Nathan Farnaby is the latest player to be crowned a partypoker Grand Prix Poker Tour (GPPT) champion after he triumphed at St. James' Park, home of English Premier League club Newcastle United. Farnaby scored the victory on Feb. 21 and claimed the $35,000 first-place prize.
2016 GPPT St. James' Park Final Table Results
All 246 players who made Day 2 were in the money, each locking up $221 in cash and a $109 ticket for a future GPPT leg. A four-figure score awaited anyone finishing in the top 27 places, with those reaching the final table guaranteed at least $3,000.
With three tables remaining, all eyes were on Sunil "Sunny" Mistri, due to him having a realistic chance of winning what would have been his second GPPT Main Event title after having won the Stamford Bridge event previously.
Unfortunately for Mistri and his fans, his run ended with a 10th-place finish when he pushed all in from the small blind with and the big blind looked him up with the dominating and couldn't get there.
The final table was still in its infancy when Thales Salomao opened to 450,000 and was called by James Ablott in the cutoff seat. Lee Kipling squeezed all in for 12 big blinds from the button with what turned out to be and only Salomao called, doing so with the . Those ladies melted Kipling's snowmen as the board ran and the first final table casualty was confirmed.
Salomao then sent Bryan Tismond to the rail in eighth place, Ablott went out seventh, and David Ridout busted sixth.
Fifth place went to Darren Knaggs, who may count himself unfortunate to have busted how he did. Looking to improve his chip stack, Knaggs pushed all in when first to act on the button holding the lowly . Farnaby decided to call from the big blind with the . Neither player improved after the dealer spread the onto the felt, which meant Faranby's queen-kicker played and the tournament was down to four players.
Those four became three with the exit of Craw, then Nadeem Hussain busted in third.
Hussain lost a few chips before losing out in a race to Farnaby, who suddenly could do no wrong. Farnaby shoved from the button with the and Hussain called from his seat in the small blind with the . Farnaby flopped a set on the board before improving to an unnecessary full house by the river to send the tournament into the heads-up stage.
Heads-up play was over almost as quickly as it has began, thanks in part to Farnaby holding a 27,000,000 to 8,000,000 chip lead over Salomao. A couple of hands into the one-on-one battle, Salomao pushed his stack of 7,200,000 into the middle with the , and Farnaby called with the . The flop increased Farnaby's lead, although Salomao picked up an inside straight draw, and then the turn and river, ended the match to give Farnaby the win.
The next stop on the GPPT is an online leg at partypoker on Sunday, March 20. Entry costs $109 and the guarantee stands at $250,000. Anyone wishing to play a GPPT stop at one of the United Kingdom's iconic football stadiums only has to wait until April 9 when the tour heads to Elland Road, home of Leeds United.
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*Lead image courtesy of Mantas Ruzveltas of the Grand Prix Poker Tour blog.