Patrick Serda Triumphs at 2018 WPT Montreal Main Event

Patrick Serda and Ema Zajmovic tussling over WPT Montreal belt

The WPT Montreal took place at the Playground Poker Club from Oct. 29 to Nov. 4, with its CA$5,300 Main Event naturally providing the biggest draw. In total, 792 players entered the tournament looking to claim a share of its CA$5 million guaranteed prize pool. Seven days later, and emerging a top of the field was Patrick Serda, who outlasted all of the competition, including Ema Zajmovic heads-up, to lift the trophy, as well as a first place prize of C$855,000 (US$668,388).

Patrick Serda’s Third Title

Patrick Serda hails from Winnipeg, Canada, and is a 28-year-old pro who cashed in his first live event back in 2013. Going into the WPT Montreal Main Event, the player had $1,073,892 in winnings to his credit, $750,216 of which is accounted for by his runner-up finish at the 2016 EPT Prague €10,300 High Roller.

Following his latest triumph, Serda now boasts $1,742,280 in winnings, propelling him twenty places higher on Canada’s ‘All Time Money List’ to number 57. Commenting upon a victory which also completes a hat-trick of tournament titles, Serda said:

“It’s great; it feels a lot better than previous wins. I’m not really sure why it feels like this but I worked for it more this time around. I coolered Sorel three-handed, obviously, but a lot of my other spots weren’t standard and I feel like, especially, on Day 3 and 4, I overcame some adversity and tough spots.”

WPT Montreal Main Event

The WPT Montreal Main Event paid 103 money spots. Among the notable pros then seeing a return on their buy-ins was Mukul Pahuja in 65th ($10,775), Marvin Rettenmaier in 45th ($14,978), Rich Alsup in 29th ($19,869), Mike Leah in 18th ($27,893), Simon Deadman in 13th ($41,267), and Jonathan Little in 8th ($80,623).

Final Table

Almost forty hands would be dealt before the final table saw its first player eliminated during a dramatic three-handed battle. In the hand in question, Jiachen Gong was all in and risk holding Ah-Ac to Kauvsegan Ehamparam’s As-Kh and Ema Zajmovic’s Ad-Qs. Unfortunately for him, the board rolled out 8s-3s-2d-6s-7s to make Ehamparam a flush, while bouncing Gong from the tournament in 6th place.

Next, Sorel Mizzi (J-J) eliminated Upeshka De Silva (4-4) in 5th, while last woman standing Ema Zajmovic (9-9) took care of Ehamparam (Q-J) in 4th. Three-handed play subsequently continued for a while before a depleted Mizzi’s all in preflop shove was picked off by Zajmovic holding pocket nines, after which the final showdown was set.

Heads-Up Recap

Patrick Serda and Ema Zajmovic entered heads-up play fairly even in chips. Eleven hands later, and Zajmovic (Kd-9s) and Serda (7d-5d) escalated the preflop bidding before seeing a 10s-7s-6s flop. Both players then checked their options, before Zajmovic bet the 3h turn and received a call from her opponent.

Despite missing all her draws, Zajmovic went all-in on the 3h river, but unfortunately for her Serda found a hero call to take the hand, and claim the 2018 WPT Montreal Main Event crown. Meanwhile, Ema Zajmovic received C$556,000 (US$424,893) for her impressive performance and now boasts US$980, 817 in career earnings.

Interestingly, Ema Zajmovic took down the 2017 WPT Playground Main Event for C$241,500 ($183,788), and in so doing became the first women ever to win an open WPT Main Event. For the accomplishment, she was even honored with the Moment of the Year title at that year’s American Poker Awards in Los Angeles. Like her latest result, Zajmovic has also narrowly missed out on collected further World Poker Tour accolades.  This includes finishing the 2016 WPT Montreal Main Event in 5th place for C$102,010 ($76,108), and the 2018 WPT Amsterdam Main Event in 2nd place for €100,260 ($123,598).

Final Table Results

1: Patrick Serda (Can) C$855,000 (US$668,388)
2: Ema Zajmovic (Can) C$556,000 (US$424,893)
3: Sorel Mizzi (Can) C$410,000 (US$313,320)
4: Kauvsegan Ehamparam (Can) C$305,450 (US$233,424)
5: Upeshka De Silva (US) C$230,250 (US$175,956)
6: Jiachen Gong (Can) C$175,500 (US$134,116)