It seems like it was only five minutes ago that Brett Angell lifted the UKIPT London Main Event trophy at the Grand Connaught Rooms in London to bring the fourth season of the UK & Ireland Poker Tour (UKIPT) to a thrilling conclusion, despite the fact it was actually more than three months ago. Time flies when you're having fun, or so they say. Whoever they are.
Since its creation in 2009 – the inaugural event took place in Galway on December 11 – the UKIPT has gone from strength-to-strength and is now one of the must-play festivals on the live tournament circuit today. The Main Event buy-ins may not be on par with the World Poker Tour (WPT) and European Poker Tour (EPT) events, but they're not meant to be and thanks to the huge support these Main Events have the prizes on offer are often huge.
The first time the UKIPT rocked into the English capital it jumped onto the back of the EPT taking place there, sharing the EPT London Main Event and billing itself as a £5,200 UKIPT Grand Final. That particular event was won by David Vamplew who defeated John Juanda heads up. Vamplew has since gone onto become one of the most-feared and respected tournament players of his generation, going to show that the UKIPT is a breeding ground for tomorrow's stars.
In Season 2, the UKIPT's only jaunt to “The Big Smoke” was again as the £5,250 buy-in Grand Final that Benny Spindler took down for a cool £750,000, then in Season 3 the UKIPT had its own London leg that saw 1,099 players buy in for £770. When the dust had settled it was Spain's Sergio Aido who was holding the trophy aloft, a trophy and a £144,555 cash haul.
Season 4, as already mentioned, saw Brett Angell emerge victorious, defeating Switzerland's Fabrizio Fuchs heads-up to get his hands on the £115,083 first place prize. Who will become the Season 5 UKIPT London Main Event champion? We'll know the answer to that question by Sunday 25 January.
UKIPT Season 5 London Schedule
|Tue 20 Jan||13:00||£250+£25 NLHE One rebuy/One addon Super Satellite to UKIPT High Roller|
|Tue 20 Jan||17:00||£3,000+£300 NL Hold'em High Roller 8-Handed Single Re-Entry Day 1|
|Tue 20 Jan||19:00||£50+£5 NL Hold'em Rebuy satellite to UKIPT Main Event|
|Wed 21 Jan||11:00||£700+£70 UKIPT Main Event Day 1a|
|Wed 21 Jan||12:00||£3,000+£300 NL Hold'em High Roller 8-Handed Single Re-Entry Day 2|
|Wed 21 Jan||18:00||£50+£5 NL Hold'em Rebuy satellite to UKIPT Main Event|
|Wed 21 Jan||20:15||£200+£20 NL Hold'em Turbo Deepstack|
|Thu 22 Jan||11:00||£700+£70 UKIPT Main Event Day 1b|
|Thu 22 Jan||20:15||£100+£10 NL Hold'em Turbo|
|Fri 23 Jan||11:00||£700+£70 UKIPT Main Event Day 1c|
|Fri 23 Jan||20:15||£200+£20 NL Hold'em Win the Button|
|Sat 24 Jan||11:00||UKIPT Main Event Day 2|
|Sat 24 Jan||13:00||£300+£30 NL Hold'em London Cup Day 1a|
|Sat 24 Jan||19:00||£300+£30 NL Hold'em London Cup Day 1b|
|Sun 25 Jan||12:00||£200+£20 PLO Double Chance|
|Sun 25 Jan||12:00||London Cup Day 2|
|Sun 25 Jan||12:15||UKIPT Main Event Final Day|
|Sun 25 Jan||14:00||£250+£25 NL Hold'em Turbo Super Deepstack EPT Edition|
|Sun 25 Jan||15:00||£150+£15 NL Hold'em Ladies event|
UKIPT London kicks off today with the eagerly anticipated £3,300 buy-in No Limit Hold'em 8-Handed High Roller, a tournament that has seen its buy-in increase by 33%, making it even more exclusive. The High Roller in Season 4 was won by American superstar Olivier Busquet who bested a final table homing the likes of Frederik Jensen, Christopher Brammer, Gaelle Baumann and Ian Simpson. While Busquet probably won't be in town to defend his title, the other players mentioned should be and they will be joined by some of the UK, Ireland and Europe's best poker talent.
The first Main Event of Season 5 begins on Wednesday 21 January and looks set to be huge. This time around there are three starting flights and some of the players already registered and ready for action include Team PokerStars Online Mickey Petersen, Team PokerStars Pro Matthias De Meudler, along with such luminaries as Andrew “stato_1” Hulme, Lee “BWFCLEE” Taylor, Ben “vindog3” Vinson and Sergio “zcedrick” Aido.
Each day of the High Roller and the Main Event, UK & Ireland PokerNews will be bringing you recaps of the action and keeping you up-to-date with all of the goings on from the Hippodrome Casino so make sure you stay tuned to UK & Ireland PokerNews throughout the UKIPT London Season 5 festival.
Are you heading to UKIPT London? Let us know in the comments box below.