Montreal Nationals emerge victorious after lengthy battles

After fifteen hours of poker action in the Cube, the top seeded Montreal Nationals showed why they earned that top spot by defeating the San Francisco Rush and the LA Sunset. They certainly didn’t make it easy for themselves though. The Nationals got off to a rough start when their top heads-up player, Pascal Lefrancois, was delayed on his way to Vegas. After some weather issues, and a mishap at the airport, Lefrancois finally arrived in the middle of match #3. Despite the rough start to the morning, Lefrancois went undefeated in his matches, proving why he was the ringer for Montreal.

Interesting day for me for sure. I tried to breathe slowly in the cab because I knew I would be playing shortly after. Horrible day so far but I only myself to blame I really felt like I owed it to my team.” 

The San Francisco Rush jumped out to a 2-0 lead, and were a big coin flip away from making it 3-0. However, it was hard to stop Mike McDonald, who had to play four times in the opening series despite never playing in the Cube before hand. McDonald dropped his opening match to Jonathan Jaffe, but defeated Faraz Jaka, and most importantly, defeated Jaffe in their rematch in Game 7 to move the Nationals on to the Conference Finals.


I’m far from a heads-up specialist its actually a running joke with my friends that I have so many second place finishes my lifetime record is like 4-10 and I never played any heads up this season before today so I was thinking I’d play two games. I wasn’t expecting to play four I’m glad I didn’t let the team down.”

The first match lasted five hours, and we thought the LA Sunset and Sao Paulo Mets wouldn’t be going that long. Well we were wrong, as another full seven game series was about to play out. The Sunset have arguably the best heads-up player in the world in Olivier Busquet, so it’s no surprise they used him the full three times. While he dropped the opening match to Darren Elias, he came back strong, defeating Elias in their rematch in Game , and finishing the Mets off in Game 7, defeating Thiago Nishijima.

I don’t feel pressure from the expectations if i feel pressure it’s to do well for my team and the competitive environment itself the truth is I’ve been fortunate that the GPL format has almost been custom designed for me.  It’s easy for me my default mode is designed for this format it’s easier for me to deal with it,” Busquet said after the match.

While Busquet would have been considered the MVP going in, it was Chance Kornuth who kept his team in the match. He went 2-0 in his matches against Joao Bauer, thanks in large part to a few light calls made by Bauer. Kornuth is known as one of the most aggressive players in the world, and it certainly seemed to play in his favor in this one.


Yeah I think it’s mostly reputation I’m known for alot of big bluffs in fun spots and it worked in my favor this time, which was great for us.” 

The Sunset and Nationals have been the top two teams in the entire league since the start of the Summer Series, so it would have felt wrong if they didn’t battle it out for a spot in the GPL Championship. The Nationals jumped out to a 2-0 lead, but victories by Maria Ho and Chance Kornuth jumped the Sunset back to 2-2. However, Lefrancois came up big again, and Marc-Andre Ladouceur came back against Maria Ho to push his team into the finals.

The whole day was awesome so much going on to be able to pull it through was great. Now we get to rest up and come in fresh on Thursday which will be huge. We get to watch our opponents and come back ready to go on Thursday,” Ladouceur said after the match. 

Now, we move our attention to the Eurasia Conference, which will be starting up at 12 PM Pacific Time. Just like yesterday, we will be bringing you all of the updates, so be sure to come back then!