After an epic battle that lasted for hours, Lily Kornik is the champion of Event #7, the Playground 1000.
The Playground 1000 brought out an impressive field of 260 entries. The huge field built a prize pool that went far beyond the $100,000 guarantee and created a top prize of $55,430 for the eventual champion. Ali Keshavarz was the Day 1 chip leader.
A total of 82 players bagged chips for Day 2. The chip leader from this flight, Lily Kornik – better known to Playground regulars as “Big Salami” – kept up her strong Day 1 play and jumped out to an early chip lead. Although some other players had their turn as chip leader during Day 2, Kornik was never far off the lead. After the players reached the money, Kornik jumped back up to the top of the leaderboard and stayed there until the chips went in the bag at the end of level 26. Five players were set to return for Day 3 action, which would play down to a winner.
Ariel Celestino was the first to fall, taken out by Kornik. Ariel Celestino exited in fifth place for $15,000. Kornik commented how she very much enjoyed playing with Celestino over the last few days and she felt that she learnt a lot from him. The next to go was Armand King, better known to many as the “Oyster King”. Kornik sent King to the rail in fourth place, good for a cash of $20,060. Kornik then flopped trip kings to eliminate Robert Gariepy who took home $27,060 for his third place finish.
The heads-up battle between Kornik and Frederic Cossette was epic. It not only lasted for hours, it saw the chip lead swing back and forth after every all-in hand. Kornik had asked Cossette if he was interested in an ICM chip chop, but Cossette preferred to play on to a winner. Kornik had the lead for some time, but then lost some key flips and fell to second place. She made it back in a couple of key hands, until finally, the last hand of the tournament was played.
In the last hand of play, Lily got it in with , and was called by Cossette who had . As fate would have it for Lily, the flop fell , and Lily started to shake. Her husband, who had been watching the heads-up battle, put his arm around her as the two of them watched the run out. The turn brought the , and then on the river came the , to seal the deal. And just like that, a winner was crowned in The Playground 1000.
Event #7 Champion: Lily Kornik, $55,430
Last hand of play: