Do you remember when Chris Moneymaker famously turned $38 satellite entry into a $2,500,000 score and the title of 2003 World Series of Poker Main Event champion? Of course you do — everyone in poker knows of that amazing story.
On Sunday night, at Dusk Till Dawn in Nottingham, Leigh Wiltshire (pictured) wrote his own zero-to-hero story when he parlayed a £0.01 satellite win into £110,000 when he became the 2014 Sky Poker UK 6-Max Poker Championships Main Event champion.
Wiltshire qualified for the £1,000 buy-in tournament – one that featured a £500,000 guaranteed prize pool – by winning a “pennyroll” satellite at Dust Till Dawn’s (DTD) online poker operation on the iPoker Network. As the name suggests, the buy-in for this satellite was a mere £0.01.
The £500,000 guaranteed event attracted exactly 500 players over the course of three starting days, including some of the United Kingdom’s finest. Luminaries such as Richard Trigg, Toby Lewis, Craig McCorkell, Christopher Brammer, double WSOP bracelet winner JP Kelly, Paul Foltyn, Ludovic Geilich, Niall Farrell, Team PokerStars Online Mickey Petersen, Mathew Frankland, Neil Channing and Everest Poker Ambassador Sam Trickett were all present, proving how prestigious this event really was.
Trickett was the unfortunate bubble boy, busting in 54th place to Wiltshire when the latter flopped a set of deuces and faded an open-ended straight flush draw under the glare of the television cameras. The event is being broadcast on Sky Sports in the UK later this year.
Wiltshire also sent Channing to the rail in 14th place, his king-queen spiking a king on the river after Channing’s flopped a four and looked set to suck out on Wiltshire’s hand.
From that point on, Wiltshire never looked back and he navigated his way to the six-handed final table fourth in chips with a stack containing around 40 big blinds.
2014 Sky Poker UK 6-Max Poker Championships Main Event Final Table
Paul Haycock was the final table’s first casualty, losing a hand against online legend Stephen “allinstevie” Devlin to become the sixth place finisher.
Fifth place went to Neil Strike, the recent winner of the UKIPT Marbella High Roller, who pushed his short stack into the middle of the felt with and lost to the of start-of-the-day chip leader Abhishek Khaitan, this despite hitting a ten on the flop.
Wiltshire then sent Andy Young to the cashier’s cage to collect fourth place money, albeit three hours after Strike was struck off. Wiltshire flopped trips with his on a flop and expertly checked before leaping into life and check-raising after Devlin had bet and Young had raised. Only Young called Wiltshire’s check-raise and he called again when Wiltshire set him all-in on the turn. Young flipped over and didn’t improve on the river.
Heads-up was set when Wiltshire claimed another scalp, that of the Irishman Devlin. A preflop raising way broke out that saw Devlin five-bet all-in with what turned out to be and Wiltshire calling with . Devlin was already in bad shape preflop and his situation grew worse on the flop and was drawing dead on the turn when a queen paired the board and improved Wiltshire to an unbeatable full house.
The one-on-one battle between Wiltshire and Khaitan, a doctor who is a regular in high stakes games in London, spanned three hours and ended with Wiltshire winning all of the chips in play. Khaitan committed his stack with and Wiltshire held . The board ran to bust Khaitan and leave Wiltshire to complete his amazing story.
2014 Sky Poker UK 6-Max Poker Championships Main Event Final Table Results
Wiltshire was back at work on Monday, ironically as an accountant, although probably with more of a spring in his step thanks to winning £110,000 for a £0.01 investment. His satellite represented 0.0000090909% of his eventual winnings, while Moneymakers was 0.00152%.
When people start taking about “The Wiltshire Effect,” you will know why.