This weekend saw the inaugural Chipleader tournament take place at the Dusk Till Dawn poker club in Nottingham, a tournament that was eventually won by Mark James who took home €32,500 for his efforts.
The Chipleader tournament was a unique event in that players could only gain entry by qualifying online via 20-handed tournaments held on the Dusk Till Dawn site. Players earned chips based on their online results in selected tournaments and once their starting stack had reached at least 15,000 they were granted a place in the live final, which had a guaranteed prize pool of €100,000.
In total 220 players qualified for the live final, of which only 73 made it through to the second day's play with 18 places paid. The unlucky 19th placed player – and therefore bubble boy – was Christopher Auberger who got his short stack in with and found a caller in the evetual winner James and his . James' hand held and the surviving 18 players were all guaranteed some cash for their efforts; €1,000 to be exact.
One by one the now in-the-money players were being whittled down until just the final nine remained. They lined up as follows:
Almost immediately after the final table got underway Matt Miners lost his stack and became the ninth place finisher. His lost out to the of Kyriacos “Greek Jack” Dionysiou when the board ran out .
Next to go was Nick Singh who got his chips into the middle holding against the pocket nines of Willis Marrow and despite flopping the world on a board there was no ace, ten or diamond on the turn or river and Singh became the eighth place finsiher, good for €2,500.
Seventh place – and €3,500 – went to Paul Barradel who clashed with the seemingly unstoppable James to be left with just 500,000 chips (blinds 75,000/150,000) and these went into the middle with against the dominating of Chris Goodson. The “Big Slick” held and the Chipleader live final was down to the final six players.
That number became five as Greek Jack found ace-king but unlike Goodson before him, his hand did not prevail as James' pair of jacks stayed in front until the river, leaving Greek Jack to head to the cashier's cage to pick up €4,500 for his efforts.
Tan Le who was being watching by his brother all the way over in Vietnam, was the next player to be sent to the rail, albeit with €6,000 in his back pocket. Le's elimination meant that Goodson became the winner of the Golden Chip promotion meaning he walked away with a $6,000 package to the St Kitts festival in a few months time. Pretty good value from a sit-n-go promotion!
Four became three with the eliminartion of Patrick Simcoe. He saw his stack starting to dwindle and got it into the middle with and Goodson made the call with a pocket fours. The flop gifted Goodson a set but the turn meant the hand was not over because a king on the river would have improved Simcoe to a straight. It failed t materialse though as the river was a six and Simcoe was sent for an early bath, but at least he had €8,000 to help sooth the pain of not taking down this fantastic tournament.
Heads-up was reached when Goodson's pocket tens lost out to Marrow's king-queen but the one-on-one battle was rather one-sided and took no time at all to complete. Marrow started with a 10,200,000 to 7,100,000 chip lead but on the very first hand of heads-up play James soared into the lead. Marrow limped in and James checked his option. The flop came down , Marrow bet 1,000,000 then called when james clicked it back and set the price to play at 2,000,000. The tuen was the , Marrow initially checked and james went all-in. Marrow eventually made the call with but was drawing dead to the ] of his opponent.
It was over within minutes of that monster hand taking place. Marrow committed his micro stack with and James made the easy call with his pair of sixed. No help arrived for marrow on the queen high board and he was eliminated in second place for a cool €19,000, leaving James and his very drunk and rowdy rail to pick up the €32,500 first place prize.
DTD Chipleader Final Table Results
|5||Tan Luan Le||€6,000|
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Live reports from Blonde Poker were used to create this article