Matthew Gray Captures WSOPC UK Main Event Title for First Ring & £100,000
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The World Series of Poker International Circuit returned to the United Kingdom for the first time in four years earlier this month and has now wrapped up proceedings following two weeks of poker action at Dusk Till Dawn, Nottingham.
The final event to play out was the WSOPC UK £1,100 Main Event and after several days of play, Matthew Gray pulled off a final table comeback to claim the title, the WSOP ring and £100,000 set aside for the winner.
The Main Event had a £500,000 prize pool as it saw 439 entries across Day 1a and Day 1d, and only 140 of those made it through to Day 2. The top 63 finishers made the money, with the min-cahs being set at £2,000. Following the second day of action, just 16 players returned to the felt for the final day.
Jonathan McCann started the day as chip leader, but could not go all the way as he fell in third place for £45,500.
By the time the final table started, Hong Pham had taken the lead and continued to add to her stack as the final table progressed. She made impressive bluffs and steals before losing several all-ins that reduced her stack for the heads-up battle. Pham finished in second for £64,500.
Final Table Results WSOPC UK £1,100 Main Event
|1st||Matthew Gray||United Kingdom||£100,000|
|3rd||Jonathan McCann||United Kingdom||£45,500|
|4th||Paul Hizer||United Kingdom||£34,500|
|5th||Steven Warburton||United Kingdom||£26,500|
|6th||Gary Miller||United Kingdom||£20,000|
|7th||Jamie O'Connor||United Kingdom||£15,000|
|8th||John Adderley||United Kingdom||£11,500|
|9th||Lee French||United Kingdom||£9,000|
Action on the Final Day
The eliminations came thick and fast during the first couple of hours of play. Gerald Mcinally, Fabio Miranda, and Ryan Otto all hit the rail before the first break. Two of those three were eliminated by Pham, as was Jack Allen in 12th and Jiaze Li in 10th.
Lee French was the first player to exit the final table after his pocket queens were bested following a flip with Steve Warburton. John Adderley followed French to the payout desk after his pocket sixes could not leapfrog Gray's pair of nines.
Jamie O'Connor became Gray's second final-table elimination after the latter paired up on the flop to move ahead of the pocket nines held by O'Connor
Warburton then downed British grinder Gary Miller in sixth place after his ace-jack held out against Miller's king-ten. However, Warburton was the next player to hit the rail after Pham's pocket eights remained best against his ace-five.
Players across the floor and viewers on the live stream wondered who Pham was and why she looked so comfortable under the spotlights playing against some of the top regulars in the country. Despite only having a handful of recorded live tournament cashes, she made moves suggesting she could mix it up, including a bluff that would stun her opposition if they watched it back on the stream.
At one point, she was so far out in front that it seemed like nobody would catch her. That was until a huge three-way all-in completely changed the dynamics on the final table. Paul Hizer bowed out in fourth place after he shoved, Pham isolated, and Gray woke up with aces. He held up to bring his stack much closer to Pham's, later calling off her bluff to pull almost level.
McCann had maintained a decent stack to the business end of the tournament but crashed out in third place after shoving and getting called by Gray's ace-king. This further increased Gray's stack, so he went into the heads-up battle as chip leader over Pham.
After around 20 minutes of heads-up play, it all came down to a simple all-in and call, as it often does. Gray shoved, Pham called, and Gray's jack-ten paired up to win the tournament.