While the majority of the United Kingdom and Ireland trudge off to their nine-to-fives on Monday morning nursing a severe case of the Monday Blues, Tony Hallam will have a spring in his step, a smile on his face and £34,360 in his bank account thanks to him becoming the 2013 Genting Poker Series (GPS) Stoke Main Event Champion.
Hallam started Day 3 in 16th place out of the 17 surviving players, but he did not let that fact drag his confidence down. Around half-an-hour into play, Gary Strang – the shortest stack in the tournament – and Hallam got their chips into the middle of the felt preflop, Strang with pocket jacks and Hallam ace-king. Strang’s jacks remained the best hand on a flop, but they fell way behind upon the arrival of a king on the turn. The river was a five, Strang busted, Hallam climbed to 350,000 chips and was still one of the shorter stacks.
An hour later, after losing a few chips, Hallam doubled through Justin Devonport to find himself with 500,000 chips at his disposal. Devonport opened from one of the early positions and then called when Hallam shipped in his stack from the small blind for an additional 225,000 chips. Devonport showed and was in big trouble against Hallam’s . The flop left Devonport needing a ten and only a ten in order to avoid losing the hand. The turn and river improved Hallam to an unnecessary flush and put Hallam back in contention.
At around 5 p.m, some four hours after the tournament recommenced, the nine-handed final table was set and Hallam was still one of the shortest stacks.
First casualty of the final table
Maurice Nicholson was the final table’s first casualty in somewhat of a cooler hand. The flop read and after a flurry of activity, Nicholson was all in holding for two pair. Devonport, however, held for a Broadway straight and when the turn and river failed to fill Nicholson’s boat, he became the ninth place finisher.
Eight-handed play lasted an hour before Nick Ramsey busted in eighth place. Ramsey was all in for 600,000 chips with and in very bad shape against the dominating of Tom Seaman. Ramsey flopped a set of fours on the flop, but Seaman had also improved to a set. The case four failed to make an appearance and Ramsey exited from the tournament area.
Fifty-minutes later and a massive pot went down that saw Devonport eliminated by Jon Alley. The latter opened to 130,000 and then called when Devonport three-bet to 255,000 from the small blind. Devonport led for 235,000 on the flop, Alley moved all in and Devonport instantly called, creating a pot in excess of 3,000,000 chips! Devonport turned over and Alley the . The dealer burned a card before placing the onto the turn, leaving Devonport needing a non-spade nine in order to not bust. It didn’t arrive, though, as the river was the , sending Devonport home and Alley to 5,000,000 chips – around half of the chips in play.
Alley then added more chips to his stack when his held against the of Seaman to send Season to the sidelines in sixth place and lock up a five-figure payday for the remaining five players.
Gabriel Tuna became the fifth place finisher when he made an ill-timed move in a battle of the blinds. The action passed around to Tuna and he looked down at and decided the best course of action was to open-shove for 20 big blinds. This would usually result in Tuna winning the blinds and antes, however, this time he picked up a caller in the shape of Ray Power and his . By the river the board read and Power’s full house took the pot and sent Tuna home.
Five became four with the exit of Demetris Theophanous who ran his pocket deuces straight into the monster that is of Alley. The board was void of drama and Theophanous headed to the cashier’s desk to pick up fourth place money, £13,860 to you and I.
Heads-up was reached when Power three-bet shoved over the top of an Alley raise with what turned out to be . Alley made the call with a lowly pair of threes, which improved to a set on the flop. The turn and river were both sevens, giving Alley a full house and sending Power to the rail.
The final two players agreed to skim some money off the winner’s prize to secure a £30,000 payout, not a bad wage for three day’s work. Alley held a 6,220,000 to 4,650,000 lead over Hallam but that situation changed quickly.
On a flop reading , Hallam bet 225,000 only to see Alley raise to 475,000. Hallam was not done with his hand, he raised to 975,000. Alley was also going nowhere and he stuck in another raise, this one to 2,260,000! Hallam then moved all in and Alley called. Alley showed for an overpair and had to avoid a diamond or an ace in order to win the title. The was perfect for Alley, but the completed Hallam’s flush, saw his stack swell to 9,000,000 and left Alley with 1,200,000.
Alley started to stage a comeback, although it was cut short by a cruel river card. Hallam opened to 200,000 and after Alley-three bet, Hallam moved all in. Alley called and flipped over and was set to double up as Hallam held the inferior . Both players paired their ace on the flop. The turn failed to alter anything but the river gifted Hallam two-pair and the victory!
Genting Poker Series Stoke Main Event Final Table Results
*reflects a deal when heads-up
The next leg of the GPS takes place from October 10 in Edinburgh and should see another crowd approaching 400 runners.