Vincent Meli Wins £159k and the UKIPT Season Finale Main Event Trophy
The PokerStars UKIPT Season Finale Main Event, running at Dusk Till Dawn in Nottingham, has reached its conclusion and a new champion has been crowned.
It was a rapid-fire final table. After around five hours of play, Vincent Meli of France emerged as the outright winner.
Meli, 43, has lived in London for 15 years and played poker professionally for nine of them. His focus has always been on live cash games and, having taken some time off just before Covid, he switched to tournaments. He's found the change difficult and hadn't managed to lock up any significant results. That is until he locked up the UKIPT Nottingham Main Event.
Meli was up against Patrice Brandt heads-up. Brandt, originally from Germany but now local to Nottingham’s Dusk Till Dawn, has had a successful year. Taking down the Sunday Million on PokerStars was one of the highlights of the 40-year-old pro’s recent results, along with "some other big scores” online, as well as deep runs in live tournaments.
A total of 1,227 entries were made across five starting flights, generating a prize pool of £1,177,920 ($1,447,218). Of those entries, only 185 players made it through to Day 2 to lock up the £1,650 ($2,027) min-cash, with just 10 players returning on Day 3 to compete for the title and trophy.
As soon as the tournament was down to two players, they made a deal. Brandt came into heads-up play as chip leader and so took slightly more from the chop. The pair decided to leave £2,000 ($2,457) behind to play for, as well as the coveted PokerStars trophy.
It was a short heads-up battle. Meli soon found himself pulling ahead and Brandt was forced to shove his short stack. After losing the flip, Meli was crowned the champion.
Brandt took £168,425 ($206,930) for what was technically a second-place finish. Meli, meanwhile, earned £159,325 ($195,750) and the trophy.
UKIPT Nottingham Main Event Final Table Results
|3||Andrew Tuxworth||United Kingdom||£90,070||$110,662|
|4||Thomas Middleton||United Kingdom||£69,250||$85,082|
|6||Jack Nolan||United Kingdom||£41,000||$50,374|
|7||Matthew Bonham||United Kingdom||£31,400||$38,889|
|8||Niall Murray||United Kingdom||£24,200||$38,579|
* Denotes heads-up deal
Final Day Action
With the field for the event so big, action didn't quite reach the final table in time for Day 3. Ten players returned to the felt to play for the title.
Alessandro Spina was first to exit after losing a big pot to Brandt, then shoving short and busting to Murray. Action then broke for the start of the official final table.
Despite getting a double up early in the day, Guillermo Nuez was the first player to bust the final table after shoving with a short stack and busting to Tom Middleton. Meanwhile, Meli and Brandt continued to chip up.
Niall Murray was next to go after shoving from the button and getting called by Brandt, who held with ace high to send Murray to the rail. Matthew Bonham, who came into Day 3 as the chip leader, had found himself short after losing several big pots. He shoved with king-queen and was called by Meli holding pocket nines. Meli held and Bonham was eliminated in seventh place.
In what was shaping up to be a very fast final table indeed, several players then busted within the space of an hour. Jack Nolan raised with pocket jacks and Brandt shoved with ace-king. Brandt made a full house and sent PokerStars qualifier Nolan to the rail in sixth place. John Farrell had been nursing a short stack since the start of Day 3 and had successfully laddered up several places. He called all in from the big blind with a short stack and lost the hand to bust in fifth place.
A few minutes later, Meli shoved from the button with pocket nines and Thomas Middleton called with ace seven. Meli held and Middleton was knocked out in fourth place. Andrew Tuxworth had also laddered up several places and was sat on the shortest stack as play went three-handed. He attempted to squeeze from the big blind and was called by Brandt, who held with ace high to bust Tuxworth in third place.
When action arrived at heads-up play between Brandt and Meli, the players immediately looked at the numbers and, moments later, had settled on a straightforward deal. Brandt was chip leader at the time, so he took £168,425 from the deal. Meli happily accepted £157,325.
Players left £2,000 and the trophy behind to play for.
As the heads-up phase progressed, Meli wrestled the chip lead from Brandt, showing a river bluff and winning a big pot with pocket jacks against Brandt's pocket fives. Brandt was left short and shoved from the button with pocket threes. Meli called with queen-six and hit a queen on the river to end the game.
Brandt finished in second place. Meli won the extra £2,000 and the trophy, bringing his total prize money up to £159,325. He is also now the UKIPT Season Finale Main Event champion.
This concludes PokerNews coverage of UKIPT Season Finale, but be sure to check out our live reporting hub for more coverage of exciting tournaments around the globe.