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Jack O’Neill Wins the UKPC High Roller; Simon Higgins Leads Main Event

Jack O'Neill
  • Jack O'Neill won the 2016 Sky Poker UK Poker Championships High Roller event for £55,000.

  • Simon Higgins leads the £1 million guaranteed UKPC Main Event after Day 1a.

Dusk Till Dawn casino continues to be packed to the rafters thanks to the 2016 Sky Poker UK Poker Championships being in town. In the early hours of February 26, the Nottingham-based club only had a handful of poker players seated, those few were competing for the title of High Roller champion.

Eighty-six players (including re-entries) bought into the £2,000+£200 UKPC High Roller event, smashing the £100,000 guarantee by £72,000. This £172,000 prize pool was shared among the last remaining nine players, with a min-cash weighing in at £5,000 and the eventual champion collecting £55,000.

Some of the United Kingdom’s most recognisable players were among those looking for a substantial score in the opening event of the 2016 UKPC, including Richard Trigg, Richard Kellett, Neil Channing, Stuart Rutter, Neil Strike, Steven Warburton, Ben Winsor, Alex Goulder, Daniel Charlton, Ben Vinson, Christopher Brammer, and Keith Johnson; the latter bubbled in tenth-place.

The eventual champion was Jack O’Neill, who until this victory only had four live cashes to his name, although he does have close to $680,000 in online tournament winnings. In January 2016, O’Neill finished 19th in the Aussie Millions Main Event for a career-best A$60,000, a result that made up more than 95% of his career winnings. O’Neill has now more than doubled his lifetime earnings thanks to this £55,000 addition to his bankroll.

2016 Sky Poker UKPC High Roller Results

1Jack O’Neill£55,000
2Nick Hicks£32,500
3Alexsandrs Golubevs£22,500
4Enzo Del Piero£17,500
5Oliver Price£13,500
6Alex Zeligman£11,000
7Gang Wang£8,500
8David Lloyd£6,500
9Frank Williams£5,000

Two Main Event Flights Remain; Simon Higgins Leads

While the High Rollers were busy doing their thing, the £1,000,000 guaranteed Main Event kicked off with the first of three starting flights. A total of 1,000 entries are required if the massive guarantee is to be hit, and 121 players turned up at Dusk Till Dawn on February 25 armed with £1,000+£100, which they exchanged for 50,000 chips and a dream.

Only 35 of those 121 starters progressed to Sunday’s Day 2 with Simon Higgins bagging up the most chips at the close of the Day 1a action.

Higgins turned his 50,000 starting stack into an impressive 466,000, exactly 100,000 more than his nearest rival, Nicolas Le Floch. Plenty of other notable players also punched their ticket to Day 2, including Neil Strike (231,000), Chin Chai Koh (193,500), John Conroy (185,000), James Mitchell (127,000), Richard Trigg (85,500), and Ryan Spittles (72,300).

More than two dozen players regarded as the cream of the British crop fell at the first hurdle, but are likely to take advantage of the re-entry system and buy back in on Day 1b.

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