The sixth season of the Grosvenor UK Poker Tour (GUKPT) got under way this weekend at the G Casino in Manchester. In total 171 players exchanged £1,070 for 20,000 tournament chips and the tried, tested and trusted GUKPT blind structure. By the time the dust had settled in Manchester it was Lewis Hunter who emerged victorious with a huge smile and a £49,600 in his back pocket.
As is usually the case in GUKPT events the cream of British poker were in attendance looking for that big score to kick off the year. Amongst the familiar faces were the Main Event Travel sponsored pro Sam Macdonald, John Eames, Matt Perrins, Stuart Fox, David Nicholson, Will Fry, Jake Cody, Sunny Chattha and Karl Mahrenholz but amazingly none of these players made it through to the top 17 spots where the prize money was awarded.
In fact eventual winner Hunter almost did not cash as he was all in and at risk right on the bubble. He found his in horrible shape against the of Kevin Steele but managed to his his two-outer to stay in the tournament. As Lewis was thanking his lucky stars Dan Samson was ruing his bad luck and heading to the rail as the first GUKPT bubble boy of the year. He was all in with against the of Gary Holden but not only was there no ace amongst the five community cards Holden made a full house and the bubble burst.
With everyone guaranteed at least £2,140 for their troubles the eliminations came thick and fast and the more aggressive players helped themselves to chips. Nobody more so than Sam Grafton who entered the nine handed final table as the only player with more than a million ceramic discs.
GUKPT Manchester Final Table Seat Draw
One by one the players fell by the wayside, including Grafton who despite his monster stack could not progress further than fifth place. Allan Doyle doubled through Grafton before he made a 500,000 chip move preflop with just and Lewis made an equally ridiculous call with just and Grafton was sent packing.
You may recognise the the fourth place finisher as a name that has appeared on these pages before, Danny Blair. You may recall that Blair win the Fox Poker Club Main Event in October but the £13,250 he picked up for finishing fourth in the GUKPT Manchester Main Event is the largest-cash of his career so far. Blair was disappointed with not winning but obviously happy with picking up for than £13k for his efforts in Manchester but he was nowhere near as happy as Doyle, the third place finisher, who qualified for this tournament in a £75 live satellite and turned it into £21,800.
The heads-up battle between Hunter and Steele was exciting an explosive encounter that last around an hour and when the final hand took place it was decided by a slight difference in kickers. Both players checked an ace-high flop then got their money on on the turn, Lewis holding to Steele's . There was no micracle three outer on the river for Steele and Lewis became the first GUKPT Champion of Season 6.
GUKPT Manchester Final Table Results
The GUKPT next heads to Walsall on March 11.
Maybe you could use the prize money from our exclusive $67,500 PokerStars PokerNews Freeroll Series to buy into the Walsall leg of the GUKPT and follow in Lewis Hunter's footsteps?