2015 Grand final attracts biggest ever field as Ben Winsor takes down his second GUKPT title, beating Simon Deadman and James Akenhead to the first prize of £178,000
The 2015 GUKPT went out on a high at The Poker Room above The Vic, when an incredible 321 entries ponied up the £2,125 buy-in, creating a prize pool of £642,00 – smashing the £400k guarantee.
It meant the curtain fell on Season 9 of the GUKPT at the biggest Grand Final of all time, and possibly the strongest field as well. Top name pros like last year’s winner Charlie Carrel, Jake Cody, Barny Boatman, Victoria Coren and John Gale all took a shot at the £178k first prize, but fell short of the cash.
32 players came back on Day 3, two short of the money, and the bubble lasted an agonising hour before 2012 EPT Madrid runner-up Fraser MacIntyre became the player that made everyone else happy. Following his elimination in 31st the action was fast and furious all the way through to the final nine.
When the final table was assembled, all eyes were on two big names – tournament specialist Simon Deadman and ex-November Niner James Akenhead. Akenhead was back on the big stage after a two-year hiatus from the game and ready to make an immediate impact, although he was one of the shorter stacks. Deadman was looking to win his second GUKPT title after two runner-up finishes in 2014. Ben Winsor was the man they had in their sights, with the biggest stack of 1.8m.
Akenhead started the final table fast, doubling with Kings through the K-Q of Alexios Zervos to put himself back in contention. Zervos won it all back and then some though, knocking out two players in a single hand shortly after – but he had to get lucky to do it.
In a three-way all-in, Mikhail Petrov had the best of it with Aces against the A-K of Will Davies and the Queens of Zervos. He survived the 7-9-5 flop, but a Queen on the turn gave Zervos the pot and a big chip lead.
Akenhead knocked Alex Zeligman out in 7th before Simon Deadman was taken out by Patrick Frew. Deadman got it in with Q♦-9♦ but found himself up against bigger diamonds. Frew went on to make a straight with his Ace on the 2-5-7-4-3 board. Akenhead then eliminated another when his A-8 was too strong for Ronaldo Amirahiri’s shove with K-J.
Four handed, it was the final table chip leader Ben Winsor who was shortest, but he won a crucial flip, doubling back into the lead with Tens against Frew’s A-K.
Frew was eliminated in fourth shortly after before Akenhead finally fell in third. He shoved from the small blind with T-7 but found himself in terrible shape against Ben Winsor’s A-T. The 3-J-Q-9 board gave him some hope of a chop, but the Two on the river was a brick and gave Winsor a huge lead heads-up.
It didn’t take him long to seal the deal. Around 30 minutes into heads-up action Alex Zervos moved all-in with T-9 and Winsor called with K-Q. Zervos turned a gutshot but didn’t hit, giving Winsor the biggest win of his career.
2015 GUKPT Grand Final
1. Ben Winsor £178,600
2. Alex Zervos £118,100
3. James Akenhead £72,500
4. Patrick Frew £46,300
5. Ronaldo Amirahiri £31,400
6. Simon Deadman £23,100
7. Alex Zeligman £18,000
8. Mikhail Petrov £14,800
9. Will Davies £12,200
The GUKPT is back in 2016
This was a hugely successful season of the GUKPT and the UK’s longest running poker tour is back next year for its tenth anniversary. There are nine legs in total, kicking off at The Poker Room in London, January 24-31 2016.
From here the GUKPT hits the road, taking in Manchester, Reading and Leeds, before hitting London again, then Edinburgh, Luton and Blackpool, before the £2k Grand Final at the end of November. Click here for more information on the tour and satellite details.