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Michael Zhang Takes Down GUKPT London Main Event

Michael Zhang
  • Michael Zhang turned £1,100 into £113,000 by winning the 2017 GUKPT London Main Event.

The 11th season of the Grosvenor UK Poker Tour has crowned its first champion after Michael Zhang topped a field of 435 entrants at The Poker Room formerly known as The Vic, turning £1,100 into an impressive £113,000 in London.

Official Final Table Results

1Michael Zhang£113,000
2Javier Gomez Zapatero£74,000
3Fahd Bennani Smires£48,900
4Carl Pickles£29,400
5Paul Siddle£22,200
6Sam Meeuse£18,200
7Alexios Zervos£14,400
8Muskan Sethu£10,400
9Khoa Le£7,800

The top 40 finishers shared the £435,000 prize pool, with a min-cash weighing in at £2,200, a final table appearance boosting this cash haul to £7,800 and the eventual champion leaving the English capital city with £113,000.

Louise Duffy, Ross Boatman, Simon Deadman and Paul Romain were four well-known stars to navigate their way to the money places, but fell short of the nine-handed final table.

2017 GUKPT London Final Table

1Alexios Zervos786,000
2Paul Siddle715,000
3Sam Meeuse1,655,000
4Michael Zhang1,424,000
5Khoa Le988,000
6Javier Gomez Zapatero1,367,000
7Carl Pickles478,000
8Fah Bennani Smires527,000
9Muskan Sethi762,000

It took almost an hour of play for the final table to lose its first player, that dubious honour being bestowed on Khoa Le. Le was down to 200,000 chips at the 15,000/30,000/3,000a level and got his short stack into the middle in a blind-versus-blind confrontation with Javier Gomez Zapatero. It was ace-seven for Le against the king-eight of Gomez Zapatero and when the latter found both a king and an eight on the community cards Le was gone.

Shortly after Le’s demise, Muskan Sethi fell by the wayside. Sethi moved all-in with ace-queen for 420,000 and Gomez Zapatero made the call with a pair of red queens. The board ran out ten-high and Sethi’s tournament came to an abrupt end.

Seventh place went to Alexios Zervos who ran into the seemingly unstoppable Gomez Zapatero. Zervos was all in for 400,000 with ace-king and needing to win a coinflip against the pocket eights of his talented Spanish opponent. Gomez Zapatero’s snowmen held and the tournament was down to six players.

Six became five with the elimination of Sam Meeuse who had been card dead for long periods of the final table. Meeuse finally found a good hand with ace-queen and moved all in for 450,000 only to run into the dominating ace-king of Zhang. The latter caught an unnecessary king on the river and Meeuse headed for the exits.

Gomes again took up the role of executioner to send Paul Siddle home in fifth place. Siddle looked down at king-jack of clubs and decided to move all in for 650,000. Gomez Zapatero called with ace-king to put Siddle at risk of busting, which is what happened when the board double paired and Gomez Zapatero’s ace-kicker played.

With blinds now 25,000/50,000/5,000a, Carl Pickles found himself languishing in fourth place from the remaining four players, nursing a stack of 440,000. Those chips went into the middle with nine-eight of clubs and needed to catch some of the flop to beat the pocket nines of Zhang. The board four-flushed with diamonds, Zhang held the nine of diamonds, and Pickles was no more.

Heads-up was set when Fahd Bennani Smires fell in third place. Bennani Smires opened to 120,000 and then called off his remaining 800,000 when Zhang three-bet all in over the top of that raise. Bennani Smires showed ace-nine, Zhang red eights and when the five community cards fell with no nine or ace in sight, Bennani Smires’ tournament ended.

Zhang held a massive 7,000,000 to 1,700,000 chip lead over Gomez Zapatero, a former World Poker Tour champion, and it proved to be too much of a gap to bridge for Gomes.

The final hand saw Gomez Zapatero raise with {J-Hearts}{10-Hearts} and Zhang call with {k-Clubs}{5-Clubs}. Zhang checked, Gomez Zapatero led for 100,000 on the {2-Clubs}{2-Spades}{8-Hearts} flop and Zhang called. The turn was the {9-Clubs}, Zhang checked, Gomez Zapatero bet 325,000 and Zhang called again. The {3-Clubs} river completed the board and Zhang checked again. Gomez Zapatero moved all in for 1 million in what was an ill-timed bluff because Zhang was sat there with a king-high flush and had the easiest call of his career. Zhang did call and with that won all of the chips in play, becoming the 2017 GUKPT London champion in the process.

Next up on the GUKPT is a trip to Manchester Bury New Road between Feb. 26 and Mar. 5 where there is another £200,000 guaranteed Main Event costing £1,100 to enter. Win your seat to it at Grosvenor Poker where new customers can claim a 200% up to £700 first deposit bonus.

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