The crown jewel of the United Kingdom and Ireland Poker Tour (UKIPT) has determined a champion for the first time in nearly five and a half years. It was the return of the PokerStars sponsored regional tours at one of its most iconic locations in the Hippodrome Casino in the heart of London. The 2022 UKIPT London £1,100 Main Event attracted a field of 645 entries and the biggest slice of the £619,200 prize pool was split among the final three finishers, who cut an ICM deal.
James Rann was the shortest stack by a small margin when the trio shook hands but ran(n) the best when it mattered from thereon. He defeated Lukas Dimsa in heads-up to claim the top prize of £86,568 while his opponent from Lithuania cashed for £80,282. Third place finisher Rickie Vedhara walked away with £80,204 for his efforts after taking part in a live MTT after a break of seven years in which he solely focused on cash games.
For Rann, it was the first live MTT win on European soil and his first ever live cash back in 2010 was in a UKIPT Main Event in Edinburgh. Start-of-the-day chip leader Joshua Boulton had to settle for fourth place while PokerStars ambassador Ben Spragg bowed out in 15th place (£5,920).
Final Result 2022 UKIPT London £1,100 Main Event
|Place||Winner||Country||Prize (in GBP)|
|1||James Rann||United Kingdom||£86,568*|
|3||Rickie Vedhara||United Kingdom||£80,204*|
|4||Joshua Boulton||United Kingdom||£40,960|
|7||Kully Sidhu||United Kingdom||£18,644|
*the final three players agreed to an ICM deal and played for the trophy plus £8,732 to the winner
The return of the popular live poker tour, which last took place in November 2016 at the very same location, was a thorough success. Poker players from near and far headed to the former theatre at Leicester Square to join the series from April 1 to 10, 2022.
In the most expensive tournament of the festival, the £2,200 High Roller, a record-setting field of 131 entries for the tour was set and the marquee event followed suit in similar fashion. Lola's, the new tournament room on the ground floor, was bustling with action throughout all starting days of the £1,100 Main Event.
The Action of the Final Day
Only 16 players out of the 645-entry strong field returned for the final day and among them was also PokerStars ambassador Ben Spragg, who was one of the short stacks. He ensured one pay jump thanks to the early elimination of Robert Boon but came up second-best to Antoine Saout soon after to finish in 15th place.
It didn't take long to whittle down the field to final ten after that with Joshua Boulton doing the lion's share of the work to whittle down the number of hopefuls. By the time the final table bubble took place, Rickie Vedhara was among the shorter stacks but scored back-to-back double ups against Julien Sitbon and Antoine Saout to leap into second place. Boulton then knocked out cash game player Dongze Hao in a large pot to enter the final stage with two times as many chips as his nearest follower.
Saout was left short after the previous clash with Vedhara and sent the remainder of his stack over in the same direction moments after the action resumed. The eventual heads-up opponents James Rann and Lukas Dimsa doubled through Boulton prior to the final table and Rann did so again with aces versus nines when all had combined to a single table. It was just a small dent in the stack of Boulton at the time and he made up for it by knocking out Lorenc Boci and Kully Sidhu.
A third double for Rann through Boulton came in spectacular fashion when his king-jack suited went runner runner for a flush. Sitbon was left short after paying off Alexios Zervos' value bet and he was eliminated by Vedhara in the next hand. The Greek was the next to bow out after he doubled Dimsa and the Lithuanian finished the job a short while later.
The next major setback for Boulton was a significant one as Vedhara took the lead, while Dimsa stayed alive against Rann. Ultimately, Boulton's run good ceased to exist and he ultimately fell in fourth place. Once the chips were nearly even in three-handed play, the trio agreed to ICM numbers and Rann dominated the action to claim the trophy and largest payday.
That wraps up the PokerNews live coverage for the first UKIPT series in more than five years. The next two spots of the tour have also been confirmed already. In May 2022, the Bonnington Hotel in Dublin will be hosting the second UKIPT stop of the year while the series then heads to Malta for the Summer Poker Festival in June 2022.