The APAT Poker Association & Tour held the fifth event in the second season of its acclaimed Tour, the Scottish Amateur Poker Championship in Edinburgh's Gala Maybury Casino, on 3rd-4th May. The event had 132 entries, who qualified by online satellites, APAT's regional championships and direct payment. The field included five former APAT Champions and sixteen former APAT Tour finalists. The players were again offered a £75 freeze-out with 10,000 starting chips, a slow clock, £3,000 to the winner plus significant added value from tour sponsors BlueSquare via the form of an entry package into a GUKPT event worth $3,000 to the winner in addition to their cash prize, trophy, medal and Player of the Year ranking points.
Before the first break defending champion Phil Starrs was knocked out by Brendan Hartnett with his Jacks running into Aces on a seven high flop. Elsewhere Gerard Smyth rivered an Ace to hit a higher set against Allan Deucher's flopped set of eights. At the dinner break Paul Jefferies was chip leader followed by last year's runner up James Eccles. APAT stalwarts James Edwards (helped by picking up Pocket Kings no less than ten times on Day One!), GBPT Finalist Gordon MacArthur and John Murray were also well in contention.
As the blinds rose towards the end of day one the attrition rate inevitably rose and 22 players survived through to Day 2. Amongst the chip leaders were several players who had showed consistency through the day and had avoided the major confrontations and races that eliminated others. The five chip leaders were:
Stuart Oliver 110,000
Robert Ingoldby 101,000
Chris McDonald 97,500
Paul McGuinness 90,500
Jason Jones 77,500
With blinds beginning day two at 3,000-6,000 and the average stack at 55,000 only representing nine big blinds it was clear that progress towards a final table was going to be swift. Both Ingoldby and McDonald benefitted the most in the run from the final two tables to the final. Ingoldby eliminated two players on one hand with AK and then McDonald's pair of tens beat Brian Martin's Jacks with a straight despite a Jack on the flop. Elsewhere with fourteen left the average stack left little room for play and it was a case of expecting the inevitable confrontations to arise.
Ian Wheeler sealed his place in the final when his pocket nine's beat tens and Ace-King to eliminate two players whilst Stuart Brown made a remarkable recovery from a stack of two times the big blind to double up three times, win a big race with Ace-Queen against pocket tens and make the final in good shape.
The final table line up, including several £20 regional event qualifiers, was as follows:
Seat 1 Ian Wheeler from Northampton 196,000
Seat 2 Glenn Laming from Surrey 74,000
Seat 3 Simon Aukland from Solihull 76,000
Seat 4 Stephen Coope from Stockport 86,000
Seat 5 Robert Ingoldby from London 213,000
Seat 6 James Eccles from Alloa 172,000
Seat 7 Jason Jones from Wrexham 87,000
Seat 8 Chris McDonald from Glasgow 232,000
Seat 9 Stuart Brown from Edinburgh 199,000
The first significant action of the final saw Glen Laming double through James Eccles with Ace-King against pocket eights before Simon Aukland, pushing into an unopened pot with Jack-ten suited, found Jason Jones behind with Aces. The Aces held to knock triple APAT Season Two finalist Simon Aukland out in 9th. Robert Ingoldby's Kings were then outdrawn by Jason Jones' flopped set of sevens to see Robert out in 8th.
Next to depart was Stephen Coope in seventh. His KQ hit two pair but lost to James Eccles' turned straight in a battle of two short-stacks. Eccles then ran A 10 into Jones' QQ's and was out 6th.
Jason Jones was by now a one man wrecking crew. He knocked out Chris McDonald in 5th and Stuart Brown in 4th on the same hand when hitting a set of sixes to beat 33 and AK. Next hand he flopped the top straight and straight flush draw against Ian Wheeler's bottom straight on a three way unraised pot, Jason rivered the flush to go heads up with 90% of the chips in play.
Heads Up was inevitably brief given the disparity in chips. Glen Laming pushed randomly, Jason called with an Ace which held and Jason Jones from Wrexham became the Scottish Amateur Poker Champion for 2008.