27-year-old Ben Mayhew has won the UKIPT Nottingham 6-max main event at Dusk Till Dawn for £72,840, beating out one of the toughest fields in UKIPT history. Despite his professional status, this was far and away Mayhew’s biggest tournament score, obliterating his previous best win of £7,200 earlier this year. Mayhew was fighting back the tears after his victory over Tony Salmon heads-up, before dedicating the win to his late father who passed away in March. Speaking to the PokerStars Blog about how he won the tournament, Mayhew said, ‘I swear it’s my old man. He passed away in March so I think he’s definitely up there. Every time I needed a card it was there, bink! I survived five or six all-ins as an underdog and somehow I got there.’
In a field of 458 players this tough, a lot of luck was needed. The six-handed format created a ton of action and many of the UK’s best online superstars were in attendance. Craig McCorkell, Liv Boeree and Sam Grafton all crashed out before the money but some big names did cash, including Dave ‘Devilfish’ Ulliott, Matt Perrins and Mickey Petersen. The runaway leader in the latter stages of the tournament was online phenomenon Chris Brammer. The enigmatic Brit was terrorising his opponents with his ultra loose-aggressive style and was the chip leader going into Day 3 with 31 players remaining. Unfortunately for Brammer, a bad run of cards saw him depart in 8th position, just outside the final table.
Despite the loss of Brammer, the final table was still full of quality. It was highlighted by Ben Vinson, a high stakes cash pro who often plays in Macau, and Spaniard Sergio Aido, who has had a brilliant 2013 and won the UKIPT London in March. Despite their resumes Vinson and Aido could only finish in 4th and 6th, respectively.
In the end it came down to Mayhew and low stakes Dusk Till Dawn regular Tony Salmon to battle it out for the title. A deal was made three-handed (along with 3rd place finisher David Clifton-Burraway) so the vast majority of the money was already paid out yet the prestige of the trophy meant it was a spirited heads-up. Ultimately, it was a coinflip that won it for Mayhew, his A-K outflopping the 6-6 of Salmon to win it all.
Despite the excellent reviews of the players, who all loved the 6-max format, the £500,000 guaranteed prizepool was not quite met. 458 entries created an overlay of £42,000 for Stars and DTD to stump up. After similar overlays in UKIPT events in Galway and the Isle of Man it has led to questions about whether the £1,100 buy-in is just too high in the current economic climate, and especially with so many competing tours and tournaments in the UK. It will be interesting to see how this develops as the still incredibly successful PokerStars UK & Ireland Poker Tour rolls on into 2014.
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Photo courtesy of PokerStarsBlog.com.