UK & Ireland PokerNews Round-Up: Sky Poker UK Poker Championships Kicks Off

UK & Ireland PokerNews Round-Up

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  • A Sunday Million winner, live tournament champions, and a historic loss feature in the UK & Ireland PokerNews Round-Up.

One of the most eagerly anticipated live poker festivals of the year is taking place at Dusk Till Dawn casino in the heart of Nottingham this week, the 2016 Sky Poker UK Poker Championships.

The opening event, the £2,200 High Roller, smashed its £100,000 guarantee by £72,000 and the lion's share of that impressive sum is now nestled in the bank account of its champion, Jack O'Neill. The Nottinghamshire-based grinder, who finished 19th in this year's Aussie Millions Main Event, collected £55,000 for his victory, by far the largest live score of his career thus far.

O'Neill isn't the only British poker player to walk away with a title, because " target="_blank"]Nathan Farnaby triumphed in the partypoker Grand Prix Poker Tour event held at the home of Premier League football team Newcastle United. Farnaby turned a $109 investment into $35,000.

By the time the next UK & Ireland PokerNews Round-Up hits your screens, another tournament will be in the midst of crowning its champion because the second leg of the 2016 Grosvenor UK Poker Tour (GUKPT) heads to Manchester for a week on Feb. 28. The highlight of GUKPT Manchester is its £1,100 Main Event with a £200,000 guarantee, but the £220 Mini Main Event is also sure to attract big crowds to the Grosvenor Casino Bury New Road.

In the online poker world, there was plenty to shout about this week, too. PokerStars' Sunday Million is the tournament that everyone wants to win, and this week Ireland's "stardust167" did exactly that. Their prize for topping a field of 5,778 was a cool $179,120.79, a sum made all the more sweeter by the fact "stardust167" qualified for the $215 buy-in tournament via a satellite costing a mere $7.10 to enter.

While "stardust167" was busy navigating his way to victory in the Sunday Million, Conor "1_conor_b_1" Beresford was marching towards the Sunday Warm-Up title. Unfortunately for Beresford, he fell in third-place, a finish worth $41,089, and this tidy sum helped him climb to seventh in the UK Online Poker Rankings and a career-high of 47th in the world, according to PocketFives.

Lastly, not everything was rosy this week because one of the largest gambling companies in the UK posted its first-ever loss, according to a statement to the London Stock Exchange. Ladbrokes has been floated on the stock market for a decade and this is the first time it has made a loss — one of £42.3 million. The losses were partly due to £99.3 million of exceptional costs including £17.6 million associated with its merger with rival Gala Coral. Despite the loss, shares in Ladbrokes rose by 7.6 percent at one stage due to investors being please with the companies Q4 trading figures.

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