Epic Comeback Allows Kevin Allen to Win the GUKPT Grand Final for £158,700
On Sunday, the final 13 players of a 294-player field returned for Day 3 action in the 2013 Grosvenor UK Poker Tour (GUKPT) Grand Final. At the start of play, Kevin Allen was dead last in chips – 91,000 at the 6,000/12,000 level — but the father of three managed to overcome the odds and capture the £158,700 first place prize.
According to the GUKPT live blog, it took just five minutes for Allen to get the ball rolling with a double up. Not long after, Pratik Ghatge opened for 25,000, Paul Hardwidge three-bet all in for 90,000, and Rudolph Fourie made the call. Ghatge got out of the way and the cards were turned up.
Hardwidge was in bad shape and in need of some help, but he received none as the board ran out . Hardwidge was the day’s first elimination – earning £7,400 for his 13th-place finish – but he was far from the last. Other’s who hit the rail short of the final table were Nicholas Meng (12th - £7,400); the defending champ Sam Grafton (11th - £7,400); and European Poker Tour winner Zimnan Ziyard (10th - £8,000).
Within ten minutes of the final table starting, Ghatge was on the rail. It happened when Richard Kellett opened for 32,000 and Ghatge moved all in from the small blind. Thomas Bichon snap-called from the big and that prompted Kellett to get out of the way.
Bichon had woken up with kings at just the right time, but Ghatge was still drawing to an ace. The flop was not too exciting, and neither was the turn. Ghatge needed an ace on the river to stay alive, but it wasn’t in the cards as the blanked. Ghatge was awarded for £11,100 for his ninth-place finish, and he was soon joined on the rail by Will Kassouf (8th - £15,600), Bichon (7th - £20,000), and Kellett (6th - £25,900).
With just five players remaining, Matt Davenport raised to 80,000 and then called Scott Margerson’s all-in shove of 454,000. Davenport tabled the , which was behind the of Margerson. The flop made things interesting as Davenport picked up a flush draw, and much to Margerson’s dismay, he completed it when the spiked on the river. The meaningless was run out on the river for good measure, and Margerson made his way to the payout desk in fifth place to collect £31,700. He was followed out the door by Ben Jackson, who earned £41,200 for finishing fourth.
Three-handed play last for quite some time, during which the chips made the round. After Allen had doubled, he moved all in from the small blind and put the pressure on Davenport, who had just four BBs in the big blind. Davenport called off and the cards were flipped on their backs.
Davenport was behind, but he was drawing to two live cards. The flop was nothing special, but the turn gave Davenport some extra outs to an eight. The dealer burned one last time and put out the . Davenport missed and had to settle for third place and £70,600.
Heads-up play began with Allen and Fourie even in chips, but Allen eventually pulled out to a 2-1 lead. Then in the early morning hours of Monday, Allen raised to 320,000 from the button and then called when Fourie shipped for 2.3 million. Allen revealed the , and he was out in front as Fourie could only muster the . The flop gave Fourie a massive sweat with a straight flush draw, but he was left wanting as the blanked on the turn followed by the on the river.
Fourie took £105,800 back to South Africa, while Allen, who won the Monte Carlo at Dusk Till Dawn for £120,000 back in April, captured the £158,700 first-place prize and 2013 GUKPT Grand Final title.
That’s it for the 2013 GUKPT season and the popular tour now takes a few months off before returning to The Vic February 2-9 for the first leg of the 2014 season. Check out the full 2014 GUKPT schedule here.
*Photos courtesy of the GUKPT live blog.