Triathlete outlasts decorated field to earn $44,547.
Adam Podstawka takes Casino Championship lead with third-place finish.
Gatineau, QC (November 17, 2013) — It takes a lot to compete in a triathlon, but it takes even more to succeed in them at the national level. That’s exactly what Andre Smith did as a triathlete for many years, though. The 29-year-old Guelph, ON resident trained, competed and won triathlons at the national level before a bad car accident left him sidelined in 2007.
His injury and the rehab process that followed allowed less training and more time for online poker. He played and played all the while still rehabbing and still training to get back into triathlons. Eventually, he’d compete again, but with mixed results.
Recently, he found out he had an undiagnosed labral tear in his hip. The injury requires additional surgery, but after a year-long rehab process he expects to compete again.
Given that context, winning the $1,125 No-Limit Hold’em tournament, at Casino Lac-Leamy Sunday night surely must have seemed like a walk in the park to the self-described stay at home dad.
“If the surgery goes well I’ll try and take one more shot at being competitive. It’s in me and I’m still passionate about it,” Smith said of triathlons. “But something I’ve always wanted to do is win a big live [poker] tournament.”
The triathlete bested a field that included gold bracelet champions, gold ring winners, and many faces of the Canadian film, entertainment and music industries. He earned $44,547, a WSOP Circuit gold ring and 50 points toward the Casino Championship – a race the third place finisher Adam Podstawka now leads by a slight margin.
Of the 165 players that began the tournament, 11 pledged to donate a portion of their earnings to charity. Of those 11, two joined Smith at the final table. Marc Dupre, a Canadian musician, Felix award winner and judge on the Canadian version of the American television series “The Voice”, finished eighth donating a portion of his $4,978 to charity. The other, Sebastien Dube, a comedian best known for his role in the Denis Drolet act, finished second, earning $27,532.
Smith’s run to the winner’s circle was almost as improbable as many felt his return to triathlons was after his accident. By his own account, he held just two big blinds with 25 players left and only 18 spots finishing in the money.
“Somehow I made it into the cash and then started running well,” he said. “It kind of felt like a sick freeroll. You always laugh at the expression about a chip and a chair, but it happened.”
Smith plans to get corrective surgery done on his hip this winter. The year-long rehab process that follows will allow him to continue playing poker but when he gets the “okay” from his doctors he’ll take one more shot at becoming a national championship caliber athlete.
Smith is 29 years old and describes himself as a stay at home dad who’s “not pro at anything”. The win marks his first WSOP-related cash but he is an accomplished online player.
Event 4 was the fourth of 10 gold ring events on the WSOP Circuit schedule at Casino Lac-Leamy. The $1,125 No-Limit Hold’em tournament attracted 165 players generating a $165,000 prize pool. The top 18 players were paid.
Final table results:
1st: Andre Smith – $44,547
2nd: Sebastien Dube – $27,532
3rd: Adam Podstawka – $19,818
4th: Patrick St-Onge – $14,525
5th: James Wesley – $10,834
6th: Gaetan Collette – $8,222
7th: Michael Wilson – $6,346
8th: Marc Dupre – $4,978
9th: Tim Kelly – $3,970