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Chris Johnson Crowned 2015 GPS Birmingham Champion

Chris Johnson: 2015 Genting Poker Series Birmingham champion

The Genting Poker Series (GPS) crowned the first champion of its 2015 tour when Chris “MAKKAPAKK” Johnson came out on top to scoop the £37,000 first place prize and got his hands on the shiny winner's trophy.

Day 3 started with 26 players in the hunt for the title and it was Johnson who led them back into battle. The action was fast and furious from the moment Colin McTaggart ushered those immortal words of “shuffle up and deal” and within the first hour of play Osman Mustangolu, Dan Stacey, George Evans, Keng Cheong, Ish Mohammed, Zul Mohammed and Ellie Biessek had each dusted off their stacks leaving 18 players in the mix.

Those 19 were whittle to the final table of nine over the course of the next three hours when Phil Corion, Paul Mason, Jamie Bott, Jen Yue Chiang, Stephen Marsh, Michael Rosaman, Darren Grosvenor, Arthir Ali, and Ali Zihni busted.

2015 Genting Poker Series Birmingham Final Table

1Mark Evans967,000
2Tom Clack791,000
3Kevin Parkes1,784,000
4Hui Jin2,549,000
5Chris Johnson1,977,000
6Shaun Walsh233,000
7Baljit Singh949,000
8Tony McTiernan263,000
9Miguel King605,000

The first bust out of the final table occurred a couple of minutes after play resumed. Tom Clack raised to 48,000 and both Hui Jin and Shaun Walsh called. Walsh jammed all-in for 160,000 on the {j-}{4-}{7-} flop, Clack re-shoved and Jin folded {a-}{j-}. Walsh tabled {6-}{4-} for a pair of fours and Clack the {a-}{j-} for top pair. The turn brought a {q-} into play and the river an {a-}, sending Walsh to the rail in ninth place.

Minutes after the clocks showed 8:00 p.m. Miguel King was making his way into the cold Birmingham night. With blinds of 20,000/40,000/5,000a, King moved all-in for 410,000 from the button with {9-}{8-} and Clack made a hesitant call from the big blind with {a-}{2-}. Neither player connected with the {k-}{10-}{3-} flop, the {2-} turn failed to alter the course of the hand and when the {a-} fell on the river King was gone.

Baljit Singh was the next to fall after a clash with Johnson didn't go his way. Johsnon made it 110,00 to play from the small blind at the 25,000/50,000/5,000a level and Singh defended his big blind. Johnson then fired a continuation bet on the {6-Hearts}{6-}{4-Hearts} flop, Singh jammed all-in for 500,000 and Johnson called, turning over {a-}{j-} as he did so. Singh showed {q-Hearts}{9-Hearts} and needed a nine, queen or heart to double up. None of those outs appeared as the {k-Diamonds} fell on the turn, followed by the non-heart {2-} on the river to send Singh home in seventh place.

Next to fall was the 2014 GPS Grand Final champion Mark Evans, putting to bed any hopes of the first back-to-back GPS champion. Johnson raised to 105,000, Evans responded by three-bet shoving all-in for around 500,000 and Clack re-shoved, covering Evans. Johnson stepped aside and the all-in players turned over their hands to show they both had the same holding! Evans had {a-Clubs}{j-Hearts} and Clack the {a-Hearts}{j-Diamonds}. Just as the players were preparing to split the pot the flop came down all hearts, {k-Hearts}{7-Hearts}{3-Hearts}! The turn was the {7-Spades} but the river was the {9-Hearts} to give both players an unlikely flush, Clack winning the pot and busting his opponent curtesy of his ace-high flush.

From this point on Johnson's vast experience shone through and he bossed the table around and continually built his stack to put himself in a commanding position.

Fifth place went to Kevin Parkes who was sat in the big blind nursing a 10 big blind stack. Clack set him all-in from the small blind with {10-}{9-} and Parkes called with the {a-}{8-}. The {10-}{8-}{2-} flop hit both players, but Parkes needed to hit again on the turn or river to stay alive. This didn't happen because the {6-} turn was followed into play by the {2-} and Parkes was gone.

Each of the players were now guaranteed £13,420 for their efforts, a sum now in Clack's possession. Johnson was first to act on the button and he moved all-in with {q-}{j-} to put the blinds to the sword for their relatively short stacks. Clack called from the big blind for 17 big blinds with the {a-}{10-} and despite catching a ten on the flop of the [txjx6x25x] board, his tournament was over.

With three players remaining, a deal was struck despite Johnson holding around 80% of the chips in play. Johnson opted to take £37,000 (original payout was £37,230) while Jin and Tony McTiernan secured £22,800 each (second and third would have banked £26,340 and £19,190), leaving the tophy and bragging rights to play for.

Jin exited slightly after midnight when his {q-}{8-} couldn't get there versus {10-}{10-} of Johnson and when McTiernan jammed with {10-}{7-} and Johnson called with {3-}{3-} it was all over. The board ran {j-}{j-}{a-}{j-}{2-} and that was that, Johnson became the 2015 Genting Poker Series Birmingham champion.

2015 Genting Poker Series Birmingham Final Table Results

1Chris Johnson£37,000*
2Tony McTiernan£22,800*
3Hui Jin£22,800*
4Thomas Clack£13,420
5Kevin Parkes£9,690
6Mark Evans£7,400
7Baljit Singh£5,810
8Miguel King£4,040
9Shaun Walsh£2,830

Next up for the GPS is a trip to Westcliff in Southend on March 16. Last year's event attracted 270 players and it was Rob McAdam who walked away as the champion with a comedy cheque for £33,730. McAdam will probably be there for his title defense and we wouldn't be surprised to see MAKKAPAKK bossing his way around the Genting-branded felt either!

Lead image and data courtesy of the Genting Poker Blog

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