Sometimes, things happen in life that lead you to think they happened for a reason. Take Ian Otobo for example, he and his friend, Carl Harris, were planning to head to London for the UKIPT Series, but changed their plans at the last minute when they discovered they could fly to Malta and play the WPT DeepStacks event taking place there more cheaply.
Three days later, Otobo walked away with the title of champion, €20,300 in cash and a $3,000 entry to a championships tournament. Funny how life works out sometimes.
The tournament that Harris and Otobo were originally going to play was eventually won by Elliott Panyi, who had to outlast a crowd of 351 players at the Hippodrome Casino, London, to get his hands on another live title; this one came with £16,950 as a prize. Panyi has a good record in London having won the Genting Poker Series hosted there a couple of years ago.
Not a million miles from where Panyi was playing, the first £1,000 buy-in event of the 2016 Grosvenor UK Poker Tour (GUKPT) kicked off with a crowd of 394 players, which meant the prize pool was almost twice the £200,000 guarantee.
It was a great start to the new season for the GUKPT, even if the final table did play out quite strangely thanks to the final eight players making a deal, then a second deal happening when play was heads-up.
If you're going to be in the UK or Ireland during February and fancy playing some live poker then be sure to check out this link that has all of the biggest events taken place on our shores during this month.
Into the online poker world now and news that British player "carmen.1957" chopped the 888poker Super XL Series Main Event for a massive score of $168,532.90. They weren't the only ones adding substantial sums to their bankrolls, check out the UK & Ireland focussed Sunday Briefing for more details on this week's big winners.
The online exploits of the UK & Ireland's top talent during the PokerStars Turbo Championship of Online Poker (TCOOP) reshaped the online poker rankings, with the Aussie Millions results causing a reshuffle of the UK's Global Poker Index (GPI) standings.
Sadly, not all of the news this week was positive because we had the unfortunate task of writing about Richard Cole going missing while in Amsterdam. Cole, a keen poker player, hadn't been heard from for a couple of days since January 25, causing concerns for his welfare. On February 2, police confirmed they had found the body of Cole in a canal in the city.
Our thoughts go out to Cole's friends and family during this sad and difficult time.