318 players set their sights on a £127,800 first prize at GUKPT London and it resulted in one of the bigger final tables ever seen on the tour. Online star Laurence Houghton, EPT Champion Vicky Coren, circuit regular Rumit Somaiya, blogger Mick McCool, GUKPT champion Darren Annis and UK poker Godfather Neil Channing all looked to cement their status in the game with a GUKPT trophy, but it would be a new name to emerge from that high calibre pack.
Neil Channing looked favourite to be crowned the champion on his stomping ground of the Vic when he eliminated Leon Bui in third place to hold a 2-1 chip lead heads up. But Cuong Tran would flip the script in just two hands, first turning a straight against the trio eights of the Irish Open champion, then flopping a ten with 10-7 after finding himself all in pre flop vs the pocket nines of Channing, giving him the title.
Tran from Vietnam is a former beauty salon owner and amazingly, third place Leon Bui is also a Vietnamese former beautician. Tran has now indicated he will be a regular fixture on the GUKPT tour.
The tour now heads north to Manchester when the G Casino, Bury New Rd hosts the 4th leg from 17th - 25th April. But before then, the second round of GUKPT Club Championship tournaments takes place on Saturday April 10th. New for 2010, the Club Championships are a series of £200 freezeouts, which take place in all 23 G and Grosvenor casinos with poker rooms. The April 10th events are being held at the G casinos in Bolton and Dundee and the Grosvenor casinos in Stoke and Southampton.
1st Cuong Tran £127,800
2nd Neil Channing £84,700
3rd Leon Bui £56,000
4th Rumit Somaiya £33,400
5th Steven Ducharme £25,300
6th Salman Behbhani £20,500
7th Michael McCool £15,700
8th Darren Annis £11,900
9th Victoria Coren £9,100
10th Laurence Houghton £6,700
Chip counts and images courtesy of the GUKPT.
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