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Paul Vas Nunes Crowned 2014 GUKPT Reading Champion

Paul Vas Nunes: 2014 GUKPT Reading Main Event champion

Paul Vas Nunes, a prolific online poker player, secured his third live title on Sunday when he won the 2014 Grosvenor UK poker Tour (GUKPT) Reading Main Event. The Surrey-based pro adds the GUKPT gong to his victories in 2011 at the Unibet Open Dublin and a £330 side event at UKIPT Manchester.

The tournament’s final day started with 19 players competing for the title, but 10 of those hopefuls busted during the first two-and-a-half hours of play to leave only the final table of nine. Tony Hallam was the first player to bust and he was followed to the rail, via the cashier’s cage, by recent Genting Poker Series (GPS) Stooke champion Iwan Jones, Khizar Hayat, Vance Martin, Janice Phillips, Alex Liang, Ernest Waczkow, Neo Neophytou, Gavin Kan and the final table bubble boy Tim Wright.

With Wright’s elimination in 10th place, the final table was set and the players lined up as follows:

2014 GUKPT Reading Main Event Final Table

1Haresh Thaker738,000
2Steven Chennells162,000
3Albert Sapiano313,500
4Daniel James869,000
5Jeff Hemmerman290,500
6Willie Tann906,000
7Richard Turner240,500
8Paul Vas Nunes870,000
9Robert Whatsize875,500

The nine finalists felt each other out for 20-minutes before Albert Sapiano made an ill-timed move on a {5-Hearts}{10-Spades}{5-Diamonds}{6-Hearts}{A-Diamonds} board when he moved all-in on the river with his {A-Spades}{J-Clubs}. Sadly for Sapiano, Haresh Thaker was sat there with {A-Spades}{A-Hearts} and had one of the easiest calls of his career. Call he did and his full house was more than enough to send Sapiano on his way.

Steve Chennells was the next player to fall, busting at the hands of Willie Tann. Chennells opened to 26,000 and then called when Tann three-bet to 77,000. The flop fell {Q-Clubs}{J-Spades}{3-Hearts}, Chennells checked, Tann bet 77,000 and snap-called when Chennells check-raised all-on for around 400,000 in total.

Chennells showed {A-Clubs}{Q-Diamonds} and Tann the {K-Diamonds}{K-Clubs}. A {6-Spades} on the turn was followed by the {10-Hearts} on the river and with that Chennells was gone in eighth place.

Within minutes there was another elimination when Vas Nunes raised to 32,000 and Rob Whatsize called. Daniel James, the start-of-day chip leader, squeezed to 110,000 from the big blind and Vas Nunes stepped out of the way. Whatsize paused for almost a minute before shipping his stack into the middle of the felt and James decided to look him up.

It was the {A-Diamonds}{J-Hearts} of Whatsize versus the {A-Spades}{K-Clubs} of James and when the board ran {10-Hearts}{2-Hearts}{8-Diamonds}{10-Clubs}{3-Diamonds} Whatsize’s tournament was over and only six players remained in the tournament.

Those six gained some more elbow room ten minutes after Whatsize’s exit when Richard Turner crashed out at the hands of Vas Nunes. With the board reading {6-Diamonds}{5-Hearts}{Q-Hearts}{4-Spades}, Turner bet 150,000 into the 225,000 pot and Vas Nunes called. The {2-Hearts} turn was greeted by an all-in bet of 250,000 from Turner and a call by Vas Nunes to put Turner at risk of elimination.

Turned flipped over {5-Diamonds}{5-Clubs} for a set of fives, a strong hand indeed but that was well beaten by the {K-Hearts}{9-Hearts} in Vas Nunes’ hand that had improved to a flush on the river.

From that moment on, Vas Nunes put his foot firmly on the gas pedal and was hoovering up chips as if they were going out of fashion. By the time Jeff Hemmerman busted in fifth place, Vas Nunes had 2,553,000 chips in front of him with James’ 1,335,000 stack being the second largest.

The four remaining players decided to lower the variance of the tournament by splitting the prize pool and altering the payout structure. Van Nunes secured £20,000 with James banking no less than £16,000. Both Tann and Thaker locked up £14,000 with the remainder of the prize pool being divvied up among the final three finishers.

It took another 90-minutes of play before the final table lost another player, that player being Thaker. After opening to 60,000, Thaker saw James three-bet to 130,000 and then Vas Nunes four-bet to 280,000 from the big blind. Thaker jammed all-in for 725,000 and when James folded the cards were revealed.

Van Nunes turned over {J-Diamonds}{J-Hearts} and was ahead of the {10-Diamonds}{10-Hearts} being displayed in front of Thaker. The five community cards fell {8-Clubs}{7-Hearts}{3-Diamonds}{K-Spades}{7-Clubs} and with that Thaker was gone.

Shortly after Thaker’s demise, James headed for the exits, albeit with an additional £6,000 to show for his third place finish. James’ exit hand saw Tann open, Vas Nunes re-raise to 165,000 and James four-bet to 315,000 with around 900,000 chips behind. Tann mucked, Vas Nunes moved all-in and James called.

It was jacks again for Vas Nunes who showed {J-Clubs}{J-Diamonds} and {A-Diamonds}{J-Spades} for James. The {2-Diamonds}{K-Diamonds}{7-Hearts}{4-Spades}{Q-Clubs} board was void of aces, unlikely flushes and straights and James busted from the GUKPT Reading Main Event.

That left Tann (1,500,000 chips) and Vas Nunes (3,500,000) to battle it out for the title of champion. It was a one-on-one battle that spanned more than 90-minutes and ended with Vas Nunes stacking all of the chips in front of him and posing for the winner’s photos.

The final hand saw all of the chips go into the middle on the {8-Diamonds}{2-Clubs}{10-Spades}{k-Clubs} flop, Tann being the all-in player and needing some help for his {A-Diamonds}{10-Clubs} because Vas Nunes was sat with the superior {K-Diamonds}{6-Diamonds}. The river had to be a ten or ace, but it was the {4-Spades}, busting Tann and leaving Vas Nunes to bask in the glory of winning such a prestigious event.

2014 GUKPT Reading Main Event Final Table Results

1Paul Vas Nunes£29,200*
2Willie Tann£22,800*
3Daniel James£22,000*
4Haresh Thaker£14,000*
5Jeff Hemmerman£6,850
6Richard Turner£5,050
7Rob Whatsize£4,050
8Steven Chennells£3,200
9Albert Sapiano£2,700

*reflects deals to change the original payouts

Next up for the GUKPT is a trip up north to Leeds on September 3 through September 7. You can qualify for the £550 buy-in £100,000 guaranteed Main Event at Grosvenor Poker, with satellites running now.

Lead image courtesy of the GUKPT blog

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