Mike Leah trimmed his poker schedule to major events and ones that hold meaning for him – especially tournaments in Canada. Leah found a formula for winning the $1,100 Fallsview Casino tournament for the third time in four years for $244,244 CAD.
The event runs leading up to the annual World Poker Tour Main Event and attracts some of the largest Canadian crowds of the year. “Any tournament in Canada means more to more to me,” Leah said. “For sure, we don’t get that many up here and it’s nice to play in my home country.”
Leah’s national pride and attachment to his previous wins, made the win almost a forgone conclusion in his mind. “I honestly thought of that on the drive down, I was focused and trying to envision it,” he said. He’s won $573,330 and topped total fields of 3,478 entrants from his wins in 2016 and 2014.
He busted the first flight and found himself in trouble in the early goings on Day 1B. “Two hours in I was down to 3,500 from a 10,000 starting stack. At that point I wasn’t feeling too confident about winning the tournament,” said Leah. “But things turned around and I really liked my chances after bagging up one of the biggest Day 1 stacks.”
“When a player wins a tournament it gives them an attachment – more confidence and motivation to defend the title,” he continued. “Those types of things add up in a tournament, so the fact that I’ve won this twice meant more to me than I can remember. In terms of focus and preparation – I set out to win.”
“Momentum and confidence are huge for me,” he added. “I don’t think my game changed that much through the tournament but I had no other idea in my mind but to get to the end of it.”
“That’s what I try to focus on – only playing tournaments that I want to win,” Leah said. “So I’m motivated to play my best and not just going through the motions. My only goal in this tournament was to win.”