Poker Blog

GUKPT Reading Event Much Busier On Day 1b

GUKPT ReadingWhile there was no sign of panic at the end of Day 1A at the Reading leg of the GUKPT event, there would have been or two nervous organisers. There was a very low turnout for the event, with just 52 players deciding to pay their way into the event. Thursday’s can be a bit slow for poker events like this and hopes were high that there would be a much bigger turnout on the Friday. This definitely turned out to be the case as Friday had more than double the number of paying poker players than Thursday had!

Yes, there were a total of 113 poker players paying their way to play on Friday and at £550 a pop, this meant there was a lot of smiles from the organisers. In fact, with 113 poker players snapping up the chance to play on Friday, the Reading event actually managed to become the busiest with respect to GUKPT events. It just goes to show that a lot can change overnight!

A much healthier turnout for Day 1B

Of the 113 players on Friday, a total of 44 managed to make their way into the Day 2 event which was taking place on Saturday. With 25 players gaining entry to Day 2 from their efforts on Thursday, Saturday had 79 players lined up to come along and take part in the fun and excitement at the G Casino in Reading.

The overall chip leader for the play on Saturday was decided on Friday with John Burberry ending up with a total of 133,850 chips. John is no stranger to live poker events and managed to claim a fourth place finish at a WCOOP (World Championship of Online Poker) event so he has plenty of skill at the top end of a major poker event. Having a substantial chip amount at the end of the Day 1 poker action is no guarantee of getting to the end of Day 2 in a similar position but at least Burberry has provided himself with the chance to grab success in this event.

Some other poker players who will be happy with their work building to Day 2 include Ashley Smith, who earned 98,125 chips, Andy Probyn, who grabbed 108,000 chips and David Lloyd, who was holding 128,850 chips at the end of Day 1B. The plan for Saturday’s play was to continue until the final table was in place and then the action would roll over to Sunday.

GUKPT Reading Leg Gets Off To A Slow But Steady Start

GUKPT ReadingIn the current climate, everyone is obsessed with numbers and seeing how things stack up and compare to other things. This is something that is particularly prevalent in the current UK poker scene and every event will have the number of players and attendees examined and analysed in close detail. We’re not ones to be left out in this regard which is why the initial turn-out for the start of the GUKPT Reading leg was fairly disappointing.

Thursday Day 1A activities always have to be taken in context but even so, when you have an event due to start in 15 minutes and only 9 players have actually stumped up the £550 for the event, it is natural that some people will be a bit worried. There was a bit of a spurt in these fifteen minutes because by the time the event was officially underway, the number of paying players had rocketed up to the heady heights of 17 poker players! This wasn’t ideal and by the time the registration period closed there had been a total of 52 players involved with the event. Of this 52, 25 players made it through the day, which is surely an incentive for all poker players to get involved with this sort of event. That is extremely close to a 1 in 2 chance of making it through the Day 1A of a major poker event, which is surely something that will be of interest to many poker players in the United Kingdom?

A big poker chip stack is always good

The player who picked up the most chips at the end of the Day 1A action was Ricky Smith. Smith was the only player at the event that managed to get over the 100,000 mark with his chips, reaching the lofty total of 103,000. This was more than enough to see him out in the lead with respect to chips and the player from Tadley can be rather proud of his showing in Reading. As we all know, a good Day 1A showing is no guarantee of success at any point in a poker tournament but you’d always rather have more poker chips than less so well done to Ricky.

Some of the other top players still in the running include James Martin, who managed to grab 85,800 chips and Stuart Fox, who had 51,800 chips at the end of player. Terry Plummer also booked his passage with 48,950 chips while Willie Tann claimed 47,500 chips. Other players making it through were Richard Hawes, Victor Ilyukin and Peter Haslam.

Full Steam Ahead For Galway Poker Festival

UKIPT GalwayEven though there will still be some people counting the cost of the ISPT event at Wembley, this shouldn’t be taken as an overall sign that the numbers of players interested in poker tournaments is falling. It has to be said that a number of thing went against the ISPT and it may well be that one of the biggest factors that went against it is pure ambition. As the poker tournament promised so much, many poker players disbelieved that they would be able to live up to their promises. This meant that players turned their back on the event, although they may have held an interest in it if there was a more genuine and down to earth mood to the event.

The thing is though, the recent UKIPT event in Marbella has shown that poker players remain keen to appear at these events if the surroundings and set-up are in the right place. It may not be Las Vegas with the WSOP but there was an opportunity for players to get away from their comfort zone, to have a break but still get the chance to take part in a serious poker tournament too. The fact that the number of players taking part in this event exceeded all expectations, which were not uniformly low, indicates that if you give poker players an event that they want to play in, they will still turn out in their droves.

