Dinh Tuan Nguyen is more than £15,000 richer than he was a couple of days ago after winning the largest-ever UKIPT Series event at The Hippodrome Casino, London.
A total of 464 players exchanged £250+£20 over two starting days to create a prize pool of £112,500. Of those 464 starters, 137 of them made it through to Sunday’s Day 2 and of those only 63 received any prize money for their efforts.
The bubble burst at almost exactly 3 p.m when Keith Ellis move all-in from the button with what turned out to be . Daniel Whittaker called off his last 35,000 (around four big blinds) and showed a dominated . The board was void of drama, Whittaker busted in 64th place and everyone else was in the money.
As is usually the case when the bubble bursts, there was a flurry of exits before play slowed down to a more manageable level. Five hours after the prize money started to be distributed the eight-handed final table was set, with the players lining up as follows:
|3||Dinh Tuan Nguyen||400,000|
|5||Jesus Espinosa Fernandez||2,995,000|
Early into the final table action, Nguyen scored a much needed double up when his red four prevailed against the of Salman Safdar to put himself back contention. Shortly after Nguyen’s double, the final table lost its first player.
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Lorenzo Biundo started the preflop betting round with a raise to 125,000 from under the gun. The action folded to Ireland’s Paul Grace on the button, he three-bet all in for 250,000 in total and Biundo was left with an easy call. Biundo flipped over and found he was behind to the of Grace. That was until Biundo caught an ace on the flop, leaving Grace drawing to running diamonds or the case jack. None of those cards appeared on the turn or river and Grace exited in eighth place.
Nguyen then doubled through Biundo and the latter never managed to recover. Down to 525,000 and facing a 120,000 button open from Jesus Espinosa Fernandez, Biundo three-bet all in from the small blind with . Fernandez looked him up with and when the five community cards fell it was game over for a disappointed Biundo.
Half hour later and Safdar’s tournament came to an abrupt end. Safdar shipped in his five big blind stack (325,000) after Fernandez had opened to 160,000. Daniel Bonfield called and it was three-ways – one all in player – to the flop. Bonfield announced he was all in for around 1.2 million and Fernandez moved out of the way. Safdar was in big trouble because he could only hit a non-heart trey or he would be eliminated. The turn failed to alter anything, but the river improved Bonfield to a flush and sent Safdar to the rail in sixth place.
With five players remaining and only 58 big blinds in play, the tournament was paused and the players discussed splitting the remaining prize pool. After a brief discussion, the final five players decided to chop the prize pool using ICM, leaving £3,265 for the eventual champion. Ninety minutes later and the tournament ended.
Frank Bastow became the fifth place finisher when Michali Voulagkas moved all in for 640,000 at the 50,000/100,000/10,000a level with pocket kings and Bastow called with . The flop left Bastow drawing to the last remaining queen in the deck, and it did not arrive.
Shortly after midnight, Fernandez got his 1,900,000 stack into the middle with and Nguyen looked him up with a lowly pair of deuces. A board that read kept the small pocket pair as the best hand and Fernandez headed for the rail.
Third place went to Voulagkas who saw his four big bind shove with called by Bonfield’s and then the flop come down to gift Bonfield unlikely trip sixes, which improved to a boat on the turn.
Heads-up then lasted all of one hand as Nguyen open-shoved for slightly more than five million and Bonfield snap-called. Nguyen showed to Bonfield’s and when the board ran out it was game over for Bonfield and 28-year old Vietnamese Nguyen had won his first major live poker title.
UKIPT Series 3 Final Table Results
|1st||Dinh Tuan Nguyen||£15,348*|
|4th||Jesus Espinosa Fernandez||£14,122*|
*Reflects a five-way chop
Data from the PokerStars Blog was used to create this article. Lead image remains the copyright of Neil Stoddart.