Lewis Hield Wins The 2012 UK Student Poker Championships

  • Callum StewartCallum Stewart
Lewis Hield (Photo: d4 Events)

Students flocked to the Ricoh Arena in Coventry for the 2012 Betfred UK Student Poker Championships. The event was almost scrapped at the start of the year due to lack of sponsorship, but students from St. Andrews University in Scotland organised the event themselves within a space of two months, and managed to get some sponsors back on board.

The UK Student Poker Championships was founded by St. Andrews University ten years ago, where they held the tournament with other Scottish uni's in their own union, with just normal tables and felt. the tournament grew and obtained sponsorship as it moved to the Broadway in Birmingham, but the organisation was back with the students this year as they sought our a new venue.

We were grateful to the venue at the G Casino, Ricoh Arena, Coventry for enabling us to host the tournament at such short notice, and the students all agreed that it was a great venue.

The buy in for the main event was just £35, allowing everyone to take part, but the structure rivals that of the UKIPT or GUKPT, with 15k starting stacks and 45 minute blinds, the tournament gives students the taste of a big tournament without putting a big hole in their wallet. Another part of the attraction is that many students travel with their own poker society from University, making this an unforgettable week away with friends, and leaves students and graduates alike coming back year after year.

90 players attending Day 1A with 21 making it through to Day 2.
190 players attending Day 1B (pushing the cap of 200). with 33 making it through to Day 2.

A total of 54 players remained for Day 2, where 28 players would cash from £65, up to £2190 for the winner.

Added value

There was so much added value in this tournament, which meant the students has over £3000 worth of prizes to play for on top of the £8400 prizepool.

Betfred ran a team competition with £300 cash and $500 online bankrolls to the winners. (£650)
The leader of each Day 1 received a £150 bar tab courtesy of Betfred. (£300)
10 GUKPT Goliath seats were added to both the Main Event and High Rollers by G Casino, Coventry. (£1200). These were handed out to high hands, mystery bounties, bubbles, first out and more.
d4 events added a package to their own Deepstack event in Dublin, February 2013 for the winner of the main event, including 550 euro buy-in, 6 nights accommodation and travel expenses. (£1000)

Side events

Side events were running all week, alongside cash games which were packed with students and locals alike.

50 students played a £110 High Roller the day before the main event.
165 players played a £55 casino side event open to all on the evening of Day 1A.

Final Table

Final Table Payouts:

PlacePrizeName (University)
1st£2,190 + 6-Day Dublin DeepStack PackageLewis Hield (Sussex)
2nd£1,460Villus Semenas (Exeter)
3rd£960Nick Birkett (Manchester)
4th£740Sam Keltie (Southampton)
5th£455Damon Wilson (Surrey)
6th£370George Wright (Exeter)
7th£285Will Fasano (Exeter)
8th£225Matt Johnson (Leicester)
9th£160Mark Etchels (Gloucestershire)

Key Hands

The final three can be summed up in three hands. With three players left Villus Semenas held a commanding chip lead and Hield was the short stack.

Semenas and Nick Birkett saw a flop of {4-}{5-}{J-} in which Semenas check called. The turn was a {J-} and the river was another {J-}. Semenas check-called a further two times, and Birkett showed {Q-}{J-} for quads. Semenas mucked and looked annoyed as he has paid of Birkett's value bet on three streets.

Blinds 12,000/24,000/1,500a

The very next hand Lewis Hield raised the button to 50,000, Semenas three-bet the small blind to 125,000 and Birkett went in to the tank before cold four-betting to 325,000 from the big blind. Hield quickly folded , Semenas announced all-in and Birkett called. Semenas showed {A-}{K-} against {Q-}{Q-} and they were racing for around 3,000,000 chips. A king on the flop shot Villus in to the lead, and he had Birkett covered by a couple of big blinds as the turn and river ran out blank.

Semenas started heads-up play with a 3:1 chip lead, but Hield's aggressive play brought him back to even after just 30 minutes. The money went flying in on the river of the board {2-}{6-}{7-}{J-}{5-}. Semenas had {4-Clubs}{3-Clubs} of clubs who has turned the flush draw and the gutshot which he hit on the river. Hield held {9-}{8-} for the nuts, and as Semenas caught up the chips flew in.

Again the chips were even, Hield had Semenas covered by just a couple of antes, and the tournament was all over two hands later when Semenas was dealt {7-}{2-} offsuit all in from his big blind, and Hield's' {K-}{9-} held.

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