Raul Martinez finished Day 1a of the 2015 Grosvenor UK Poker Tour (GUKPT) Reading Main Event as the chip leader and never looked back. Martinez ended Day 2 second in chips among the 17 survivors, and when the dust settled on Sunday night, Martinez was the last man standing to become the newest member of the GUKPT family.
Driton Haxhiaj was the first to fall on Day 3, and he was followed to the exit over the next two hours by Ian Francis, Vaidas Siriunas, Andrew Seabright, Mark English, Martin Holmes, Andrew Christoforou, and Leon Mills.
Mills was the unfortunate soul who burst the final table bubble. Martinez raised all in from the small blind with the and Mills called with the dominated . Mills’ situation grew worse with the arrival of the flop, and when the landed on the turn it was game over for Mills. The inconsequential completed the board on the river and the final table was set.
2015 GUKPT Reading Final Table
Lee Doran was the first casualty of the final table, busting as the 22nd level came into play. With blinds of 6,000/12,000/2,000, Martinez raised to 35,000 and Doren three-bet all in from the big blind with what turned out to be . Martinez snap-called, as would you if you held the . The board was void of drama and Doran took his leave.
Fifteen minutes later, Aaron Biggs fell by the wayside. Julian Davies min-raised to 32,000 and Biggs re-raised all in for 220,000 total. Davies called, turning over the and discovering that he was flipping against Biggs’ .
The flop kept Biggs’ queens out in front, but Davies caught a runner-runner straight when the turn was followed by the river to send a disappointed Biggs home in eighth place.
Seventh place went to Florian Andrei who shoved his last 10 big blinds into the middle of the felt with the and was looked up by David Lloyd with . An ace in the window of the board was more than enough to send Andrei home and leave only six players in the hunt for the title.
Those six became five with the exit of Lloyd. Martinez opened from the button with the and then called when Lloyd three-bet from the big blind with the . The dealer spread the flop and after a brief raising war, Lloyd found himself all-in and at risk of elimination. Lloyd needed a queen to stay in the tournament but no ladies appeared as the turn was followed by the river.
Almost an hour later, Andrey Veselov was sent to the rail by Davies. Veselov moved all in for around eight big blinds with the and was in terrible shape against the of Davies. Neither player improved by the river of the board, and Veselov’s run came to an end.
The remaining four players then sat down and discussed a deal. They reached a compromise after around 15-minutes of talk, which left £1,750 to play for and saw Harry Dukes lock up £17,200, Davies £17,500, Martinez £23,500, and Hui Jin £24,000.
Davies then ran into the red-hot Martinez, raising preflop and then firing all three streets of the board only to be shown the by Martinez. Davies flashed the for trip nines before mucking and heading to the cashier’s cage.
Down to 10 big blinds, Dukes needed a double up and he tried to get it when Martinez limped from the small blind. Dukes raised all in from the big with the but his timing was off as Martinez had limped with . The call was made, the board came into view, and Dukes failed to connect.
Martinez went into heads-up play with a 3.1 million to 1.8 million chip lead but soon fell behind thanks to the relentless aggression on Jin. The chip lead exchanged hands several times, and at approximately 11:30 pm on Sunday night, Jin moved in for 1.2 million with the and Martinez called with the .
A flop reading catapulted Martinez into the lead, with the turn brining him one step closer to victory. The river was not one of Jin’s two outs and he was eliminated in second place, leaving an ecstatic Martinez to become the 2015 GUKPT Reading champion.
2015 GUKPT Reading Final Table Results
*reflects a four-way deal
Next up for the GUKPT is a trip to Leeds between July 26 and August 2. Qualifiers are available at Grosvenor Poker, where if you download via PokerNews you can claim a 100% up to £500 first deposit bonus.
Lead image courtesy of GUKPT