Dustin Melanson Crushes Final Table to Become WSOPC Playground Main Event Champion

Home » Dustin Melanson Crushes Final Table to Become WSOPC Playground Main Event Champion
Dustin Melanson

Dustin Melanson has won Event #8: $1,700 No Limit Holdem Main Event at the World Series of Poker Circuit Playground. He defeated a field of 1,660 players, taking home $339,770 after a heads-up deal with Sergei Gurin.

With this win, he more than doubles his career live earnings and can now add World Series of Poker Circuit Main Event Champion to his already successful career.

Final Table Results

Place Name Country Prize
1 Dustin Melanson Canada $339,770*
2 Sergei Gurin Canada $285,230*
3 Mohammad Feizi Canada $181,600
4 George James Canada $140,000
5 Nghi Van Tran Canada $105,000
6 Joey Messina Canada $82,500
7 Israel Pantaleon Canada $65,000
8 Matthew Paplyk Canada $50,000
9 Robert Wong Canada $35,000

*Denotes a heads up deal

Melanson returned for Day 3 as the overall chip leader of the last 22 players in the field. He did not hold that lead the entire day, but his ability to battle adversity as the day went on was remarkable. After multiple bad beats and a few rough spots, he battled all the way to heads-up play with a sparring partner, Sergei Gurin, who also played excellent the entire day and was a force on the final table.

Before play began they agreed to an ICM chop, minus 10% that they would play for, along with the ring. The players were almost even at the start of heads-up play, and Gurin actually held the chip lead. Melanson had every chip in play about an hour and a half later. He was crowned champion, put on the ring, and collected his massive prize of $339,770.

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Dustin Melanson

Winners Reaction

“I felt like I was at my best, and I felt like my opponents couldn’t really keep up with my aggression and the pressure I was putting on.”

“I felt like my opponents couldn’t really keep up with my aggression and the pressure I was putting on.”

Melanson was asked to share some things that added to his success as the day went on, and he was very candid about what he felt he did well.

“I think I was very consistent with switching gears at the right time. Couple good spots along the way that helped me. Sure, a nice ace from space on the river during the final table. You know, you need the run good, feel good, and I felt great.”

Heads Up

After all of his success in this room, he spoke about the significance of Playground and how it has changed his professional poker career and his personal life as he met Emily in this very room.

“It means everything. I mean, these guys, and this poker room, essentially, groomed my game and the player I am today. These guys are fantastic. They run tournaments better than anybody else in the world. Their staff, top to bottom, is incredible. The dealers are second to none. This place is one of a kind, that’s for sure.”

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Final Table Action

The ten-handed final table started with Pietro Lo Giudice‘s elimination in tenth place, as his ace-queen could not improve against George James‘ pocket nines. The table would then see wildcard Mohammad Feizi show a stone cold bluff with seven-duece to get the action moving. Robert Wong would thenfall to Feizi in 9th after his ace-jack was pipped by the ace-queen of Feizi.


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Melanson would then encounter his first jumping-off point of the day when he was all in and at risk against Matthew Paplyk’s pocket tens and hit the ace from space on the river to secure the double he needed to stay alive. The roller coaster would then go the other direction when Melanson got cooled off in a nasty spot when Joey Messina hit a three outer on the turn to double through him.

Matt Paplyk would then fall in eighth place after a classic cooler spot with aces versus kings. A few hands later, Israel Pantaleon got set over set to fall in seventh place after a gross run out. Messina then fell in sixth at the hands of Melanson who got the revenge after getting cooled off a bit before. Local legend, Nghi Van Tran, lost a flip to Melanson to fall in fifth place before James was eliminated in fourth by Gurin. Feizi fell in third at the hands of Melanson when he cracked Feizi’s aces, and then it was down to heads-up play.

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Dustin Melanson

Melanson started heads-up play with a small chip disadvantage and got cut down a few times on his way to being all-in for his tournament life. He got the pure double to get about even with Gurin. He then grinded through a few small pots to gain the lead, and he would never lose it again. In the final hand, he was able to drill the wheel on the river to best the pair of Gurin.

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