October 3, 2023
Ontario Online Qualifiers Take on PokerStars Summer Series

Ontario Online Qualifiers Take on PokerStars Summer Series

PokerStars Summer Series

The $2,200 buy-in PokerStars Summer Series finale had 448 entrants, three of whom qualified for the no-limit hold'em tournament via an online qualifier in , Canada.

Cory Payne, Larry Smart, and Carson Shenfield all earned a trip to the gorgeous Live! Casino & Hotel Philadelphia on PokerStars Ontario. They competed in what was originally billed as a $500,000 guaranteed tournament, but a massive turnout bumped it up to just under $900,000. It was the third and final event of the series, and the third to surpass the guarantee.

The final day of the series kicked off Sunday morning in Philadelphia. They'll play down to a , who will take home $172,390. Stay locked in to PokerNews for live coverage throughout the day.

Tough Luck Exit for Ontario Qualifier

All three Ontario online qualifiers entered Day 1 but were unable to find . On a positive note, they all had a great at Philly Live! and enjoyed the free trip to the “City of Brotherly Love.”

Payne, who plays under screen name “cravincards,” and Smart, aka “SmartAcesGuy,” signed up for Day 1a (Thursday), while Shenfield (“carsons1414”) registered for the 1c session (Saturday). Unfortunately, for the players, Shenfield and Smart were unable to get much traction going and busted well before the money on Day 1.

It was an even rougher exit for Payne in what was his first ever live tournament. The poker player from Canada who earned his way into the major event via a $5 qualifier flopped top against poker Frank Funaro, who had bottom set. The hand was destined to end up with stacks getting in.

But it all came crashing down for the online qualifier when Funaro hit quads on the turn, a one-outer, and would eventually get all of Payne's sizable stack. He made it deeper on Day 1 than the other Ontario qualifiers, but it was an especially cruel exit. Still, he enjoyed the experience.

“It's so awesome, I couldn't even explain it,” Payne told PokerNews of his experience in the PokerStars Summer Series. “I've never even played a live tournament ever.”

Payne's exclusively been an online tournament player. He drove down to Philly with his wife and had “the best time of my .”

“I got goosebumps, I'm so excited to be here,” Payne said prior to the brutal bad beat.

Despite the tough bust-out from the tournament short of the money, Payne and all three Ontario qualifiers had a memorable experience at Philly Live! competing in the PokerStars Summer Series.

Follow the Final Table of the PokerStars Summer Series

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