suit6Club Suit and Ko called. The flop came down 10Club Suit8Club Suit2Spade Suit to give both players flush draws. It checked to the turn, which brought the 9Club Suit to complete both draws. Stavila checked with his queen high flush and Ko bet 2,450,000. Stavila called and the river brought the 3Heart Suit. Stavila checked again. Ko bet 7,200,000 and Stavila check-raised all-in for 16,025,000. Ko snap-called to lock up the pot and the title with flush over flush. Stavila headed to the payout desk to collect $205,520 as the runner-up.

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

Place Player Earnings POY Points
1 David Ko $319,217 1368
2 Dan Stavila $205,520 1140
3 Tommy Nguyen $150,470 912
4 Rayan Chamas $113,770 684
5 Tamer Alkamli $85,878 570
6 Charles Kassin $65,326 456
7 Nektarios Papadedes $50,646 342
8 Michael Smith $38,902 228
9 Jamie Brent $30,828 114

Photo credit: WPT.