More big events to come for poker fans with UKIPT this season

It may be easy for the UKIPT to sit back and bask in the glory of the success of the event that they brought together in Marbella but thankfully, this is not the option that the company is taking. That overseas event was just the first event of the new UKIPT season and plans are already underway to ensure that poker players have a great time in Galway for the next leg of the event. When it comes to partying, there is not much many people can tell the Irish but with a huge poker party lined up, there is definitely going to be a lot of interest and excitement in what is being lined up for the event which takes place in July and August.

This is not just any event though, this event, taking place between the 27th of July and the 12th of August is lined up to be the biggest poker festival that has ever been held in Europe! This may be placing a lot of pressure on it but given the recent success in Marbella, who would bet against this event? The main poker festival is billed as the Full Tilt Galway Poker Festival, with that online poker site being the main sponsor but the pick of the 60 poker tournaments that are taking place is likely to be the €1,100 UKIPT Main Event! The fact that there are so many poker tournaments taking place is a great thing for the area and UK and Irish poker in general and there will be many people looking forward to visiting the poker village! Yes, there is that much interest in the event there is going to be a poker village for players to come along to and socialise in.

The expectation for the big Main Event of the festival, which carries a guaranteed prize of €1,000,000, is that there will be around 1,200 people coming along to play. This is more than the population of a fair few towns and villages in Ireland so this is definitely going to be a spectacle that is well worth checking out. Some of the other events taking place at the Galway Poker Festival include a Pot Limit Omaha Championship and a UK vs Ireland Heads-Up Championship. This is definitely the sort of event that will bring a competitive edge to the event and if you are in the vicinity for this one, you should do your best to take part or at least watch it all unfold.

APAT Back For Seventh Season

APAT Season 7No matter the activity in life, it can be all too easy to focus on the big names and the star players. When there is big money involved, people will inevitably look towards the top players but one of the best things about poker is that it is open for everyone. On the right day with the right turn of cards, a lowly player can take out a massive name, which is something that is not always available in other activities and sports. By and large the big name poker player will take care of the smaller poker player but there can be occasions where the lesser known player wins.

However, there is a lot to be said for providing amateur poker players with their own events and this is exactly what the Amateur Poker Association & Tour is doing. This summer has seen the commencement of the 7th season of the APAT and there are plenty of great poker events to look forward to. The season got off to a cracking start, piggybacking onto the ISPT event at Wembley Stadium on the 1st of June. This Saturday event allowed players the chance to grace Wembley and join in the fun. Big name poker players were looking to play for the top prize that promised €1m but for amateur poker players, there was still plenty at stake.

This season is seventh heaven for APAT

APAT Live Tour

There is going to be a stop-off in Prague and in Las Vegas but by and large, this season is going to give UK poker players the chance to stay close to home and take part in some major poker events. The next event takes place at the end of June at the G Casino Coventry when the APAT English Amateur Poker Championship takes place. The following weekend, Saturday the 3rd of August, Welsh poker players get their opportunity to get involved with the APAT Welsh Amateur Poker Championship which is taking place at the G Casino in Cardiff. There is then a run of events at the end of August taking place in the Dusk Till Dawn club in Nottingham. This is one of the premier poker venues in the UK and there are seven different events taking place over the Bank Holiday weekend.

The Gala in Bristol plays host to the LPPL Players Championship on Saturday the 7th of September and then on Saturday the 28th of September, the APAT Irish Amateur Poker Championship is played out in Dublin. The Celtic cousins are in action the following weekend as well as the Alea Casino in Glasgow plays host to the APAT Scottish Amateur Poker Championship.

That is all of the UK events for 2013 but with two foreign jaunts to end the year and then plenty more poker events lined up for the first half of 2014, this seventh season of the APAT is sure to be an exciting one for amateur poker players everywhere, which means that everyone gets a chance to be a winner.

Still No Luck For UK Players At WSOP

Daniel CascadoGiven the amount of poker players from around the world who are trying their luck at the WSOP in Las Vegas, it is no great surprise that there are no British or Irish players amongst the winners just yet. There are still plenty of events to go do hopes are still high that there may be some success to come but as of yet, there have been no stories of UK triumph. This is not to say that there haven’t been great performances from UK and Irish players though. There are plenty of players from here over who have performed well over there, grabbing cash finishes and making it through to the latter stages of the tournaments.

