Shah Athar Takes Down the Paddy Power Poker MADchester Poker Open

Shah Athar

Paddy Power Poker hosted its first live tournament outside of Ireland when it ran the MADchester Poker Open at the Manch235ter Casino, a £500+£50 buy-in No Limit Hold'em event featuring a £100,000 guaranteed prize pool.

A total of 169 players bought in across the two starting flights including Irish legend Padraig Parkinson, American high stakes gurus Chino Rheem and Michael “The Grinder” Mizrachi, Dan Charlton, Richard Kellett, Liam Batey, Richard Hawes, Dara O'Kearney, Ben Martin and a handful of Coronation Street actors.

Those 169 runners were reduced to the final table of nine by midway through Sunday 23 November with David Gomez finding himself in pole position thanks to his 1,400,000 chips.

2014 MADchester Poker Open Final Table

1Mark Davey130,000
2Soleiman Masud Janjua301,000
3Gerald David350,000
4Shah Athar540,000
5Sue Benson380,000
6Desmond Marsh670,000
7David Gomez1,400,000
8Declan Connolly300,000
9Guy Taylor1,100,000

It didn’t take too long for the first casualty of the final table too be decided, Mark Davey being the first player to exit from centre stage. Davey moved all-in for 114,000 with {Q-Spades}{10-Spades} and was called by Gomez in the big blind with his {K-Diamonds}{5-Hearts}.

The {6-Hearts}{7-Diamonds}{Q-Hearts} flop improved Davey to top pair, but when the turn and river came {J-Hearts} and {4-Hearts}, Gomez completed an unlikely flush and Davey was sent to the cashier's cage t collect ninth place money, or £2,250 to you and I.

Declan Connolly was the next player to lose their stack, again at the hands of Gomez. From the button, Gomez raised to 70,000 and then called when Connolly three-bet to 180,000 from the small blind. Connolly then moved all-in for 510,000 on the {6-Spades}{10-Clubs}{8-Spades} flop with the {K-Diamonds}{K-Hearts} and Gome called with the {Q-Spades}{J-Spades}. The {A-Spades} on the turn gifted Gomez another flush and sent Connolly to the rail.

Seven became six with the elimination of Guy Taylor who busted after a clash with, you guessed it, Gomez. Taylor moved all-in from the small blind with {A-Hearts}{K-Diamonds} and Gomez gambled with the {Q-Clubs}{10-Hearts}. Neither player caught a piece of the flop, although Gomez paired his ten on the turn. A brick on the river busted Taylor and left Gomez in the very healthy position of holding two-fifths of the chips in play with six players remaining.

The final table then became an all-male affair when Sue Benson lost her chips to Soleiman Masud Janjua. Down to only four big blinds, Benson pushed her stack into the middle with {A-Diamonds}{3-Diamonds} and Janjua called with the respectable {K-Clubs}{Q-Clubs}. Janjua caught a queen, Benson couldn't find any of her outs and the tournament was suddenly down to five players.

It was the popular Gerald David who busted next, this despite getting his stack into the middle of the felt as a favourite. Shah Athar raised all-in from under the gun and David, affectionately known as “Skullman,” called from the big blind with {A-Hearts}{Q-Spades}. Athar turned over the dominated {A-Diamonds}{4-Hearts} and looked set to double David up. That was until the five community cards fell {7-Spades}{2-Diamonds}{k-Clubs}{4-Diamonds}{k-Spades}, the four on the turn being enough to send David home in fifth place and lock up a five-figure score for the rest of the field.

Janjua was the first place to collect a £10,000+ score, losing out to Athar. After seeing Athar jam all-in, Janjua called with {7-}{7-} and looked in decent shape for a timely double as Athar held {A-Clubs}{7-Clubs}. However, the {A-Diamonds} appeared on the board, no sevens came out of the deck to join it and Junua was gone.

Heads-up was set when Des Marsh got his chips in with {K-Hearts}{Q-Hearts} against the {10-}{10-} of Gomez. With how Gomez was running there was no way on this planet that those tens wouldn't hold – they did – and Marsh headed off into the cold Manchester air.

The one-on-one battle was a relatively brief affair that ended with the seemingly unstoppable Gomez becoming the runner-up. Having seen his once towering stack reduced to dust when his {8-Hearts}{8-Spades} couldn't stay ahead of Athar's {K-Spades}{10-Spades}, Gomez got his nano stack into the middle with {10-Hearts}{6-Diamonds} versus the {Q-Hearts}{J-Spades} of Athar and a few seconds later it was all over, Athar had won the inaugural MADchester Poker Open.

2014 MADchester Poker Open Final Table

1Shah Athar£27,000 plus 2015 Irish Open seat
2David Gomez£17,000
3Desmond Marsh£12,750
4Soleiman Masud Janjua£10,000
5Garald David£7,500
6Sue Benson£5,500
7Guy Taylor£3,750
8Declan Connolly£3,000
9Mark Davey£2,250

Lead image courtesy of Danny Maxwell and the Paddy Power Poker blog

Next up for Paddy Power Poker is the 2015 Irish Open that you can qualify for only at Paddy Power Poker. Make sure you sign up for your account via PokerNews to enjoy the biggest Paddy Power Poker welcome bonus available.

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