Alex Spencer (left) beat Danny Blair (right) heads-up to win the Sky Poker UKPC main event
Alex Spencer has won the first ever Sky Poker UK Poker Championships (UKPC), winning £125,000 at Nottingham’s Dusk Till Dawn. The 20-year-old from Doncaster beat out a field of 621 players to take the title, UKPC bracelet and a $15,000 tournament package for being crowned UKPC tournament leaderboard champion.
The £1,100 main event had a guaranteed prizepool of £500,000 which was smashed as a result of great efforts by Dusk Till Dawn and Sky Poker, who both qualified hundreds of players in cheaply. The eventual prizepool was £621,000. Considering the tough poker economy at the moment – see our exclusive interview with PokerStars UKIPT President Kirsty Thompson for more HERE – that is a fantastic number, especially for a newly launched event.
One of those players who qualified cheaply was final tablist Deborah O’Connell who managed to get a seat for just £1 (!), before going on to finish in 7th for a £16,000 score. It is her first recorded cash on The Hendon Mob. Another popular face on the final table was Chaz Chattha, who has been consistently cashing on the UK circuit since 2006. Chattha, along with his brother Sunny, Praz Bansi, Karl Mahrenholz and James Akenhead were all members of the Hit Squad, a group of players that took the tournament circuit by storm in 2008-2010. Despite lots of support at DTD and online, Chattha could only make it to sixth place (£21,000) when his short-stack shove with A-5 was beaten out by James Rimmer’s 7-7.
When the main event eventually reached heads-up Spencer already has a huge chip lead over Danny Blair, a live high stakes cash game player from London. That lead would only extend before the chips finally went in with Spencer’s K-3 outdrawing the Q-Q of Blair to crown him the first ever Sky Poker UK Poker Championship winner.
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Outside of the main event there was plenty of excitement too. A huge PLO cash game broke out in DTD’s Trickett Room featuring Lil’ Dave Nicholson, Sam Trickett, Ludovic Geilich, Dave ‘Devilfish’ Ulliott, Rob Yong and others and lasted most of the weekend.
The side events were also incredibly popular and all smashed their guarantees meaning that over £1.1m was awarded at the UKPC last week. Jeremy Nock kicked off proceedings by winning the £3,300 High Roller for £61,000 before Ben Dobson beat out Irish Open winner Ian Simpson heads-up to win the £550 Six-max event for £45,000.
It was a fantastic festival of UK poker for which Sky Poker and Dusk Till Dawn should be proud. It looks set to become a permanent fixture on the UK tournament scene, and should be an excellent addition for years to come.
Photo courtesy of SkyPoker.com.
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