Stuart Rutter Wins the 2023 GUKPT Luton Main Event Title; Becomes a Two-Time Champion
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Stuart Rutter added his name to the long list of household names who have become a Grosvenor UK Poker Tour (GUKPT) Main Event champion in Luton. The seasoned pro overcame a 223-strong field to pad his bankroll with £62,368 and his second GUKPT Main Event trophy.
Rutter is a popular figure in the United Kingdom poker scene, and further afield, too. He is often one of the unsung heroes, going about his business in a quiet, calm and fun-loving manner but also doing so with deadly efficiency.
Having recorded his first live score in November 2005, it is fair to say that Rutter has been around the block more than once and that he knows his way around a poker table. Although many of our readers will know of Rutter from his mixed game results, this second GUKPT Main Event title proves that Rutter's No-Limit Hold'em game is still on point.
The top 23 finishers received a slice of the £231,933 prize pool, and there were some familiar faces among those cashers. Two-time GUKPT Luton Main Event champion Driton Haxhiaj continued his incredible run of form in Luton events, finishing 21st for £2,500. Others to see a return on their £1,250 investment included Dean Clay (17th - £2,665), Matthew Davenport (16th - £2,900), Waheed "Wadey" Ashraf (15th - £2,900), Brandon Sheils (14th - £3,130), and the legendary veteran Willie Tann (12th - £3,595).
2023 GUKPT Luton Main Event Final Table Results
Arian Hassankashani was the first of the nine finalists to find themselves void of chips. He called off his short stack having paired the ace of his ace-four on the turn, only to discover Tim Slater had him out-kicked with the dominating ace-king.
Ace-king was involved in the next elimination, that of Freddie Bogie. The ace-king of all-in Bogie was against the pocket queens of Rutter, with Rutter flopping a set and hitting a full house on the river.
Seventh place went to James O'Brien in cruel circumstances. O'Brien looked down at a pair of kings in the hole, and wasted no time in moving all-in for his last 10.5 big blinds. Slater called from the big blind with pocket tens, and the Poker Gods rewarded Slater with a ten on the flop. The GUKPT commentary team revealed a ten had been mucked, so O'Brien lost to a one-outer.
Slater continued running hot as he sent James Golder to the showers in sixth. James moved all-in for 13 big blinds with ace-eight, and Slater looked him up with the inferior ace-five. A five on the flop proved enough to reduce the player count, and guarantee the remaining five players a five-figure payout.
The final five became four with the demise of Carl Spencer. Again, it was Slater that struck the fatal blow. Slater was all-in and at risk with pocket sevens against Slater's ace-king, and could not hold.
Slater's luck finally ran out in a 25 big blind clash with Kevin Allen. Slater held ace-ten of spade, Allen had pocket sixes, and that small pair held to leave only three players in contention to become the 2023 GUKPT Luton Main Event champion.
A similar scenario sent Allen to the cashier's desk to collect third-place money. Allen held ace-king and needed to connect with the board to beat the pocket sevens of Rutter. However, the five community cards ran out kindly for Rutter's sevens, and the tournament progressed to heads-up.
Rutter faced Vikrum Mehta heads-up knowing Mehta had been in this position before. Mehta triumphed in this event in 2019 and walked away with a career-best £83,590. The former champ had to make do with the second-place prize this time around because his ace-ten failed to come from behind to beat the ace-queen in Rutter's hand.
Amazingly, this was the first live poker tournament victory for Rutter since he took down the GUKPT Coventry Main Event in May 2010, although he has knocked on the door several times, including a runner-up finish in the $10,000 Dealer's Choice event at the 2018 World Series of Poker (WSOP), which earned Rutter a career-best $181,258 score.
GUKPT Heads to Leeds From October 4
There is not long to wait until the next leg of the 2023 GUKPT kicks off because GUKPT Leeds runs from October 4-15 at the Grosvenor Casino Westgate. Among the highlights are the £1,000 Main Event, won last year by Chris Johnson for £73,070, and a £1,500 High Roller, whose reigning champion is Richard Kellett.
Along with the plentiful satellites held at Grosvenor Casino Westgate, there are also online satellites at Grosvenor Poker. You know what to do if you want to win your way into the GUKPT Leeds Main Event for pennies.