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The annual 888 Canadian University Poker Championship which took place in Montreal on 31 March-1 April, attracted entries from 14 universities throughout the province of Quebec.

For 12 weeks prior to the final major event, universities competed in online poker tournaments hosted by 888 Casino. The eventual champion Maxime Gagné, representing Université du Québec en Outaouais, walked away with a 2012 WSOP (World Series of Poker) package valued at $5,000 including an entry to one of the side event rounds. He outsmarted his way to the top of a group of 84 competitors from various universities around the province.

It is the first year that the headlining sponsor of the event, 888 Casino, has been involved and given the reception from the poker community it is likely to develop into a fruitful future relationship. Poker has seen a tremendous growth globally and especially in Canada, due to the increasing penetration and popularity of online casinos. Noticing the trend and being fervent poker proponents, 888 has shown support to many Canadian initiatives like the Montreal Party Poker Classic, and indeed to this university championship.

With many brands like Full Tilt Poker and PokerStars coming under legal heat following the Black Friday saga last year, the poker community will find this increased focus by reputable operators to be comforting. For those unaware, Black Friday saw the shutting down by the US state of many online poker operators who had a major party of their business derived there, where of course at the time it was illegal.

Poker is rapidly asserting its position as one of the most popular gaming activities in Canada, and with great tournaments and eager sponsors it is only set to grow even further.