Hasmukh Khodiyara is the latest name to be written into the Genting Poker Series (GPS) history books after he outlasted a field of 562 players – the second largest in the tour’s short history – to get his hands on the coveted GPS trophy and the £50,000 first place prize that was awarded to the champion of Sheffield.
Twenty-nine of the original 568 field returned to the Genting Club Sheffield to play out the third and final day of the penultimate leg of the inaugural GPS tour. These 29 hopefuls were whittled down in record time until just the nine-handed final table remained.
First to be busted from the final table was the dangerous Tim Chung, who may thought could have gone all the way and have won the tournament. Chung started the final table as the short-stack and he got these chips into the middle holding . Chung found a caller in the shape of Dusk Till Dawn regular Shola Akindele and her . Chung was already behind in the hand and eventually lost to Akindele’s rivered flush.
Danny Hook was the next player to make his way to the cashier’s cage, after he got his money in good with pocket kings against the of Stephen McGrath. Hook must have been making plans of what to do with his new found chips, but those plans were smashed when an ace appeared on the flop. Hook could not find a third king and he was eliminated in eighth place.
Seventh place belonged to Rob Flett who clashed with McGrath in a monster pot. McGrath would ultimately make a flush on the river with his off-suit king-queen to beat the of Flett, leaving Flett to wonder what could have been. At the end of that hand McGrath held 7,400,000 chips and was suddenly the firm favourite for victory.
After the players returned from their scheduled dinner break Rob Boon decided to make an all-in bet whilst holding . Khodiyara tanked and then called the shove with his . The ace-ten of Boon stayed head right up until the river, when an ugly – for Boom anyway – king made an appearance to shatter his hopes of becoming GPS Sheffield champion.
It was the river that busted the next player, Akindele’s pocket nines looking good for a double up through the of McGrath when the board read . But the fifth and final community card was a jack and with Akindele’s demise the tournament became an all-male affair.
The man who started the finale as the chip leader, Simon Higgins, fell just short of winning his first major title, finishing in fourth place. Higgins committed his stack with and ran straight into the pocket rockets of Khodiyara. No help from the board and Higgins headed for the rail.
They say that in order to win poker tournaments a player needs to win their coinflips, someone had better tell that to Matt Myford. He found himself all in with “Big Slick” and was up against the pocket fives of McGrath. The flop is often the defining street in No Limit Hold’em and it certainly was in this case, because McGrath flopped a set and the hand was essentially done and dusted there and then.
Myford’s exit left McGrath (7,985,000 chips) and Khodiyara (6,270,000) to battle it out one-on-one for the title, the title that would eventually find its way to the hands of Khodiyara. The final hand saw McGrath all-n with and up against Khodiyara’s . By the river of the board neither player had improved, but Khodiyara’s ace-high was better than the queen-high of his opponent and the title of GPS Sheffield champion was bestowed on Khodiyara.
GPS Sheffield Final Table Payouts
The GPS now heads to London for its Grand Final, which is being held in the Fox Poker Club. The Grand Final festival kicks off on Dec. 1 with a £5,000+£350 High Roller but the highlight of the weekend is the £1,500+£100 Grand Final Main Event that carries a £200,000 guaranteed prize pool.
Lead image courtesy of Genting Poker Series