The Montreal Nationals defeated the LA Sunset in the Americas Conference championship 4-2 to advance to the first-ever Global Poker League Finals scheduled to take place on December 1.
The Nationals will face the winner of the Eurasia Conference which will be determined on Wednesday when the GPL playoffs continue. The top seeded Moscow Wolverines will take on the fourth seeded London Royals in the first match at 3pm EDT with the second seeded Hong Kong Stars facing off against the third seeded Berlin Bears in the second match scheduled to start at 4:30pm EDT.
The winners of those matches will meet in the Conference championship at 6:00pm EDT for the chance to take on the Montreal Nationals in the GPL Finals.
#1 Montreal Nationals vs. #4 San Francisco Rush
In the first match of the playoffs, the #4 San Francisco Rush jumped out to an early lead over the #1 The Montreal Nationals as Jonathan Jaffe defeated Mike McDonald.
Medical reasons forced team alternates into action for both teams for the second match, and things started to look grim for the overall number one team in the league after Nationals captain/alternate Marc-Andre Ladouceur was defeated by San Francisco Rush alternate Phil Galfond.
But successive wins for the Nationals by McDonald over Faraz Jaka, Pascal Lefrancois over Jaffe and McDonald over Galfond gave the Nationals the best-of-seven series lead. And though Jaka was able to force a game seven by defeating Ladouceur, it was McDonald’s victory over Jaffe that propelled the Nationals to the Conference Championship.
#2 LA Sunset vs. #3 Sao Paulo Metropolitans
Darren Elias got the Metropolitans off to a good start by defeating the LA Sunset’s heads up specialist Olivier Busquet in the opening match, but Chance Kornuth tied it up for the Sunset by defeating Joao Bauer in the second match.
Thiago Nishijima was able to pull off a win against Sunset team manager Maria Ho to give the Mets a 2-1 lead, but Busquet was able to avenge his earlier loss to Elias by beating him to tie the match at 2-2.
Kornuth won his second match giving the Sunset its first lead in the series, but Nishijima was able to defeat Ho for a second time to force the series to a decisive game 7.
The Sunset’s choice to pit Busquet against Nishijima in the final match of the series provided the desired outcome and set up the top two seeded teams in the conference to meet for the chance to play in the Finals.
#1 Montreal Nationals vs. #2 LA Sunset
The Montreal Nationals struck first blood in the Americas Conference Championship series as Mike McDonald defeated Chance Kornuth, and they quickly found themselves up 2-0 after Pascal Lefrancois got past Olivier Busquet.
But Maria Ho notched her first victory of the evening against Marc-Andre Ladouceur, and Kornuth extracted his revenge on McDonald to knot up the series at two matches a piece.
But another victory by Lefrancois over Busquet set up what proved to be the deciding match as Ladouceur emerged victorious against Ho to move the Montreal Nationals into the Finals.