The latest leg of the massively popular Pokerstars UK and Ireland Poker Tour wrapped up this weekend in the former stomping ground of the naturist loving Lady Godiva. 368 runners made the trip to midlands, bidding to win the £46,000 prize money on offer for taking down the third leg of the season.
Amongst the famous faces on display was recent GUKPT London finalist Vicky Coren, the ever cool Mark Goodwin and EPT Deauville champion Jake Cody. None of the above could battle their way through the tough field, however, and after 3 days of bets, bluffs and bad beats it was Daniel Carter’s stack that stood the tallest at the final table with 1.4 million chips. With such a huge chip advantage it was expected that Carter would have his run of the table as the short stacks looked to ladder-up the payouts.
That wasn’t to be the case though as 3-bets were quickly met with 4-bets from all sides, with everybody looking to impose their will and gain some momentum at the table. Indeed, on the very first hand a short stacked Ben Crellin moved all-in with As-9c and was unlucky to run into the Ac-Qh of veteran tournament grinder Joe Grech. The board ran out a miserable 5d, 3d, 4d, 6d, Kc for Crellin and headed for the cashiers’ desk to collect his £2500 prize money. As if the action couldn’t get anymore ferocious things took and almost comical turn as Paul Rigg decided to make a seemingly suicidal all-in call with 7c-2s. With blinds having already consumed 20% of the stack before the flop, Rigg decided he needed to take evasive action to avoid going out with a whimper and duly called the large bet from Dave Jones. The poker gods were clearly impressed with Rigg’s bravery and rewarded him with a straight on the river to trump the Jones’ “Big Slick.” After the hand Dave Jones was left with a major dent in his stack while Rigg carried his momentum on to eventually finish in 5th place.
After Andrew Booth faded away in 9th place it was Ben Dobson who was to feel the wrath of Rigg when he decided the time was right to make a 3-bet shove from the small blind. His Ad-Th was in decent shape against the pocket nines of Rigg before the flop but a wholly uninspiring 6s, 5h, Ks, Kc, 8h board did nothing to improve his hand and he was in 8th for £5000. It took the eliminations of Chris Brice and Lithuanian Marius Lietuvnikas before Rigg’s tournament life was ended. Again Rigg found himself all-in with pocket nines, but this time the he was one step behind the pocket tens of Gilles Augustus and with no help from the board he bagged himself an impressive £10K for his efforts. After entering the final table as chip leader and being fancied by many to take down the title it was Daniel Carter who ran out of luck when, despite having 15 outs at one point, he couldn’t survive his all-in confrontation with Joe Grech. Having suffered some unlucky beats throughout the day he eventually moved all-in with Ks-6s and found himself in good shape against the Ac-9h of Grech on a 7s, 3s, 9c flop. A Td on the turn gave Carter yet more outs but a useless 6h on the river saw to it that the youngster could only add another £12,500 to his ever increasing tournament booty.
After Grech exited in 3rd , it was the UK’s Dave Jones versus Belgium’s Gilles Augustus for the UKIPT Coventry title. It only took 20 hands of small ball poker before the floodgates opened and all the chips flooded into the lap of Augustus. After watching Jones raise from the button, Augustus instantly moved all-in, putting Jones to the test for all his chips. Jones wasted no time in calling with Ah-9d and was unlucky to see his hand dominated by the As-Ks of Augustus. A king on the flop all but killed the action and with the final board reading: Kc, 4s, 6h, 9c, 5d the Belgian earned his first live tournament win, £46,100 and a seat in the £5000 EPT London. The sit-and-go grinder always looked comfortable when the play was three-handed and although his post-tournament ritual of downing two tequilas probably won’t catch on, his Stella (excuse the pun) performance certainly earned him a memorable victory.
The Final Table payouts
1: Gilles Augustus, - £46,000 (PokerStars player)
2: Dave Jones - £29,400
3: Joe Grech - £16,100
4: Dan Carter - £12,700
5: Paul Rigg - £10,200
6: Marius Lietuvnikas - £8,200, (PokerStars player)
7: Chris Brice - £6,600
8: Ben Dobson, - £5,000 (PokerStars qualifier)
9: Andrew Booth - £3,500
10: Ben Crellin, PokerStars qualifier - £2,500