Marc Wright secured the largest live tournament cash of his career this weekend when he topped a field of 276 players in the 2016 GUKPT Grand Final, turning his £2,125 into £132,380.
Wright, known as “dean23price” in online poker circles, where he has won just shy of $4 million, now has $444,253 in live tournament winnings. His previous largest live cash came in 2012 when he finished seventh in the EPT Berlin Main Event, a result that netted him €97,000.
2016 GUKPT Grand Final Final Table Results
*reflects a heads-up deal
The 2016 GUKPT Grand Final paid 26 places with a min-cash worth £4,420. Team PokerStars Pro Jake Cody finished in 23rd place for £4,420 with such luminaries as Shola Akindele, Kevin Allen, Ben Jones, Matt Strom-Perrins and Babis Lappas finishing inside the money places, the latter bursting the final table bubble and ensuring the remaining nine players would leave London with a five-figure cash haul.
Spain’s Lucas Blanco was the first player to bust at the final table, pushing his 18 big blind stack into the middle with a suited ace-king and running into Wright’s red kings. The five community cards were void of an ace and the final table lost its first player.
Wright then sent another short stack, Nikola Minkov, to the rail in eighth place. Minkov committed his stack with ace-queen, Wright called with pocket jacks and went on to improve to an unnecessary full house by the river.
Shortly after Minkov bust, Kiat Le followed suit. Le lost a significant pot to be left with slightly more than six big blinds and these went into the middle of the felt while holding three-four of hearts. The man Wright called with ace-nine flopped an ace and Le was gone.
Only 10 minutes passed before the final table became even shorter handed. Paul Scipioni raised all in for around 10 big blinds from the button with a pair of black queens and was called by Will Davies in the big blind who was holding a lowly pair of fives. Just as it looked like Scipioni was going to double his stack, the door card was the five of diamonds to put the ball firmly in Davies’ court. No queen followed that five and Scipioni’s tournament came to an abrupt end.
Bandar Alireza fell in fifth place at the hands of Wright. Alireza opened to 50,000 at the 12,000/24,000/3,000a level and called when Wright three-bet to 135,000. Alireza then check-called a 210,000 bet on the jack-ten-four rainbow flop before checking on the nine turn. Wright moved all in and Bander called off his 400,000 stack, turning over queen-ten as he did so for an open-ended straight draw. Wright revealed a pair of aces, which held as the river bricked off.
Four-handed play lasted 75 minutes and ended with the elimination of Naoufel Smires. A preflop raising war with Wright resulted in Smires being all in with a pair of kings against Wright’s ace-king. Those kings remained the best hand right up to the river, but the ace of spades made an appearance to further whittle the field.
Almost immediately after Smires’ demise, Tamer Kamel fell victim to the run good of Wright. All in preflop, Kamel showed pocket nines against the ace-ten of Wright. Kamel flopped a set on the all spade flop, the turn was a red ace, and the river the six of spades, gifting Wright a flush as he had the ten of spades in his hand.
Wright and Davies decided to strike a deal that locked up £127,000 for Wright, £120,000 for Davies and kept £10,000 and the trophy for the eventual champion.
After almost an hour of heads-up play, Wright and Davies agreed to chop the £10,000 they’d previously reserved for the winner and flip for the trophy. Wright’s final hand was king-queen, Davies’ was six-four and by the river the board contained four spades. Wright held the queen of spades in his hand, thus busting Davies in second place and becoming the 2016 GUKPT Grand Final champion.
The GUKPT now goes on a well-deserved break before returning on Jan. 29 for the opening leg of its 11th season, which takes place at the London Poker Room at The Vic. Check out the full 2017 GUKPT schedule.