The WPT Fallsview Poker Classic is one of the most prestigious gambling events in all of Canada, held every February at the Niagara Fallsview Casino Resort in Ontario. To win a trophy is quite an accomplishment. To win the same trophy 3 times in just 4 years, as Canadian poker pro Mike Leah has done, is beyond astonishing!
Leah isn’t the first to accomplish such a marvelous feat. Poker phenom Phil Ivey took down the famed Aussie Millions’ $250k Challenge in 2012, 2014 and 2015. Carl Carodenuto routed the Mid-States Poker Tour (MSPT) in 2015, and twice in 2016 (once as a defending champion). But in Mike Leah’s case, there was a lot more competition involved.
Ivey’s trio of wins came against an average field of just 29 players per event. Carodenuto faced an average of 445 entrants. Leah faced off in a field of 649 when he won the WPT Fallsview Poker Classic’s $1,100 NLHE event in 2014, then beat out 1,305 in 2016, and outlasted an even larger field of 1,524 entrants in 2017.
Mike Leah Wins at WPT Fallsview
The 2017 Fallsview Poker Classic, part of the esteemed World Poker Tour, was held in Canada, just north of the majestic Niagara Falls from February 17-24. Leah was especially looking forward to the C$1,100 NLHE event; his number one priority being to win the tournament for a third time.
The 1,524 field brought the total prize pool to C$1,366,311, guaranteeing C$244,244 to the winner. That honor, of course, went to the Innisfil, Ontario native as Leah whittled his way through the competition, defeating a final table brimming with fellow Canadian poker pros like Thomas Taylor and Dan Kalpakis.
For Mike, playing major poker tournaments in Canada – his “own backyard”, as he calls it – is the best. In an exclusive interview with CardsChat, he attributed his third victory in four years at this same event to a number of reasons.
Leah said that, because this is the only major poker event held in the area – and it only happens once a year – he feels the majority of the field is always a bit a soft in the $1,100 NHLE event. He also admitted that, this year, due to his previous two wins, he felt that he was being given an easier ride by his opponents.
“I think a lot of the players here give me too much respect and let me get away with quite a few things,” Leah quipped.
But in the end, he said “it was a combination of all that” – the softer field, the esteemed admiration of his piers, and Mike Leah’s sheer motivation to three-peat at the WT Fallview Poker Classic – that led to his ultimate victory.
The elite Canadian poker pro added $244,244 to his highly impressive overall career earnings of C$7,652,188 in live poker tournament cashes. $573,334 of that total was scooped by Leah during his 2014, 2016 and 2017 wins at the WPT Fallsview Poker Classic $1.1k NLHE event.
Royal Vegas Canada has been our editor’s #1 pick for three consecutive years ! Great compatibility of course (iphones, mobiles and tablets) but also an exciting range of games and promotions. Excellent support teams and quick cashouts… What else to ask for ?