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Cillian Berragan Wins the 2015 UK Student Poker Championships Main Event

Cillian Berragan

If you ever needed evidence that student poker is as popular in 2015 as it has ever been, all you need to do is look at the amazing turn out for the 2015 Grosvenor UK Student Poker Championships Main Event. A staggering 801 players exchanged £30 to have the chance to become the latest UKSPC champion, but only would could claim that title. That person being Cillian Berragan.

Berragan went into Sunday’s nine-handed final table with around 25% of the 12 million chips in play and was a firm favourite to win. However, each of Berregan’s opponents had reached the final table on merit and were certainly not only there to make up the numbers.

2015 Grosvenor UK Student Poker Championships Final Table

1Cillian Berragan3,202,000
2Dan Welsford2,086,000
3Gerard Anderson810,000
4Peter Brankin1,373,000
5James Charnley1,454,000
6Owen Davies572,000
7Josh Davis804,000
8Jack La Frenais536,000
9William Jarman1,346,000

After only two hands of play, Jack La Frenais shoved his 14 big blinds into the middle of the felt with {A-Diamonds}{J-Hearts} and will count himself unlucky for running straight into the {A-Hearts}{A-Spades} of William Jarman. The {7-Hearts}{9-Spades}{2-Spades}{2-Hearts}{3-Clubs} board provided no drama and La Frenais had to make do with ninth place money.

The next player out of the door was Dan Welsford. There were already 400,000 chips in the pot, with a board reading {k-Hearts}{2-Hearts}{10-Spades}{7-Spades} when Peter Brankin bet 215,000. Welsford raised to 515,000 only to see Brankin respond with an all-in bet of 1,175,000. Welsford tanked for almost two minutes before calling off the rest of his chips, flipping over {K-Spades}{J-Spades} as he did so. Brankin showed the {A-Hearts}{K-Clubs} and when the {9-Clubs} completed the community cards Welsford was gone.

Seventh place went to Josh Davis in another hand involving a dominated ace. James Charnley raised to 120,000 with {A-Diamonds}{J-Clubs}, Davies three-bet all-in for 518,000 with the {A-Hearts}{10-Clubs} and Charnley called. By the river the board read {5-Hearts}{6-Spades}{8-Diamonds}{6-Hearts}{J-Hearts} and it was game over for Davis.

As the clock struck 4:00 p.m, Gerard Anderson was heading for the exits. Berragan opened from the button and then called when Anderson came over the top with an all-in bet from the small blind. Anderson’s {Q-Diamonds}{J-Clubs} needed some help from the board to beat the {A-Spades}{10-Spades} of Berragan, but it was Berragan who received the assistance, improving to a flush by the river of the {2-Diamonds}{6-Diamonds}{4-Spades}{k-Spades}{6-Spades} board.

Almost immediately after Anderson bust, Owen Davies was following him to the sidelines. Brankin pushed all in to put the short-stacked blinds to the ultimate test, one for their tournament lives. Davies woke up with {K-Clubs}{K-Hearts} and snap-called, discovering he was a massive favourite over Brankin’s {7-Diamonds}{7-Hearts}. That fact only remained true until the {7-Clubs}{8-Hearts}{9-Spades} flop, which left Davies needing a minor miracle to survive. The {A-Clubs} turn was followed onto the felt by the {3-Diamonds} rover and Davies’ exot was confirmed.

Brankin then came from behind again to send Charnley to the rail in fourth place. Brankin, from the small blind, set Charnley in for his 10 big blind stack and Charnley called with {K-Clubs}{9-Hearts}. Brankin showed {Q-Hearts}{10-Hearts}, missed the {3-Hearts}{6-Diamonds}{4-Spades} flop, but hit the {10-Spades} turn. The {8-Hearts} river kept Brankin’s hand as the best and Charnley had to make do with the £1,560 fourth place prize.

Almost three hours passed before the next elimination, the player to break the deadlock being Will Jarman. Down to eight big blinds, Jarman moved all-in from the small blind with {K-Spades}{10-Diamonds} and Berragan found {Q-Diamonds}{Q-Spades} in the big blind and made the easy call. The {6-Spades}{j-Spades}{q-Hearts} gave both players something, Berragan had the better something though. The {5-Spades} turn gifted Jarman a flush draw to go with his open-ended straight draw, yet he still missed his outs as the {8-Clubs} appeared on the river.

Berragan trailed Brankin by 5,000,000 to 7,000,000 chips going into the one-on-one battle, then fell to 3,500,000 before clawing his way back into contention.

A key hand saw Berragan double with {A-Spades}{7-Diamonds} versus {A-Hearts}{4-Spades} to leave the latter with only 1,000,000 chips and they went into the middle on the next hand with {Q-Diamonds}{8-Diamonds} and Berragan called with {K-Hearts}{9-Hearts}, flopped a nine which held as the final five community cards ran {9-Clubs}{2-Clubs}{4-Diamonds}{5-Spades}{7-Clubs}, busting Brankin and leaving Berragan to scoop the £6,190 first place prize.

2015 Grosvenor UK Student Poker Championships Final Table Result

1Cillian Berragan£6,190
2Peter Brankin£4,280
3Will Jarman£2,520
4James Charnley£1,560
5Owen Davies£990
6Gerard Anderson£650
7Josh Davis£480
8Dan Welsford£380
9Jack Le Frenais£320

That’s it for this year’s UKSPC but it should be back in 2016 where the organisers will be attempting to get the Main Event field past the magical 1,000 player barrier.

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