Do you believe in fate? Does everything happen for a reason? Irina Nikolaidi may be a believer now that she has become the 2015 partypoker WPT National London accumulator champion.
Nikolaidi spoke to the partypoker live updates team shortly after outlasting a 667-strong field in the £100,000 guaranteed Main Event and revealed that she only bought into the tournament after much persuasion from her friend and wasn’t actually that keen on the idea of playing poker this weekend.
Often in poker tournaments, there is one hand that stands out from all the rest, one that shapes how the event will progress.
Often in poker tournaments, there is one hand that stands out from all the rest, one that shapes how the event will progress. That hand came late on Day 2 when Nikolaidi raised to 24,000 from under the gun and Sin Melin called. Roger O’Selle squeezed to 60,000 and both ladies called.
Nikolaidi and Melin checked the arrival of the flop, O’Selle bet 100,000 and Nikolaidi called. Melin then raised to 300,000 and after O’Selle mucked, Nikolaidi called. The turn was the and now Nikolaidi pushed all-in and was instantly called by Melin, creating a 2,140,000 chip pot.
According to the PokerNews Odds Calculator, Melin was a 77.27% favourite to win the massive pot. However, Lady Luck had other ideas and saw that the landed on the river, gifting Nikolaidi a straight and leaving Melin with nothing but a legitimate bad beat story to tell her poker friends.
That crucial hand saw Nikolaidi going into the final day’s play, where 24 players remained, with 2,506,000 chips, more than double the amount of nearest rival, Jason Lam, on 1,100,000.
The final day started with a number of very talented individuals still in the hunt for the title, but it wasn’t meant to be for the likes of Matthew Noonan, James “Flushy” Dempsey, and Charles Chattha who all fell before the final table was reached.
The aforementioned Roger O’Selle was the player who burst the final table bubble, his [&c] proving to be no match for the dominating of Jason Lam.
2015 partypoker WPT National London Main Event Final Table
Chris Kumar was the first finalist to fall when his [AcJj] couldn’t get there versus the of Julien Rouxel and he was followed the the cashier’s desk shortly after by Mats Rosen who got his chips into the middle with versus the of Bobbie Brummitt but the latter caught a jack and Rosen was gone.
Rosen’s seat hadn’t even gone cold when the flamboyant Vinnie Anderson was all-in and at risk of elimination, holding to Brummitt’s . Anderson spiked a ten on the flop and looked set to double through Brummitt when the turn kept his tens ahead. However, the river improved Brummitt to a pair of queens and Anderson’s superb run was over in seventh place.
A cooler of a hand despatched Julian Rouxel in fifth place. All the chips went into the middle of the table with the flop reading , Rouxel holding for two pair and Simon Green the for a higher two pair. No help arrived for Rouxel on the turn or river and the tournament was suddenly down to only five players.
Those five become four with the exit of Frenchman, Pierre Canali, who lost a flip with versus Nikolaidi’s and then Jason Lam’s failed to improve and lost to Nikolaidi’s to leave only three players in contention for the £25,130 first place prize.
Next to fall was Brummitt who became Nikolaidi’s next victim. All the chips went into the middle on a flop, Brummitt holding and Nikolaidi . The appeared on the turn to leave Brummitt drawing dead and heads-up was set.
Nikolaidi went into the heads-up battle with Simon Green holding an 8,300,000 to 4,600,000 chip advantage. With blinds at 25,000/50,000/5,000a, there was still plenty of play remaining in the tournament, but it was Nikolaidi who was fastest out of the blocks and who was turning the screw from the second the first heads-up cards were dealt.
Green managed to halt his slide and then draw level thanks to a dramatic hand that saw Green all-in with versus Nikoladi’s on a board only for a six to peel off on the river to gift Green an unlikely full house.
It was another cooler hand that brought the tournament to a conclusion. On a flop reading , Nikolaidi checked, Green bet 125,000 and Nikolaidi check-raised to 350,000. Green responded with a raise to 850,000 and then called when Nikolaidi set him all-in.
Both players had flopped two pair, but Green was now drawing to two outs. The turn wasn’t one of them and neither was the river, which bust Green in second place and left Nikolaidi literally jumping for joy and hugging her friends on the rail after becoming the tour's first female champion.
2015 partypoker WPT National London Main Event Final Table Results
You can qualify for future WPT National UK events and many other World Poker Tour stops at partypoker. Download partypoker via UK & Ireland PokerNews and enjoy a 100% match up to £250 first deposit bonus.