World Cup of Poker: Nova Scotia headed to finals

After several rounds of qualifying, five teams of four players each faced off in the Division Canada Final today to determine which four players would defend the Great White North's fierce poker reputation in the Bahamas come January. Given the well-recognized level of play in Canada, it was a sure bet that whoever came out on top would have a fight on their hands all the way. The game was a perfect test of these Canadians' poker skills, as each table was only five-handed to begin.

The shorthanded action guaranteed that any big hands would produce even bigger fireworks at the table, as it did on three different tables almost immediately. Table FR1 saw polarbrr's A-A got cracked on the flop by sclarke792's 3-3, knocking the player from Team Canadian Territories out in 5th place. The deck was just as cruel to Team Canada 2's mign on TLB1; his aces got cracked by the Qs-9s of Team Nova Scotia's lobstrman29 to cripple him just before he got knocked out. Then on FR2, Team Nova Scotia saw born_in53's K-K held up against the A-K of Team Canadian Territories' Muck Or Call to send him out in 5th.

While the other tables kicked into high gear immediately, TLB2 didn't see an elimination until almost an hour into the proceedings. tjhopkinsiv ran his 4-4 into ROCKETMAN44's 9-9, giving Team Canada 2 its second 5th place finish of the day. Both ROCKETMAN44 and dendoggone were above average at the table, but ch0ppy and murok both held on to short stacks as the first break came along. ch0ppy would bust in 4th quickly after the break, followed by ROCKETMAN44, whose K-7 fell to dendoggone's J-T to send him out in 3rd and set up the heads-up showdown.

As TLB2 trudged along, the other tables were ending quickly. After knocking outdeonhope in 3rd with a set of deuces, lobstrman29 sealed up a win for Team Nova Scotia three minutes before the break when his 3-3 flopped a set against Bonds252525's J-J. On FR1, Team Quebec's sclarke792 opened up a lead when his K-7 cracked SEWB's T-T; he then ground down short stacks AK**QUEEN** and boodaluver until they were too short to do anything but move all-in with weak hands, claiming his table victory just six minutes after the break.

Table FR2's heads-up match was a small-ball extravaganza, as neither born_in53 nor johncrack was giving anything up with the blinds at 25/50 as they began their duel. The chip lead swung in both directions for a full 30 minutes; though born_in53 had entered with the chip lead, by 4:15 he found himself at a disadvantage. He moved all-in holding Jh-8h on a draw-heavy board of Kh-Td-9h, but johncrack had flopped the nuts with Qc-Jc. No hearts materialized, and johncrack won the table for Team Canada 1.

In the end table TLB2, which took so long to eliminate a single player, would close out with a hard-fought victory from dendoggone. He and murok fought back and forth for nearly 20 minutes before a decisive pot when dendoggone flopped top pair with a straight draw and got there on the turn. Down to just 700 chips, murok managed to double up once before moving in with A-9 and getting dendoggone to call with K-Q. The flop, however, brought a king and a queen to give Team Nova Scotia the win.

Though all the players put up valiant efforts, only one team could emerge victorious. With wins on two of the four tables, and a 2nd and 3rd to go along with them, Team Nova Scotia closed out a comfortable win to earn the right to represent Canada at World Cup V. It looks like lobstrman29, dendoggone, AK**QUEEN**, and born_in53 need to find suitable attire for the beach next month, because they'll be lounging in the Bahamas while they take on the rest of the world's best.

Final Standings

Nova Scotia - 66 pts
Canada 1 - 51 pts
Quebec - 47 pts
Canadian Territories - 38 pts
Canada 2 - 38 pts

Jason Kirk
@PokerStarsBlog in World Cup of Poker