Simon Taberham Leads the 2015 GUKPT Leeds Main Event Final 15

  • Tom Middleton looking to add a GUKPT title to his already impressive poker CV

  • Renee Xie could become the first-ever female GUKPT Main Event champion

  • £35,700 awaits the 2015 GUKPT Leeds winner

There are only 15 players remaining in the 2015 Grosvenor UK Poker Tour (GUKPT) Leeds Main Event and one of those is going to walk away with as a GUKPT champion, an accolade that comes with a £35,700 first place prize.

It is Simon Taberham who, thanks to reaching the money places in this event, now has more than $200,000 in live tournament winnings. Taberham starts the third and final day’s play with 720,000 chips in his stack, 119,500 more than Gary Whitehead in second place and should be quietly confident of securing his second live victory.

Both Taberham and Whitehead find themselves at the business end of this tournament with a handful of stars who would not look out of place in an event commanding a buy-in of several times higher than the £500+£50 here.

Tom Middleton, the winner of the European Poker Tour (EPT) Barcelona Main Event in Season 10, returns to the casino with a 330,000 stack, enough to see “Middy” start Day 3 in seventh place.

A handful of chips behind Middleton is the online crusher that is Luke “LFmagic” Fields. The man from Grimsby took down the 2010 GUKPT Tournament of Champions and is going to be one to watch going into the final day’s action.

Also through to Day 3 and who will have an influence on where the title heads up are Richard Hawes and Renee Xie. Hawes may be more focussed on pot limit Omaha online but he still knows his way around a hold’em game. The Leeds lad sits down with 232,500 chips, enough for 11th place at the start of play.

Xie, meanwhile, has 145,500 chips in her Day 3 stack and is the second shortest in the field. However, one double up and she’ll be back in business and could become the GUKPT’s first-ever female Main Event champion.

Each of the returning players is guaranteed £1,500 for the efforts this far, with anyone reaching the nine-handed final table securing a £2,600 payday.

2015 GUKPT Leeds End-of-Day 2 Chip Counts

1Simon Taberham720,000
2Gary Whitehead600,500
3Thomas Besnier423,000
4John Woodhead413,000
5Norman Reynolds407,000
6George Wainberg358,000
7Tom Middleton330,000
8Luke Fields320,000
9Ian Burdon308,000
10Baz Hussain273,500
11Richard Hawes232,500
12Theo Drekolias169,500
13Stephen Foster150,000
14Renee Xie145,500
15Masud Prodhan117,000

Each of the returning players is guaranteed £1,500 for the efforts this far, with anyone reaching the nine-handed final table securing a £2,600 payday. This is because the money bubble burst quite late on Day 2 – around 9:30pm – when Simon Spink pushed all-in for 11 big blinds with {A-Hearts}{5-Spades} and found a caller in the shape of Stephen Foster in the big blind who held the dominating {A-Diamonds}{Q-Spades}. Spink took the lead on the {A-Clubs}{5-Hearts}{6-Spades} flop but then the {6-Clubs} turn counterfeited his hand. The river was the {2-Clubs}, Foster’s queen-kicker played and Spink bust in 24th place, taking the bubble with him.

Day 1a chip leader, Andrew Christoforou was the first player to bust in the money and he was followed to the cashier’s desk by Gerald “Skullman” David, Andrew Pidcock, Arthur Harvey, Dan Stacey, Greg Harrison, and Andreas Olympios.

Play resumes at 1:00pm and continues until the Main Event has its champion. Live updates can be found on the GUKPT website, as can a live stream, with UK & Ireland PokerNews providing a full recap of the Day 3 action for you on Monday morning.

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