If you are looking for a hard luck story, what about Daniel Cascado in the 24th event of the WSOP, a No Limit Hold ‘Em game? Daniel made it through to the final head to head but sadly he was defeated by US player Corey Harrison. It would have been to cheer on a winning player from Birmingham, England at the WSOP but sadly Harrison hailed from Birmingham, Alabama. Harrison took a prize of more than $430,000 which meant that Cascado had to settle for a mere $267,452 for his second place finish!

Big poker money coming back to the UK

Another big UK finish fell to James Park, who came third in the 22nd event, which was a Pot Limit Omaha game. This time the UK player did hail from Birmingham and finishing in third place, behind Americans Josh Pollock and Noah Schwartz, saw Park take home $108,196.

Other big finishes during the past week include Stephen Chidwick finishing 6th in a Omaha Hi-Low Split-8 or Better game, which saw him bag $43,120. In the same big game where Daniel Cascado finished second, Britain grabbed 7th and 8th place too. Zimnan Ziyard was in 7th place earning $54,191 and Gareth Teatum was one place behind in 8th, earning $41,198.

WSOP 2013 While there are many professional poker players taking part in the WSOP, there are also plenty of players that have scrimped and saved all year to take part in some of the smaller tournaments. Being able to play in the WSOP in Las Vegas is clearly a dream come true for many players and hopefully every UK and Irish player that has made it all the way to Sin City will have a brilliant time. Winning and doing well is brilliant but at times like these, sometimes it is the taking part that is the most important thing.

After all, if you are sat here reading about the exploits of the UK poker players that tried their best, wouldn’t you rather be in their shoes than your slippers? The 2014 WSOP may be a long way away but it is never too early to start dreaming about what may happen. Hopefully you can take influence and inspiration from the great poker displays that so many UK and Irish players have delivered so far. Also, hopefully there will be some more successes and perhaps even at least one title triumph before the 2013 WSOP comes to an end!

Top European Poker Player Admits UK Football Following

Theo JorgensenIt is perfectly understandable that poker players will have interests outside of poker. There is no doubt that the top players in the game will have a great deal of focus on improving their skills and becoming a better player but players need to be able to unwind and step away from the game. Many poker players like to follow a sport and this is where football comes to the fore of popular activities.

It is understandable that UK poker players will follow British football teams. Players like Sam Trickett wear their football hearts on their sleeves and most in the poker community know who they support. Trickett had genuine hopes of becoming a footballer but injury stopped him from achieving that dream but he recently played and scored twice in a prestigious match at Old Trafford. As a huge Manchester United fan, that would have been a big day out for Trickett.

However, it is not just British poker players that support British football teams. The worldwide appeal of some of the biggest clubs in the country means that it is inevitable that some foreign poker players will have a fondness for British football teams and this is exactly the case with Theo Jorgensen.

Poker success is different from football success

Liverpool FC Logo

Jorgensen was born in Denmark and there are plenty of great Danish sides he can support. It should also be remembered that Denmark have won a major international trophy, The European Championships in 1992, more recently than England has managed to win anything. However, even with all of this in mind, Jorgensen, is a fan of Liverpool as opposed to being a fan of a local club. The thing is, for people of a certain age group, Liverpool are an obvious team to support given that they had a dominance in Europe for so many years.

When asked why he supports Liverpool, the era that Jorgensen fell in love with the club becomes apparent and it is nothing to do with Torres or Suarez! Jorgensen said;

I support Liverpool for various reasons, some of them are named Kenny Dalglish, Ian Rush, Terry McDermott, Ray Kennedy, Alan Kennedy, Sammy Lee and the big one: Jan Mølby.

This was an era when Liverpool were at the top of their game domestically and in Europe and no doubt there are many men around Europe of the same age as Jorgensen who back Liverpool. Of course, very few other men have a WSOP bracelet and a WPT title to their name but when it comes to backing a football club, everyone is equal! There are more chances of Theo Jorgensen winning titles regularly than Liverpool have these days but you can bet if he plays on Merseyside or in the UK, Theo will never walk alone.

Ludovic Geilich Triumphs At The UKIPT Marbella Event

Ludovic GeilichGoing into the final day, the table was set up as follows. Ludovic Geilich was the chip leader with 4,100,000 and the second placed player was Kamil Hrabia, who had 2,815,000 chips. In third place was Pablo Rojas who held 2,155,000 chips while in fourth place was Jorge Erguas Paniagua who had 2,095,000 chips. In fifth place was Asier Crespo, who had 1,410,000 chips while Fernando Curto was in 6th place with 1,190 chips. In 7th was Jonatan Soderstorm, the first player with less than 100,000 chips as he had 660,000 chips. In eighth place was Lucas Blanco, who had 440,000 chips.

