I arrived in Montreal in plenty of time to check into my hotel, have a shower, and grab a quick nap, which was good considering I was up early that morning and didn't get any sleep on the bus/train ride there.
There was 4 of us that met up and made our way to The Windsor Hotel to register for The Montreal Open Charity Tournament. The registration process was very quick and very well done, and it was very easy for you to find your table assignment. I find my seat and wait for the cards to be dealt, but first we had to go through some speeches. First was about the cause and what The Miriam Foundation does, and the introduction of The Full Tilt Pros that were on hand for this Full Tilt sponsored event. The Full Tilt Pros that were there was, Gavin Smith, Greg Mueller, Andy Bloch, Marc Karam, and Erik Cajelais. Next we were introduced to Jeff "AceTenBomber" Burnett, a guy that has made his name with a gimmick, he has not even played in a WSOP Event. He went on about how he brought 35 members of his Bomb Squad to this event, which is great to support this great cause, but to my knowledge none of these players have done anything worth while in any major live poker events.
So the cards finally get in the air and the tournament has started, and I understand that this is a charity tournament and the charity makes most of it's money off of the rebuys and add ons, but for the first 4 levels this poker room sounded like a god damn auction house, with people on the mic trying to get players to go all in and rebuy to win a certain prize. One thing I liked was that Gavin Smith built his stack to 35k in the first two levels and they auctioned that off to the highest bidder which I think got to $1,500. The problem I had with this auction type styl going on is that I could not hear if a player announced raise and also could not hear what the dealer was saying either.
The dealers I had were good dealers, but I heard from others that they had horrible dealers. In fact I was told that one dealer accidentally exposed a card while dealing and instead making that card the first burn he cut it back into the middle of the deck. The chips that we used were very very cheap chips with the Full Tilt logo hot stamped on them.
The blinds were only 15mins long and man did they ever jump levels making this tournament go real fast and turn it into a bingofest very quickly. I undertsand doing this at the beginning stages since this is a rebuy tournament for charity, but once the rebuy and add on period is over, they could have just went to a proper structure without skipping so many levels that are in a normal poker tournament.
The level of play was what I expected for a rebuy charity tournament, and you really had to rely on a lot of for the cards to go your way, if you were going to have any chance to take a good stack to Day 2. With that being said none of the 4 of us made it to Day 2. I was the last man standing out of all of us, and the way I saw it was you wanted to go to Day 2 with at least 80k in chips. There was about 125 players left and the top 100 made it to Day 2, and we were probably on the last level before we made it to the top 100, and I had about 21k. I am in the small blind and look down at K 9 of diamonds. It is folded around to the button you puts in a raise for a steal, and I push all in, to my surprise the big blind also pushes all in, the big blind showed pocket 10's and I was eliminated from the tournament.
Don't get me wrong I had a great time at this event, it is no WSOP, but it was well organized and because of the loud auction and the annoying voice on the mic, it kind of turned me off of this event. I really do not know if I will go back next year for this or not, only time will tell.