Over at the Vic the Grosvenor UK Poker Tour (GUKPT) player of the year race has gone down to the wire. For a long time it looked like GUKPT London Champion Martin Silke was going to run away with it, but late surges from Karl Mahrenholz and Richard Gryko has really thrown the race wide open.
Mahrenholz won both the £300 NL and the £500 PLO Freezeouts this week, which added to his earlier Cardiff Main Event win as well as another PLO side event, has catapulted him to 303 points. Gryko who won GUKPT Luton also won the £1000 side event this week, giving him 305 points, with Silke still on top with 329.5 points.
Prolific GUKPT regular David Johnson, who has won one side event and made 5 finals, is also well in the mix.
But what is really exciting about this race is that the 1st and 2nd place runners face each other today in the £5000 GUKPT UK Heads Up Championship. Silke, who defeated Victoria Coren in an 8-hour first round match claimed his place in the final after beating Tom Bentham in the semi-finals. Gryko defeated World Heads Up Champion Bambos Xanthos in his semi-final match, which lasted just one hand. Both players had flopped two pairs on an A-7-9 board but Gryko's A-7 dominated Xanthos's 9-7.
With 125 points to the winner and 100 to the runner up, this could very likely determine the eventual player of the year. With just a few ranking events left and the Champion of Champions event in Luton next week, expect all four men to play in every event between now and the end of the season. The first prize for the player of the year is £20,000, which will no doubt see one of the most fiercely contested heads up finals you are likely to see today from 3pm at the Vic.
Player of the Year Standings
1st - Martin Silke - 329.5 pts
2nd - Richard Gryko - 305 pts
3rd - Karl Mahrenholz - 303 pts
4th - David Johnson - 302 pts