World Cup of Poker: USA & Canada Divisional Qualifier Early Results

Today was an intense one for poker players in the United States and Canada. There were intense World Cup team rounds that included players from all corners of the two countries, all competing for spots on their national teams. But this was one level of several to come to guarantee those seats.

Every player today won their team round spots through the state and provincial finals last week, which gave them the opportunity to represent their area of the world in today's qualifiers. They joined together with tournament leaderboard (TLB) qualifiers to play for the opportunity to take the next step - Division USA or Division Canada. The winning state or province from each group would live to play again next weekend in the National Team finals.

The November 23rd rounds kicked off with the following three U.S. groups:

Group 1: CT, DE, DC, FL, GA, ME, MD, MA, NH, NJ, NY, NC, PA, RI, SC, VT, VA
Group 2: AL, AR, IL, IN, IA, KY, LA, MI, MN, MS, MO, OH, OK, TN, TX, WI, WV
Group 3: AK, AZ, CA, CO, HI, ID, KS, MT, NE, NV, NM, ND, OR, SD, UT, WA, WY

And the three Canadian groups were as follows:

Group 1: Newfoundland, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Quebec
Group 2: Manitoba, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Saskatchewan
Group 3: Alberta, British Columbia, Canadian Territories

The USA and Canada kicked off their team score rounds with the first group playing at 1:00pm ET. With some tables, action was fast and furious, like with Quebec leading early as derek8 and sclark792 won their tables and miloup007 came in second. Quebec clearly had the lead, though nothing would be decided officially until the Group 1 TLB 2 was completed. With the three other tables having been decided, the one that was still in progress looked something like this:

Screen shot - Longest running Canada Round 1 - 11.23.08.JPG

Meanwhile, the first four tables of the U.S. state team score round were all still in progress. Considering they each consisted of 17 players, it was no surprise that it took them longer to finish and determine the points awarded each player and team. In the end, it was Maryland who failed to qualify for any points whatsoever, with none of the four team members finishing better than 13th place in any of the rounds. Others who had similar results with fewer than ten points per team were Maine, Florida, South Carolina, Massachusetts, and Virginia.

However, on the brighter side, there were several teams with strong showings. Connecticut did well because scobgo won that particular round, and New Jersey saw the same because of mkind0516's victory. Delaware looked good because of iWON05's second place, jhastings22's third place, and final tables from Harks259 and PokerNatzi11. But no one team could beat the amazing performance of North Carolina. With RandALLin and DAPBowler taking first in their respective tournaments, they took teammates XbonezX and CapeFear777 on to the division round, as North Carolina clinched the victory in Group 1.

Canada was plowing through their games, having long completed Round 1. As predicted in the early showings, Quebec took it down and would take its team members to the next level of the World Cup.

The other Canadians were finishing the second group tournaments, with only four players in each, in very little time. Ontario wasn't looking good with two fourth place finishers on its team, but Saskatchewan and Manitoba tied due to having each player finish in a different position in their respective tournaments - first, second, third, and fourth. That left the win for Nova Scotia, which was solidified when lobstrman29 and AK**QUEEN** each took a first place. With the scores tabulated, Nova Scotia would join Quebec as the winner of their round.

The second group of U.S. team score rounds started 90 minutes late, as was also announced for the third group, and with 17 players again in each, it would take awhile. One of the most contentious and long-running was the one below:

Screen shot - Contentious Group 2 US table - 11.23.08.JPG

Though wormdaddy12 held the chip lead for quite awhile, the difference between all players' chip counts were nothing that couldn't be turned around with one or two well-played hands. As it played on, along with the other Group 2 U.S. tables, Canada sealed everything up.

The third and last group of Canadians included Alberta, British Columbia, and the Canadian Territories. With only three players in each tournament for that group, it was decided quickly and decisively. British Columbia had three third place finishers and a second, which relegated it to last place, but it was the Canadian Territories that didn't leave anything to fate. pam05 grabbed a victory, as did polarbrr and Muck Or Call, and deaonhope took a second place finish, giving that team the highest score by far of the three teams. The Canadian Territories would join Quebec and Nova Scotia in Division Canada.

With only the U.S. still playing on the November afternoon - heading into evening - there was much left to be decided. As the tables played on, and as best could be determined with some of the TLB players unlisted as of the tournament start time, it looked like Wisconsin was running way with the Group 2 lead. Ohio scored high with Chesskid chalking up a win, and Missouri scored a second and third place for points. Tennessee also had a win from Pup Dalton, but it seemed as if Wisconsin would take the group title after LaddFactor came in first and AlwaysTile13 and JBDenaro157 each grabbed fourth place spots in their respective tournaments.

The last of the United States players - Group 3 - continued their competitions as well, and when the final list of TLB players and point gatherers in this group are in later this evening, the final results will be tallied.

A full report of all of today's winners representing U.S. and Canada will be reported tomorrow. Those winners will prepare to take the next steps in the World Cup nationals and soon find out exactly who will be on their way to the Bahamas in January. Check back here for those final results and the World Cup of Poker V page for more information about the historic series.

Jen Newell
@PokerStars in World Cup of Poker