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Carl Norris Takes Down the APAT UK Amateur Poker Championship

Carl Norris

The ever-popular Amateur Poker Association and Tour (APAT) was in Leeds over the weekend for the latest stop of its 2014 tour. It marked the first time the tour had stopped off in Leeds and Carl Norris hopes that it won’t be the last because it is he who won the Main Event and its £2,815 first place prize.

Day 1 took place on Saturday 11 October and saw 123 players take to the felt of the Grosvenor Westgate Casino. The excellent structure of APAT’s Main Events usually results in a slow start to proceedings, but the action was played at a frenetic pace that saw more than a quarter of the field bust within the first five levels.

Play ended for the night after the completion of 11 levels with the likes of Rob Swindells (133,500), Martin Paul (128,200), Craig Dawson (106,975), Ryan Pearson (98,450), Carl Norris (82,550), Scott Berridge (78,525), Ken McBride (76,400), Howard Newman (76,575) and Gareth Jones (73,025) being among the chip leaders when the curtain came down on the Day 1 action.

The 31 surviving players regrouped on Sunday afternoon to bring the tournament to its conclusion. With 13 places paid, nobody wanted to finish in 14th place and earn the unwanted title of “bubble boy,” but the very nature of tournament poker means someone has to pop the money bubble and that someone was David Scothern.

Scothern’s exit locked up £175 for the remaining players and once Howard Newman, Craig Dawson, Diane Farrell and Arthur Hirst crashed out, the final table was set.

2014 APAT UK Amateur Poker Championships Final Table

Rob Swindells360,000
Carl Norris280,000
Dave Battersby250,000
Scott Berridge220,000
Martin Paul204,000
Mike Sharkey200,000
Zac Crosland110,000
Tom Masterman91,000
Bill Sheppard90,000

Zac Corsland was the first to fall at the final table, unable to beat the {Q-Hearts}{J-Hearts} of Rob Swindells when the board ran {6-Diamonds}{9-Clubs}{10-Clubs}{5-Spades}{k-Diamonds}.

Crosland was followed to the sidelines, and possibly the bar, by Martin Paul who will count himself unlucky to bust in eighth place. Mike Sharkey opened and then called when Paul three-bet preflop. The chips then went into the middle of the table on a {j-Diamonds}{9-Hearts}{8-Hearts} flop, Paul holding {k-Spades}{k-Clubs} and Sharkey the {J-Spades}{9-Spades} for top two pair. No help for Paul arrived on the turn or river and his tournament ended.

Seventh place went to Tom Masterman who lost a crucial coinflip against the hot-running Swindells, the later pairing an ace on the flop to improve his {A-Spades}{K-Spades} to a hand that beat Masterman’s {Q-Hearts}{Q-Diamonds}.

The hand after the one that claimed Masterman’s tournament life saw Bill Sheppard bust. Sheppard made a move with {A-Diamonds}{5-Clubs} and ran into the dominating {A-Clubs}{10-Hearts} of Dave Battersby. By the river the board read {Q-Hearts}{4-Hearts}{2-Hearts}{8-Hearts}{J-Clubs} to gift Battersby an unneeded flush and resign Sheppard to a sixth place finish.

Five became four with the elimination of Battersby. Having lost a large percentage of his stack when his {Q-Spades}{J-Clubs} couldn’t suck out on the {Q-Clubs}{Q-Diamonds} of Sharkey, he jammed the rest of his chips into the middle with {2-Clubs}{2-Diamonds} only for Sharkey to be sat there with {10-Clubs}{10-Spades} to snap him off. A board reading {9-Hearts}{6-Clubs}{J-Clubs}{8-Spades}{9-Spades} kept the tens of Sharkey best and Battersby headed for the sidelines.

APAT events essentially have two bubbles because the top three spot are awarded gold, silver and bronze medals, making fourth place as attractive as bursting the money bubble.

This unwanted finishing position went to Scott Berridge whose {A-Clubs}{Q-Hearts} couldn’t improve against Sharkey’s {A-Spades}{K-Diamonds}. Berridge collected £810 for his fourth place finish, narrowly missing out on a coveted APAT medal and a four-figure score.

Sharkey was next to fall, much to the disappointment of the rail as he had been active throughout the final table. His demise was confirmed when he got it all-in with {K-Spades}{10-Clubs} and ran into the {A-Hearts}{10-Hearts} of Norris. An ace on the flop was more than enough to send Sharkey to the rail, albeit with £1,190 and a bronze medal.

The final hand of the tournament saw a short stacked Swindells move all-in with {Q-Hearts}{7-Clubs} and Norris instantly call with the superior {K-Diamonds}{Q-Clubs}. The {3-Spades}{k-Spades}{2-Clubs} flop left Swindells drawing to running sevens so when the {4-Diamonds} landed on the turn it was game over for him. The inconsequential {3-Diamonds} completed the community cards, sent Swindells home in second place and left Norris to be announced as the latest in a long line of APAT champions.

2014 APAT UK Amateur Poker Championship Final Table Results

1Carl Norris£2,815
2Rob Swindells£1,825
3Mark Sharkey£1,190
4Scott Berridge£810
5Dave Battersby£590
6Bill Sheppard£420
7Tom Masterman£310
8Martin Paul£270
9Zac Corsland£240

Next up for APAT is the UK Team Championship at the Grosvenor G Casino at Bury New Road in Manchester. This exciting event takes place November 29-30 and is one of the most eagerly anticipated events on the APAT calendar. Head to the APAT site for more details.

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