The sixth placed player Fernano Curto was the first one to drop out and he received €12,820 for his efforts. The next player to exit was Jorge Erguaras who managed to pick up €17,580 for his work at the poker table. The next one to go was Jonathan Soderstrom and he received €23,800 for his work. The next player to crash out was Lucas Blanco who received €35,710 for taking part in the Marbella event.

Poker payout agreements were made

With three players left in the Marbella event, it was time for the players to sit down and work out a deal between them and after quite a bit of negotiating, there was agreement about what would be lined up for every player. Kamil Hrabia knew that he was getting a guaranteed €95,000, Pablo Rojas agreed to pick up €98,000 and Ludovic Geilich was playing for a guaranteed €116,000. There was still €14,000 up for grabs to play for which meant that the three remaining players had a further incentive to play for the big cash.

The notion of agreed payouts and agreements is something that not every poker player agrees with but when you consider the huge jump in payouts between the fourth placed player and the third player. With Lucas Blanco received around €35,000 for finishing fourth, you can see that Kamil Hrabia would be delighted to pick up a minimum of €95,000. Hrabia was the first to drop out but it had clearly been a lucrative trip for him and if the Marbella sunshine wasn’t enough of a benefit, the cash will have been a huge bonus.

UKIPT MarbellaThis meant that Pablo Rojas and Ludovic Geilich were in the final head to head and with a 3 to q chip lead established early on, Geilich remained in full control, eventually grinding out the win, the big money and the kudos of being a big poker title winner.

Geilich spoke to the UKIPT site after his triumph and it seemed that he was fairly pleased with himself and his triumph. When asked about how he felt about the in, Geilich said;

I don’t know really. I’m happy of course, but I’m dead mellow, I don’t go nuts like these guys. When I get knocked out I don’t get emotional. I’m out, I just leave. It feels good though.

It seems as though Geilich really enjoyed playing against Rojas in the head to head and he was quick to provide praise to his opponent.

What a gentleman, I really like the guy. I didn’t want to beat him heads-up, I wanted us both to win but that’s the deal. I’d have been devastated if I beat him with a bag of spanners. I didn’t want it to end like that.

While many of the poker players were looking forward to a big celebration, Geilich was more focused on catching up on sleep after what had been a tough few days of poker in Marbella!

Day 2 Of Marbella UKIPT Event Goes Well

UKIPT MarbellaGiven that over 760 poker players have taken part in the UKIPT Marbella event, it has been a great achievement to make it to the end of Day 2. Every player that has made it through to this level will be guaranteed of taking away a couple of thousand euros for their trouble but once you get to this stage, you want to keep going as much as possible. Of course, every poker player will say this and there will be a great deal of competition to make it to the big money stages.

One poker player that has given himself every chance of making it through to the big money positions at the UKIPT event in Marbella is Chris Derrick. This is because Chris is the chip leader at the end of Day 2 with 1,017,000 chips, making him the only player to smash through the million chip barrier at this stage. This will provide Chris with a bit of leeway but of course; this position is no guarantee of any future success or provides him with too much confidence about making it big in Marbella.

In saying that, Chris has shown that he has the skill, capabilities and nerve to do what it takes in this style of poker event. He managed to take fifth place in Edinburgh at the Main Event of the UKIPT leg in January of this year and then in February 2013, he grabbed a 25th place finish in Cork. This was for a small cash amount of €1,710 but with the Edinburgh success giving him over £20,000, Chris knows what it takes to be the player that walks away with a great deal of money at the end of a poker session. He knows he will be taking some cash away with him when he leaves Marbella but he will be looking to grab as much money as possible.

Plenty of poker chips left to play for

Chris Derrick

At the end of Day 2, the top ten ranked players in the tournament were, beginning with Chris Derrick at number one with 1,017,000 chips, as follows. In second place was Ludovic Geilich who held 689,000 chips while Miguel Abellan Hernando held 669,000 chips in third place. In fourth place was Lucas Blanco Oliver with 648,000 chips while Jesus Arroyo Rodriguez was in fifth spot with 602,000 chips. In 6th spot was Fernando Curto with 554,000 chips and in 7th place was Dara O’Kearney with 536,000 chips. In 8th place was Stuart McDonald with 528,000 chips, in 9th position was Renzo Cambianica with 519,000 chips and in 10th spot was James Mitchell with 473,000 chips.

The top 10 had two UK players and one Irish player as well as 4 Spanish, 1 German, 1 Italian and 1 Australian player. This is not a bad spread of events but the Marbella influence certainly came to the four with the 4 Spanish players although the 2 UK players and 1 Irish players help to keep the flavour of the UKIPT event alive.

