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Michael Richardson Wins the GPS Nottingham Main Event

Michael Richardson, winner of the 2013 Genting Poker Series Nottingham Main Event

The record-breaking Genting Poker Series Nottingham Main Event came to a thrilling conclusion in the early hours of Monday morning when Michael Richardson defeated Simon Deadman heads-up to become the final GPS champion of Season 2.

Day 3 started with 38 players in contention for the title of champion and after five hours of intense poker action, those 38 hopefuls had been reduced to the final table of nine. Deadman was the chip leader at the start of the nine-handed final table, closely followed by start-of-the-day leader Stuart Giulian. Here’s how the finalists lined up.

Genting Poker Series Nottingham Final Table Seat Draw

1JP Kelly1,930,000
2Asif Raja2,500,000
3Tim Slater2,452,000
4Michael Richardson2,250,000
5Niels Ladefoged2,070,000
6Stuart Giulian3,810,000
7Grant Mercado2,175,000
8Chris Vernon2,175,000
9Simon Seadman3,920,000

Nine-handed play lasted a full hour-long level before JP Kelly found himself coolered by Deadman. The blinds were 40,000/80,000/10,000a and Deadman made it 160,000 to play. Kelly moved all-in for 800,000 in total and Deadman made possibly the quickest and easiest call of his career so far. Kelly flipped over {A-}{K-} and Deaman had his smashed to smithereens with the {A-}{A-}. To rub salt into the wound, Deadman improved to a flush by the turn and Kelly – a double World Series of Poker bracelet winner – busted in ninth place.

Chris Vernon followed Kelly to the cashier’s cage around half an hour later when he three-bet all-in for 900,000 following an opening raise of 160,000 from Grant Mercado. The latter held {A-}{K-} and was dominating the {A-}{8-} of Vernon. The {K-}{2-}{K-} flop was rather final and Vernon headed away from the tournament area to collect eighth place money.

Despite winning Vernon’s chips, Mercado was the next casualty of the night. After opening to 175,000, Mercado then faced a three-bet to 330,000 from Deadman. Mercado put in a four-bet to 825,000 and then called off his remaining 2,400,000 when Deadman five-bet all-in. Mercado showed {A-}{K-} but once again Deadman held a premium pair, this time pocket kings. Neither player improved by the river, Mercado crashed out and Deadman soared to over 7,000,000 in chips and was by far the chip leader.

Six became five a few minutes later after short stack Asif Raja moved all in with {K-}{Q-} and was looked up by Richardson and his dominating {A-}{K-}. Richardson paired both his ace and king on the flop and when Raja couldn’t find running queens, he was eliminated from the tournament.

Shortly after Raja’s exit, the five surviving players went on a scheduled break. Ten minutes after returning to the Dusk Till Dawn casino’s feature table, Niels Ladefoged clashed with Deadman and was sent to the rail. In Ladefoged’s exit hand, Deadman opened to 240,000 and then called when Ladefoged made it 450,000 to play. The pair saw the {6-}{Q-}{3-} flop come into view, Ladefoged continuing his aggression and Deadman calling. A lowly {2-} was the turn card; Ladefoged greeted it with a 775,000 bet and Deadman looked him up. The river was a seven and Ladefoged shipped in his 2.5 million stack, only to be instantly called by Deadman who turned {3-}{3-} onto its back for a set of threes. Ladefoged showed a pair of nines and casually headed off to collect his winnings.

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Deadman was already running away with the tournament when added even more chips to his mountainous stack after sending Giulian to the sidelines. Giulian opened to 240,000 from the small blind and Deadman called from the big blind. A {2-Diamonds}{6-Diamonds}{5-Spades} flop saw Giulian lead for 350,000 and Deadman raise to 785,000. Giulian paused for a few moments before jamming all-in for almost three million chips. Deaman called, turned over {5-Diamonds}{4-Diamonds} and found himself ahead of Giulian’s {A-Clubs}{10-Diamonds}. Deadman’s grip on the tournament tightened with the arrival of the {9-Spades} on the turn and when the {5-Clubs} completed the board, Deadman climbed to 13.5 million chips, which was more than half of the chips in play.

Although in an extremely dominant position, Deadman agreed to discuss a deal with his two remaining opponents and a deal was in fact done. Deadman locked up £70,000 with Tim Slater taking home £42,500 and Richardson £38,000. The eventual champion would claim the trophy and an additional £1,000.

The deal was of the greatest benefit to Slater who became the third place finisher at around 02:30am on Monday morning. Slater committed his stack with {9-}{7-} on a {9-Hearts}{A-Hearts}{7-Hearts} flop, only to discover Deadman had flopped a flush with his {K-Hearts}{2-Hearts}! Neither the turn nor river improved Slater and he busted in third place.

Slater’s exit left Deadman (16 million chips) and Richardson (8 million chips) to lock horns heads-up. Richardson decided he couldn’t outplay Deadman postflop so resorted to shoving all-in every time he had the button. It was a strategy that saw him get lucky with when he moved all-in with {A-}{5-} and Deadman called with {A-}{10-}. A five appeared on the flop and was enough to see the chip counts reversed.

Soon after that tournament-changing hand, Richardson moved all-in and Deadman called, turning over {A-}{8-} as he did so. Richardson held a pair of tens and when the board ran out nine-high, Richardson was announced as the GPS Nottingham champion, although Deadman would still have been the happier of the two players.

Genting Poker Series Nottingham Final Table Results

1Michael Richardson£39,000*
2Simon Deadman£70,000*
3Tim Slater£42,500*
4Stuart Guilian£16,500
5Niels Ladefoged£12,500
6Asif Rajah£10,500
7Grant Mercado£8,500
8Chris Vernon£7,000
9JP Kelly£5,500

*reflects a three-way deal

The 2014 season of the GPS kicks off in a months time when the Star City Casino in Birmingham hosts the first leg of the increasingly popular tour's third season.

Rob Yong, owner of Dusk Till Dawn, was delighted that it was a satellite winner that went on to win the Main Event:

"I am over the moon that the winner came from a live satellite in Newcastle Genting, one of the venues that I visited during my recent tour of Genting venues. In terms of the 935 total, that's 7.5% under our target, but still okay for a five-week run up. What was great about this event was that people came from all corners of the UK, it's good to have another record for a bumper field and I am looking forward to September when we must surely qualify more players with a longer run up."

Lead image courtesy of the Genting Poker blog.

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