The 2016 Grosvenor UK Poker Tour Manchester Main Event has its champion and that champion is Reyaaz Mulla, who defeated Tom Middleton in heads-up play to get his hands on the winner's trophy.
Final Table Results
|7||Priyan De Mel||£7,400|
Sixteen players returned to the fray on Sunday at lunchtime, but they were soon reduced to 15 when Neil Strike's couldn't hold against Darren Lord's because the latter paired his ace on the flop.
Alex Montgomery, Danny Hernon, Athir Ali, Mark Evans, Dean Hutchinson, and Liam Hooks all fell by the wayside during the first four hours of play, leaving only one nine-handed table battling for the top honors.
Mulla went into the final table one big blind short of a million chips, which was enough to earn him the title of chip leader. Ming Ju was second in chips despite arriving almost two hours late to the final day's action and seeing his stack halved.
Ninth-place went to Andrew Mathews on the very first hand of the final table. Mathews pushed all in on a board with and was snapped off my Mulla and his for trips. The completed the board and left the tournament with only eight players.
Those eight became seven 20 minutes later when Tuan Lee open-shoved for 10 big blinds with the and was dominated by the of Ju. An flop put Ju even further into the lead with the locking up the hand. The river was inconsequential, and Lee was gone.
Lee's seat hadn't even gone cold when Priyan De Mel was heading for the cashier's cage. De Mel pegged his hopes, and final 10 big blinds, on the and found a caller in the shape of Mulla and his . Despite catching a flush draw on the flop, De Mel missed his outs and fell in seventh place when the turn and river came the and , respectively.
Next to fall was Matt Davenport, who min-raised to 40,000 on the button and was called by Ju and Grant Wheelhouse in the blinds. All three players checked the flop, with Ju checking the turn. Wheelhouse bet 70,000, Davenport called, and Ju moved all in for around 1 million chips. This huge bet folded out Wheelhouse, but Davenport tank-called off his 500,000 chips, doing so with . Ju showed for trip fives, which held when the showed up on the river.
The fast pace continued and claimed the tournament life of Wheelhouse. Ju made it 45,000 to play from the small blind, Wheelhouse three-bet all in for 180,000 in the big blind, and Ju called to put his opponent at risk of elimination. It was a coin-flip scenario, with Wheelhouse needing his to come from behind to beat the of Ju. Sadly for Wheelhouse, the five community cards ran out and he crashed out in fifth place.
Lord then bust in fourth place after getting his hand caught in the cookie jar, raising all in with only the on a flop and running into Ju's .
While all of this was going on, Middleton was playing a patient game and hovering around 20 big blinds. Middleton doubled his stack to 850,000 on the last hand before a break when his nines held against ace-eight of Ju to give himself some breathing room, then a huge hand shortly after the restart sent Ju to the rail.
A raise to 55,000 at the 12,000/24,000/3,000 level from Middleton was three-bet to 163,000 by Ju, then four-bet all in by Mulla. Middelton ducked out of the way, but Ju called to create a pot of more than 3 million in chips. Mulla showed the , Ju the , and a few seconds later, Mulla's hand was the best following a board that read .
Although Mulla held a lead of 3.17 million to 1.474 million over Middleton, he agreed to a deal that saw Middleton receive £53,000 — originally, second place was £44,050. Mulla took £58,300. After the deal, the tournament was over very quickly.
A brief raising war saw Middleton all in with the and Mulla the . An ace on the flop, then a on the turn all but cemented Mulla's victory. The river did exactly that, resigning Middleton to second place, and crowning Mulla the 2016 GUKPT Manchester champion.
Next Up for the GUKPT
The GUKPT next heads to Reading between April 17-24 with a £550 buy-in, £100,000 guaranteed Main Event being the star attraction.
Qualify for this next event exclusively at Grosvenor Poker by signing up via PokerNews, where you will be entitled to a 200-percent bonus on your first deposit, up to £1,200.