Matas Cimbolas is the latest star name to be etched onto the World Poker Tour's Champions Cup after he defeated Ben Warrington heads-up to win the 2014 partypoker WPT UK Main Event in Nottingham.
Cimbolas, a Lithuanian based in London, sat down at the six-handed final table with almost twice the number of chips than any of his rivals and was in a commanding position, but with the final table being as star-studded as it was, a victory for Cimbolas was far from guaranteed.
2014 partypoker WPT UK Main Event Final Table
Everyone's day became a little easier – OK, a lot easier – shortly after the start of the 25th level of play when Patrick Leonard busted at the hands of Ben Warrington. With blinds at 15,000/30,000/5,000a, Warrington raised to 65,000 and was called by Cimbolas on the button and Leonard in the big blind.
The flop fell and Leonard led for 104,000. Warrington called and Cimbolas folded. The turn was the and Leaonrd pushed all-in, Warrington double-checked his cards and called. Leonard showed for trip fives, yet was crushed by the in Warrington's hand. The completed the board, send Leonard to the rail in sixth place and gave Warrington's stack a boost.
Two more hours passed with an elimination, a fact altered by the exit of Brighton's Phillip Mighall. Warrington opened to 110,000 (blinds 25,000/50,000/5,000a), Mighall three-bet shoved for 275,000 with what turned out to be and Warrington beat him into the pot with the call, turning over as he did so.
Warrington took the lead on the flop and stayed there through the turn and river.
Not long after Mighall crashed out, Antoine Saout followed him to the cashier's desk after coming off worse in a clash with Warrington. The action folded to Warrington in the small blind and he raised all-in to put Saout to the ultimate test, one for his remaining 800,000 chips.
Saout decided to call with the only to discover Warrington had him dominated with the . By the river the board read and Saout, a former World Series of Poker Main Event final tablist, busted in fourth place.
Three-handed play spanned across three hours and ended with the demise of Tamer Kamel. Warrington min-raised to 160,000 from the button, Cimbolas folded, but Kamel raised all-in for slightly more than one million chips. Warrington called and it was his versus the of Kamel, one of tournament poker's may coinflip scenarios.
Warrington improved to a set on the flop with the turn giving Kamel a glimmer of hope of hitting a flush and staying in the tournament. However, it wasn't meant to be because the was not one his out and Kamel crashed out in third place.
Cimbolas went into the heads-up battle with Warrington trailing by 3,150,000 to 7,475,000 chips, a position that worsened from the word go as it was one way traffic in Warrington's favour. Cimbolas looked completely out of contention until one hand gave him some more breathing room, boosted his confidence and turned the contest around 360 degrees.
The hand in question saw Cimbolas shove for 1,645,000 with and Warrington call with the . The flop meant Warrington was two cards away from becoming a WPT champion, but the turn changed all of that. The was the river and Cimbolas saw his stack boosted to 3,300,000 when it looked like he was dead and buried.
From that moment on, Cimbolas looked like a different and took the lead soon after when he turned two pair and was paid off handsomely by Warrington who had flopped top pair.
Warrington won plenty of pots, but Cimbolas seemed to be claiming the lager, more meaningful ones. Then during the 33rd level of play, Warrington announced that he was all-in for around 3,000,000 or 15 big blinds. Cimbolas called and Warrington was at risk of elimination.
The flop missed both players, as did the turn. The river was the , meaning Cimbolas' king-high was good, Warrington was out in second place and the 2014 partypoker WPT UK Main Event champion was crowned!
2014 partypoker WPT UK Main Event Final Table Results
Cimbolas, who recently entered the top 20 of the UK online poker rankings, spoke with poker legend Mike Sexton after his victory, you can check out what he had to say below:
Lead image courtesy of the World Poker Tour Live Updates team