Elliott Marais will be celebrating his upcoming 34th birthday in style after the Scunthorpe-based bricklayer turned £120 into £85,760 by winning the record-breaking 2017 GUKPT Goliath in Coventry.
A total of 4,022 unique entrants purchased 2,363 re-entries between them to create a £638,500 prize pool, which was shared among the top 682 finishers. The attendance of 6,385 broke the Goliath’s own record and ensured this tournament was the largest live poker tournament held outside of Las Vegas.
2017 GUKPT Goliath Final Table Payouts
Only 39 players made it through to the final day’s play and it took five hours for the tournament to progress to the nine-handed final table. Within minutes of the final table action commencing, Dean Perry found himself all-in with ace-ten against the dominating ace-king of Robert Shore and when Perry’s hand failed to improve, he became the ninth-place finisher.
Ten minutes after Perry’s demise, Fabio Liriomiranda joined him on the sidelines. Liriomiranda was short stacked and moved all with with a pair of deuces and lost to Paul Morris.
Within a quarter of an hour, the final table lost another player when Oneib Saeed moved all-in for seven big blinds with ace-five and Shore called with ace-king. Shore improved to two pair by the river to send Saeed home in seventh-place.
Next to fall was Calum Goodwin, again at the hands of Shore. Goodwin committed his stack with pocket sevens and Shore looked him up holding king-jack of spades. Goodwin flopped a set but Shore picked up a flush draw. Although the eight on the turn was black, it was the wrong suit for Shore, but the three of spades on the river gifted Shore a flush and sent Goodwin to the cashier’s cage.
Despite chipping up throughout the final table, Shore was the next player to lose their stack. Shore pushed his 20 big blind stack into the middle of the felt with ace-ten and Tai Hoang made the call with ace-jack. Neither player improved their holding by the river, Hoang’s jack-kicker played and the remaining players gained a little more elbow room.
Fourth-place went to Paul Morris who looked set to double through Marais when his ace-jack went up against Marais’ jack-nine. It was not to be the case, however, because Marais caught running cards to improve to an unlikely straight to bust Morris.
Start of Day 3 chip leader Levan Reid was the next player to fall by the wayside, banking almost £45,000. Reid later told the GUKPT blog that he planned on taking his two children on a holiday of a lifetime to Disneyland.
Reid’s exit sent the 2017 GUKPT Goliath into a heads-up battle between Marais and popular Birmingham player Hoang. The chip lead exchanged hands several times before Marais went on to win all of the chip in play and he wrote his name into poker’s history books.