After five long days of non-stop poker action at the UKIPT Isle of Man, Josh Hart has secured his first ever UKIPT title and £57,484 after defeating a field of 402 players. Hart, a 24 year-old online professional, made a heads-up deal with Irishman Ciaran Heaney where they virtually chopped the prize money and played for £5,000 and the title. It was doubly good news for Hart as his Isle of Man hotel roommate, German player Marc Radgen, also made the final table, eventually finishing in fifth place.
|1||Josh Hart||United Kingdom||£57,484*|
|3||David Hill||Isle of Man||£30,200|
|6||Josef Snejberg||Czech Republic||£14,900|
|7||Thomas Ward||United Kingdom||£11,120|
|8||Ludovic Geilich||United Kingdom||£8,000|
*Reflects heads-up deal
The final table had started with most players fairly deep and former UKIPT winner Ludovic Geilich in typically aggressive form. Josh Hart took the early chip lead in Hand #7 when David Hill bluffed two streets with a missed gutshot into Hart's turned flush. Geilich's luck changed in Hand #15 when he limp-called preflop blind-on-blind against another former UKIPT winner, Fintan Gavin. Geilich fired all three streets of a board with but found that he'd always been behind to the Irishman's .
Geilich was further crippled when Marc Radgen beat the Scotsman's with after Radgen made a full house on the board. Geilich then shoved with over the top of a Hart raise but the Englishman called with and Geilich couldn't catch an eight to survive.
Two hands later, fellow Scot Thomas Ward was eliminated when shoving over the top of a Gavin raise.
Josef Snejberg, who had played very well, making impressive (and correct) folds throughout the day, was knocked out in sixth place. In Hand #63 the Czech player bet/three-bet all in on a flop against Hart with only to find the Englishman had outflopped him with . The turn and river changed nothing and Snejberg had to be content with making his biggest ever live score - £14,900.
Radgen busted out in fifth place, pushing his short stack in with and finding a call from Hill behind him with . Radgen was unable to hit his kicker and the final table became four-handed.
With one UKIPT title already to his credit Gavin was many people's pick to win the final table, but he hit the rail after making a huge bluff against Hill. Gavin stayed alive for a while longer but eventually fell with to Hart's in fourth place.
The three remaining players — Heaney, Hart and Hill — were all fairly evenly-stacked but there was no discussion of any deal. Gradually Hart slipped into third until two hands back-to-back completely changed his tournament destiny. Firstly in Hand #116 Hill raise/called with and lost to Hart's . In the very next hand, Hill limp-called a raise on the button with against Hart's in the small blind. Hart fired a bet of 175,000 on the flop before Hill made it 375,000. Hart called and both players checked the turn to see the river. Hart now bet 700,000 and Hill responded by moving all-in for 1.6 million in total. Hart quickly called and in two hands had gone from nearly being out to chip leader going into the heads-up action.
Hart and Heaney agreed on a deal, saving £5,000 to play for (along with the UKIPT trophy), and although Hart started with the chip lead it was Heaney who quickly took the lead, dominating the early action. Hart managed to double up with against and then with against on a board after Heaney had committed himself on the turn.
The real turning point was Hand #137. Hart opened to 160,000 with , Heaney made it 425,000 with , Hart four-bet to 800,000 and Heaney moved all in, getting quickly called. The Irishman couldn't catch an ace and suddenly it was Hart who was looking the likely winner.
Heaney managed to double up twice, first with against and then with against , but the third time proved the charm for Hart when his held against Heaney's to secure the victory and keep the title in English hands.
We're expecting many of the players here will be traveling straight to London and so will the PokerNews Live Updating Team as the European Poker Tour hits London this week with the Main Event starting on Sunday. In the meantime, from the Isle of Man, it's over and out!