United Kingdom's Lawrence Cullen outlasted a huge field of 714 entrants to win the 2020 Unibet UK Poker Tour London £220 Main Event at Aspers Casino Westfield Stratford City for £25,500.
This was the first big cash for Cullen who never had the lead in the event until heads-up play.
"I won a smaller tournament a few weeks ago but this is my first big win and means a lot to me," Cullen shared with PokerNews. "The smaller win gave me some confidence after struggling a lot during the year I have been playing tournaments."
Cullen would have been satisfied with simply a final table result and he was on top of the world after winning the event.
"I enjoyed every second of the event and was just happy to make the final table," said Cullen. "To win it is a dream!"
|1||Lawrence Cullen||United Kingdom||£25,500|
|2||Callum Pooles||United Kingdom||£18,319|
|3||Damien Pilkington-Lewis||United Kingdom||£12,200|
|4||Micahel Isguzo||United Kingdom||£8,800|
|7||Martin Tse||Hong Kong||£4,350|
To say the Unibet UK Poker Tour London was a success would be a huge understatement. Not only was the £50,000 guarantee smashed by almost triple with a huge £141,372 prize pool but also it by far set a new record for the tour.
The previous record was established in 2018 when Paul Romain outlasted a field of 289 entrants to win the £13,000 top prize. That event generated a £57,800 prize pool.
This is not all as there were plenty of promotions surrounding the event by both Unibet Poker and Aspers Casino with plenty of goodies handed out including t-shirts, phone popsockets, and free beverage service for the entire final table.
This is not all as Unibet Poker held a special Last Longer contest for its online qualifiers won by Russia's Aleksandr Lebedev, who finished in 33rd place for £805. Although the cash was nice the last longer prize was even nice as Unibet Poker awarded him a Unibet Open Tallinn package on May 20-24 valued at a whopping €2,000.
Last longer contests for online qualifiers will be held at all future Unibet UK Poker Tour events this year including the next one at Aspers Casino Newcastle on May 28-31.
Players can qualify through feeder tournaments for just €0.50!
Final Day Action
A total of 119 began the final day with 80 players guaranteed at least a min-cash of £400. The bubble broke before hand-for-hand play even began after Louis Zimmermann ran his jacks into the queens held by Egidijus Alsauskas.
Among the notable players to cash short of a final table finish included Unibet Poker Ambassador David Lappin (49th - £595), Antonis Poulengeris (22nd - £1,050), William Kassouf (19th - £1,180), and Unibet Poker Finnish Ambassador Jorma Vuoksenmaa (13th - £1,555).
Lappin, Vouksenmaa, and Dara O'Kearney, who unfortunately didn't cash, were all gracious ambassadors and happy to mingle with the everyday poker player at Aspers Casino.
The final table began after Romania's Alexandru-Dan Toporeanu (10th - £1,920) ran his treys into the fives held by Hong Kong's Martin Tse.
Callum Pooles, who was playing his first big live tournament in a casino, entered heads-up play in the chip lead and showed relentless aggression throughout the table. Meanwhile, the eventual winner Cullen entered the final table in fourth place and was relatively quiet until heads-up play, letting Pooles do most of the dirty work.
Two eliminations took place shortly after the final table began. Romania's Vlad Munteanu (ninth - £2,610) jammed his short stack with king-queen before Singapore's Mark Wong (eighth - £3,480) three-bet jammed for more with tens. United Kingdom's Damien Pilkington-Lewis had both players covered and called with queens and flopped a full house.
Lithuania's Bartas Samoska managed to double up against Collum to temporarily take the lead by Collum snagged it back after eliminating Tse in seventh place for £4,350.
Shortly after, Romania's Valentin Ghioca (sixth - £5,250) three-bet jammed his short stack with jack eight and didn't get there against Cullen's king-ten suited.
Samoska then got short on chips and hit the rail soon after in fifth place for £6,500. He got it in with jack-six suited in a three-way pot and didn't get there against the ace-king held by Pilkington-Lewis despite flopping a flush draw.
Pooles continued to put the pedal to the metal, seemingly raising every hand unopened to him. He had more than half the chips in play after he eliminated United Kingdom's Michael Isiguzo in fourth place for £8,800 when his king-ten suited held against king-nine suited.
Pilkington-Lewis then hit the rail in third place for £12,200. He three-bet jammed with ace-six and didn't get there after getting called by Pooles with sevens.
Pooles began heads-up play with a 4:1 chip advantage against Cullen. But the lead didn't last long.
Cullen doubled up after his king-four suited got there against the treys held by Pooles. Shortly after, Cullen managed to take a small chip lead.
Pooles then got jacks the next hand and was up against the queen-seven suited held by Cullen. Cullen flopped a flush with a king on the board and called a bet from Pooles. Another king came on the turn to pair the board. Pooles check-jammed and got snap-called by Cullen. Neither a king or jack came on the river to give him the full house and he was eliminated in second place for £18,319.
Pooles should be proud of his runner-up performance as he shared with PokerNews that this was his very first live event at a casino.
Meanwhile, applauds were heard around the room to help Cullen celebrate his first big win!
The Unibet UK Poker Tour is a grassroots poker at its finest. Be sure to head to Unibet Poker to try to qualify for the next event in Newcastle on May 28-31.
Remember, online qualifiers will be entered into a Last Longer contest where the winner will go home with a package valued at €2,000 to a Unibet Open that features a big buy-in of €1,100, four-nights accommodation at a luxurious hotel, invitation to two memorable parties, plenty of Unibet merchandise, and, of course, you can bring a guest to enjoy every last moment with you.
This concludes our coverage of the Unibet UK Poker Tour London Main Event. Stay tuned at PokerNews as we bring you coverage of big poker events from around the world.
*Photos courtesy of Lyle Bateman