Big Numbers For Day 1b Of UKIPT Marbella Event

UKIPT MarbellaEven though a great deal of the focus and attention on the ISPT Wembley event fell on the numbers (and lack of attendees), it would be fair to say that some poker events have been achieving great success with respect to pulling in the punters. This has definitely been the case at the Marbella UKIPT event, which says a lot for the reputation that the event has managed to develop for itself.

There were some eyebrows raised at the fact that the cap for Day 1B was being set at 350 but to be honest, plenty of poker events have announced lofty expectations. What really made a difference with this one came with the fact that the cap was smashed with 411 players getting involved with the second of the Day 1 events. This indicates that there is a great demand for live poker tournaments and even the fact that the UK and Irish Poker Tour took the bold move of getting out of the country and playing on foreign shores didn’t harm the turnout. In fact, it may even have brought about a great number of benefits!

A lot of poker players missed out

With 411 players taking part at the beginning of the event, it was inevitable that a lot of players had to be cut. By the end of Day 1B, there were 127 players making their way through to the Day 2 event. The chip leader on Day 1B also managed to grab the title of chip leader for the complete tournament. This prestigious title fell to Nick Boehler who was able to grab a total of 231,700 chops. We all know that a lead at the beginning of Day 2 counts for nothing but you’d rather have the chips than not have them so Nick will be playing on with a bit of confidence.

Leo MargetsGiven that so many players failed to make the cut from Day 1B, it was no surprise that a number of major names fell by the wayside. Leo Margets and Gregorz Mikiekewicz were knocked out, leaving them to think about what might have been. Given that the event is a UKIPT event, some of the big UK names still involved in the tournament include Surinder Sunar and Martins Aeniya, who will still be harbouring dreams of big success. Some poker players will be looking forward to the UKIPT Cork event in August but plenty of poker players still have high hopes for Marbella success.

Great First Day Main Event Poker Action In Marbella

UKIPT MarbellaThere was a lot of excitement and anticipation in the build-up to the Main Event of the UKIPT Marbella event. The fact that it was the curtain raiser of the season meant that there was always going to be interest but with this event being held outside of the UK, there was an added level of interest in how the event would go. The idea of jetting off to sunnier climes to enjoy some poker action is something that appeals to many people and if you were unable to make it to the Las Vegas for the WSOP, heading to Marbella seemed like a great compromise!

One player that was definitely glad that he made it to Marbella was Andrey Vladimirovich Shubin. If you are thinking that a poker player by the name of Andrey Vladimirovich Shubin is a strange name to be leading a UK and Irish Poker tour event you are right but it just goes to show the truly cosmopolitan nature of poker these days. It may be a UKIPT event but it is taking place on foreign soil and at the end of the first day, the leader was a Russian! This meant that there was something for everyone, regardless of where you hailed from!

Plenty of poker players involved in the Marbella madness

A total of 352 players were involved on the first day of Main Event at the Casino Marbella, which was a great return for an event that had a buy in of €1,100. There was a lot of poker action played out on the first day and that hardy bunch of poker players was whittled down to 133. This was a big drop but with 10 different 60 minute levels of play taking place, it was clear that this event was not messing about.

Andrey Vladimirovich Shubin managed to rack up 202,500 chips on the first day of play, which is a fairly confident amount when you consider that he started off with 20,000 chips. You can see why so many poker players were dropping out of the event at a fast rate when the top players were racking up chips at such a fast rate. While Shubin was the clear leader, there were some players that also managed to rack up a lot of chips from the first day of action. The player in second place was Robert Wybrew who managed to grab 181,000 chips while Pawel Keller, who hails from Poland held 152,700 chips. There was a UK representative in fourth place, always handy for a UKIPT event, and Chris Derrick was the lucky player who held 142,500 chips.

One of the players that many people were looking out for at the UKIPT Marbella event was Ondrej Vinklarek. The Czech player has developed a very strong reputation for online player and his username of “Vinkyy” has picked up a lot of cash and a lot of plaudits. Vinklarek has managed to bag more than $4m in online play. The fact that he has earned over $530,000 from live tournaments is a positive thing but it only goes to show how much success he has had in the online poker world.

Of course, Thursday provided another day for players to get involved with the 1B event and you can bet that some of the players who missed out on the Day 1A action or who were bombed out will make sure that they get involved this time. It was expected that more than 350 players would be involved for Day 1B, which certainly goes some way to indicating the popularity of this poker tournament.