The first Grosvenor UK Poker Tour event of 2009 picked up where the last one left off, with a huge and fiercely competitive field fighting out for one of the most coveted and best value titles in poker. After a week of well attended side events, 235 players attended the main event and did battle until 53 year old entrepreneur Bernard Litman emerged victorious for the trophy and the £70,520 first prize.
As usual it was a tough field that navigated their way to the final table, with Michael Greco, Ian Frazer and Tim Flanders all amongst the notables who just missed out. LEOCOP winner James Sudworth was one of the players to watch at the final table, and EPT Dortmund Champion Andreas Hoivold made his second GUKPT main event final in 3 months and he took the chip lead with him.
Hoivold used his stack to his advantage, maintaining the chip lead until the action got four handed, when he took a big hit and was eventually taken out by the pocket nines of Sudworth against his unimproved ace-ten, Catwalk model Nick Holbrook followed soon after in 3rd,, being taken out by Litman and giving the Essex man the chip lead in the process. Litman held a 2-1 chip lead over the impressive Sudworth and at one point gave a big chunk of it away, but when Litman was dealt pocket jacks and Sudworth dealt pocket sevens, the money was always going in the middle and the fishhooks held to give Litman the win.
In his post match interview, Litman paid his respect to Sudworth, who really impressed everyone at this festival and really is one to watch in 2009. The second leg of the 2009 GUKPT takes place at the Grosvenor casino in Walsall from 21st February – 1st March, where 300 players are expected to contest the main event.
Place Player Prize
1st Bernard Litman £70,520
2nd James Sudworth £43,480
3rd Nick Holbrook £28,790
4th Andreas Hoivold £18,560
5th Keir Ratcliff £13,860
6th Ramsey Ajram £11,520
7th Richard Lewidon £9,160
8th Matt Perrins £6,820
9th Nathan Lee £4,700
Picture courtesy of Blue Square
Raab and Yong win at the European Poker Awards
The major player honours may have gone elsewhere, but UK poker is proud to see two of its most dedicated an innovative patrons win awards at the European Poker Awards last week. Jonathan Raab won the Casino Staff Person of the Year award for his work as the tour manager of the GUKPT. In the last two years, the GUKPT has got bigger and bigger, the side events have become major honours in their own right, players are flocking in from overseas and some massive names can call themselves GUKPT champions. The GUKPT also managed to produce the European Player of the Year Race winner this year in the shape of Marc Goodwin. Jonathan Raab has been there from the start, overseen every single aspect of the tour and perhaps most importantly, has been very approachable and made a point of including the players in every decision that has been made on the tour.
Rob Yong, the owner and creator of Dusk Till Dawn, won the Rob Gardner Award for Innovation for his work in creating Europe's only fully licensed poker venue. This award is also surely testament to the two year battle to get DTD open in the first place, as Yong faced a lengthy court battle to get a license. Dusk Till Dawn is now a poker player's paradise and after one hugely successful year of trading, looks set to host some massive events this year.
Both men are true heroes of UK poker and these awards are fully deserved, the rest of the results looked like this:
Casino staff person of the year:
Jonathan Raab (Scotland)
Player of the Year:
Bertrand "Elky" Grospelier (France)
Most notable tournament performance of the year:
Peter Eastgate (Denmark)
Europe's Leading Lady:
Sandra Naujoks (Germany)
Rookie of the Year, For the most promising newcomer.
Ivan Demidov ( Russia)
Lifetime achievement award:
Rob Gardner Award for Innovation:
Aussie Millions UK Update
The 2009 Aussie Millions Main Event is now well underway and the UK have thus far represented themselves fantastically. UK player Stuart Barclay won event number one, the $500 No Limit event, for $18,964 and this was quickly followed by 'Action' Dave Morton winning the $500 PLO for $10,550. Several UK players have made final tables, including Jeff Duval and Daniel Neilson who came 2nd in the $1000 no limit pokerpro event.
Two very well known names, Liv Boeree and Neil Channing, both made the final table of the $1650 bounty event and most notably so far, Tony 'The Lizard' Bloom came second in the $100,000 High Rollers Event for a whopping $600,000. All of which is a very good omen for the UK going into this year's main event, and we'll keep you posted on the chip counts as they develop.