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Ali Ayub Wins the 2014 Genting Poker Series DTD Main Event

Ali Ayub

The 2014 Genting Poker Series (GPS) DTD Main Event came to a thrilling conclusion on Sunday night when Ali Ayub came out on top, denying Ellie Biessek from winning her second GPS title. Biessek ultimately had the last laugh because she scooped the most prize money when the final three players made a deal, but more on that later.

Thirty players returned to Nottingham’s Dusk Till Dawn for the final day of the £440 buy-in Main Event and they were reduced to the final nine over the course of five hours of intense poker action.

Talented players such as Stuart Fox (29th), Rob Sherwood (26th), Rana Gurnam (22nd), Ben Martin (19th), Leon Campbell (18th), Yucel “Mad Turk” Eminoglu (16th), Mark McCluskey (13th) and Lee Tatters (11th) being among the fallen.

Tenth place, and therefore the unwanted title of final table bubble boy, went to Dan O’Callaghan.

O’Callaghan started the final day as the tournament’s chip leader, but he ran out of steam – and into aces – to crash out in 10th place. His hopes were dashed when Hamid Rowshanaei opened the preflop betting round and O’Callaghan moved all-in. Mark Elliott re-shoved and when Rowshanaei ducked out of the way, O’Callaghan flipped over {Q-}{Q-} and Elliott {A-}{A-}.

The five-high board was void of drama and O’Callaghan handed his stack over to Elliott.

2014 Genting Poker Series DTD Final Table

1Eirimas Livonas895,000
2Mark Elliott2,625,000
3Steve Watts1,285,000
4Zigmantas Jockus970,000
5Chris Sly2,255,000
6Hamid Rowshanaei2,955,000
7Michael Howard 
8Ellie Biessek1,565,000
9Ali Ayub1,635,000

It took almost three hours for the final table to lose its first player and that player was the former Grosvenor UK Poker Tour (GUKPT) Didsbury and 2013 APAT World Champion Eirimas Livonas. Down to 14 big blinds, Livonas jammed all-in with {K-}{Q-} and Rowshanaei called with pocket tens A {10-}{3-}{2-}{2-}{Q-} board was definitely not what Livonas wanted to see and he crashed out in ninth place.

Livonas was joined on the sidelines 10 minutes later when Michael Howard became unstuck. Howard was all-in with {10-}{10-} and those tens had run straight into the {A-}{A-} of Ali Ayub. Again, the best hand stayed ahead as the board fell {5-}{j-}{8-}{2-}{3-} and with that Howard was gone.

Another 45-minutes passed by before the players received more elbow room after the exit of one of their former foes.

Ayub raised to 200,000 and then called when Rowshanaei three-bet all-in for 650,000 from the big blind. It was one of tournament poker’s many coinflips, Ayub holding {A-Hearts}{K-Spades} versus the {6-Clubs}{6-Spades} of Rowshanaei. Ayub took the lead on the {Q-Clubs}{9-Spades}{A-Diamonds} flop and stayed there when the turn and river came {5-Spades} and {5-Clubs}.

Soon after Rowshanaei’s demise, former professional footballer Steve Watts busted at the hands of Biessek. Watts found {A-Hearts}{J-Hearts} and moved all-in for 11 big blinds and will count himself as being unfortunate that Biessek woke up with the dominating {A-Clubs}{Q-Clubs}.

Both players caught an ace on the {4-Hearts}{A-Spades}{K-Hearts} flop, but Biessek was still in front. Biessek locked up the hand when the {Q-Spades} peeled off on the turn, rendering the {9-Diamonds} river inconsequential.

Zigmantas Jockus was the next to fall, losing a crucial coinflip against Chris Sly. Jockus only had 5.5 big blinds when he moved all-in with {6-Spades}{6-Hearts} so Sly opted to look him up with {A-Clubs}{9-Spades} and was rewarded with an ace on the flop of the {K-Spades}{7-Clubs}{A-Hearts}{10-Hearts}{10-Spades} board. Game over for Jockus.

Despite climbing to 2.8 million in chips, Sly was the next casualty of the final table.

Sly opened to 250,000 with {A-Clubs}{J-Spades} from the small blind and Biessek called from the big blind with {K-Spades}{7-Spades}. The flop came down {A-Spades}{5-Clubs}{6-Spades}, Sly bet, Biessek raised and then called when Sly moved all-in, creating a pot of 6 million chips. Sly held top pair with Biessek a draw to the flush. The {2-Spades} on the turn improved Biessek to an unbeatable flush and Sly was gone. The river was the {6-Hearts} for those of you at home who want complete information!

With Sly out of the way, the three remaining players paused the tournament and discussed a deal. Those discussions proved fruitful with Biessek claiming £50,680, Ali Ayub £40,225 and Mark Elliott £35,760.

Elliott busted in third place when he moved all-in for 2 million chips with {A-Diamonds}{10-Hearts} and was snapped off by Ayub who found {A-Clubs}{A-Hearts} again! The five community cards ran out {7-Hearts}{7-Diamonds}{10-Clubs}{6-Spades}{K-Hearts} to leave the aces as the best hand and Elliott headed into the cold Nottingham night air.

A brief, yet intense, heads-up battle between Biessek and Ayub ended at 12:30 a.m on Monday morning when Biessek opened, Ayub three-bet and Biessek responded by four-betting. Ayub was going nowhere and he moved all-in. Biessek called and the cards turned onto their backs.

Biessek was ahead with her {A-}{9-} and Ayub’s {K-Hearts}{10-Spades} needed some help from the board. That help didn’t arrive on the {3-}{5-}{6-} flop or the {3-} turn, but a king on the river was enough to send Biessek home in second place and crown Ayub as the 2014 GPS DTD champion.

2014 Genting Poker Series DTD Final Table Results

1Ali Ayub£40,255*
2Ellie Biessek£50,680*
3Mark Elliott£35,760*
4Chris Sly£17,500
5Zigmantas Jockus£12,750
6Steve Watts£9,500
7Hamid Rowshanaei£7,500
8Michel Howard£5,500
9Eirimas Livonas£3,750

*reflects a three-handed deal

Next up for the GPS is the Edinburgh Main Event that kicks off on October 29. Last year’s tournament attracted 352 players who were outlasted by Mark Lane who walked away with £30,850 for his victory. You can qualify for the Main Event at Genting Poker or Dusk Till Dawn’s online offering.

Lead image courtesy of the Genting Poker blog

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