The fans have had their say and selected Team Greg Smith of Newfoundland & Labrador and Team Suzanne Birt of Prince Edward Island as the final two teams to compete at the inaugural PointsBet Invitational.
Those two teams will join an established field of 30 at Willie O’Ree Place in Fredericton starting Sept. 21 for a chance to take home a share of the massive purse in excess of $350,000 in the single-elimination knockout competition.
Teams Smith and Birt received the sponsor’s exemption entry in the men’s and women’s competitions after being voted in by curling fans across the country on Curling Canada’s Twitter account.
Both teams will be ranked 14th in the 16-team fields and take on the third-seeded teams in the bracket.
Smith, a two-time Tim Hortons Brier competitor for Newfoundland & Labrador, will take on Matt Dunstone’s new team from Winnipeg in his opening game.
Birt, who ranks fourth in all-time career games played at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts as a skip (141 games), is calling on another seasoned skip for her venture through the PointsBet Invitational.
Birt and Colleen Jones will join forces for the weekend, with Jones taking on third duties as a spare. The third-seeded Team Tracy Fleury of Ottawa will begin its event with a game against Team Birt and the six-time Canadian women’s champion in Jones.
#1 Team Kerri Einarson (Gimli, Man.) vs. #16 Team Tracy Larocque (Thunder Bay, Ont.)
#2 Team Kaitlyn Lawes (Winnipeg) vs. #15 Team Emily Deschenes (Halifax)
#3 Team Tracy Fleury (Ottawa) vs. #14 Team Suzanne Birt (Montague/Cornwall, P.E.I.)
#4 Team Chelsea Carey (Winnipeg) vs. #13 Team Selena Sturmay (Edmonton)
#5 Team Jennifer Jones (Winnipeg) vs. #12 Team Andrea Kelly (Fredericton)
#6 Team Casey Scheidegger (Lethbridge, Alta.) vs. #11 Team Kerry Galusha (Yellowknife)
#7 Team Hollie Duncan (Toronto) vs. #10 Team Penny Barker (Regina)
#8 Team Kelsey Rocque (Edmonton) vs. #9 Team Christina Black (Halifax)
#1 Team Brad Gushue (St. John’s, N.L.) vs. #16 Team Nick Deagle (Bridgewater, N.S.)
#2 Team Brendan Bottcher (Calgary) vs. #15 Team Landan Rooney (Whitby, Ont.)
#3 Team Matt Dunstone (Winnipeg) vs. #14 Team Greg Smith (St. John’s, N.L.)
#4 Team Kevin Koe (Calgary) vs. #13 Team Jack Smeltzer (Fredericton)
#5 Team Reid Carruthers (Winnipeg) vs. #12 Team Braden Calvert (Winnipeg)
#6 Team Glenn Howard (Penetanguishene, Ont.) vs.#11 Team Félix Asselin (Montreal)
#7 Team Colton Flasch (Saskatoon) vs. #10 Team Karsten Sturmay (Edmonton)
#8 Team Team John Epping (Toronto) vs. #9 Team Mike McEwen (Toronto)
Fans can follow along with the full bracket, available here.
All 32 competing teams will receive $5,000 to cover travel and accommodation costs, and teams will earn more money for each successive win in the single-knockout tournament — $3,000 for a first-round win, $6,000 for a quarterfinal win, $12,000 for a semifinal win and $24,000 to the victorious women’s and men’s teams, meaning the two winning teams will each collect a total of $50,000.
Full-event ticket packages are available for $249 and will guarantee a single ticket and seat selection for all 10 draws of the 2022 PointsBet Invitational. The package will also include a bonus ticket for admission to the Friday night Celebrity Invitational and party in the Patch.
A limited number of individual day packages and single draw tickets will go on sale Thursday, Sept. 8.
All ticket purchases are subject to standard ticket service fees.
Customers are encouraged to sign up for Curling Canada’s e-newsletter at curling.ca to receive ongoing ticket information.