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Jack Hardcastle Crowned 2019 WPT UK Opener Championship

Jack Hardcastle

The 2019 World Poker Tour (WPT) UK festival got off to a flying start with the $550 buy-in WPT UK Opener smashing its $500,000 guarantee. A field of 1,355 entries created a $677,500 prize pool and it was Southsea’s Jack Hardcastle who got his hands on the largest slice of this pie.

2019 WPT UK Opener Final Table Results

1Jack Hardcastle$68,610*
2Tom Deane$47,920*
3Fabio Sperling$59,205*
4Jonathan McCann$51,710*
5Andreas Putz$53,530*
6Harry Ross$21,000
7Richard King$16,000
8Neil Van Der Merwe$12,500
9Alex Montgomery$10,000

*reflects a five-way deal that left $10,000 for the champion

Dusk Till Dawn was packed to the rafters with more than 1,300 players vying to become a champion in the WPT UK’s first event. The top 196 players received a cash payout for their $550 investment and there were plenty of established poker players who padded their bankrolls as a result.

Steve Jelinek, Keith Johnson, Jessica Pilkington, Jack Allen, Micthell Johnson, Andrew Hills, formeer EPT Barcelona runner-up Steve Warburton, Harry Lodge, Rickie Silcock, Brandon Shiels, the in-form Ben Farrell, Adam Owen, Yiannis Liperis, Triple Crown winner Niall Farrell, and Paul Jackson were just a selection of the stellar names to finish in the money.

WPT Opener Final Table Set

Germany’s Robert Heidorn, who finished 10th in the World Series of Poker Main Event this summer for $800,000, busted in this event in 10th place for $8,250. Heidorn’s exit set the final table.

Alex Montgomery was the first casualty of the final table, his ninth-place finish locking up $10,000. Montgomery has been crushing the low stakes tournament scene in the North-West with 12 final table appearances in 2019 alone. This was number 13 and his third-largest score ever.

Neil Van Der Merwe fell in eighth-place for $12,500 before DTD regular Richard King banked $16,000 for his seventh-place finish. King now has more than $315,000 in live poker tournament winnings.

Sixth-place and $21,000 went to Coventry's Harry Ross. Ross is enjoying a breakout year having finished second in the recent WSOP International Circuit Rozvadov Main Event for €120,350 and cashed in the partypoker LIVE MILLIONS North America Main Event for C$20,000. Ross can now boast of more than $200,000 in live cashes, almost all of it coming in the first nine months of this year.

Final Five Strike a Deal

Almost $281,000 remained in the prize pool with five players remaining and all but one player was guaranteed to enjoy their biggest-ever live tournament cash. Those final five players decided to strike an ICM deal to lessen the pay jumps, a deal that left $10,000 to play for.

Andreas Putz was the first beneficiary of the deal, walking away with $53,530 instead of the advertised $28,000. According to the Hendon Mob database, this was Putz’s first major live cash, what a way to get off the mark.

Jonathan McCann that reeled in $51,710, his second-best result. McCann’s largest prize came in 2017 when he finished fourth in a $1,000 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em event at the 2017 WSOP for $71,540. McCann also has two cashed in the WSOP Main Event, the latest coming this summer when he banked $38,240 for a 323nd place finish.

Fabio Sperling was the man who was the penultimate bust-out. Sperling turned his $550 investment into $59,205 to set up a heads-up clash between Tom Deane and Jack Hardcastle.

Hardcastle sent Deane to the rail in second-place, his first cash for almost two years, with the $47,920 runner-up prize being more than four-times his previous best. Hardcastle locked up his largest-ever live tournament score, padding his bankroll with $68,610.

$1,500,000 Gtd Main Event Starts Today

The $1.5 million guaranteed WPT UK Main Event shuffles up and deals today and is sure to attract some of the world’s best poker players. $3,300 is the buy-in and a bumper crowd is expected for Day 1A. The $1 million guaranteed Devilfish Cup, a charity tournament in honour of the late Dave “Devilfish” Ulliott, concludes today too.

Only 23 of the 209 starters remain in this $5,300 buy-in event, which raised $62,700 for charitable causes.

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  • Jack Hardcastle topped a field of 1,355 entrants to win the 2019 WPT UK Opener for $68,610.

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