Sunil Mistri lifts the only trophy likely to be seen at Stamford Bridge this season, at the second leg of the Grand Prix Poker Tour
Stamford Bridge has been a pretty desolate place since the new footy season kicked off. Chelsea have lost nine of their 17 games and sit just three points above the relegation zone. Jose Mourinho’s been sacked, the players aren’t happy and Roman Abramovic is stuck in the middle watching his stock fall.
Thankfully, there has been one star performer this season. The Grand Prix Poker Tour made its first stadium stop at Stamford Bridge, with a unique format that saw online Day 1s merge with three live flights in the heart of London. Over 3,200 players tried to build a stack for Day 2 and 295 succeeded – all of them guaranteed at least £210. Jonty Willis was top of the league with a stack of just over 900k, with Sunil Mistri in his slipstream.
With everyone in the money the atmosphere at Stamford Bridge was fantastic, but despite the blinds being rolled back a couple of levels the action was frantic. Bustouts could wander onto the football pitch and take solace in the fact that they were still technically winners – unlike the multi-millionaire footballers that normally grace the turf.
Three side events were set to play as well, along with FIFA on giant screens and a pool compo where players could win a seat for the Old Trafford leg. Back in the main event, big stack Willis was crippled when Mohammed Yasin flopped a set of Fives to crack his Tens. That pot gave Yasin the chip lead, but he fell just short of the final table when he lost a big flip – ironically against pocket Fives.
A double bustout saw the official final table start with seven players – Pak Chung was the recipient of the chips when he picked up Aces and got it in with two players tabling A-2. It meant after being a short stack with nine left, Chung started the final table as the narrow chip leader with 14m. Mistri had also made it through Day 2, building his stack up to 13m.
Tony Vu was the man who made the early moves on the final table, eliminating the first three players to take a big chip lead. Tim Rowlands was out in fourth when he called an open shove from Mistri with A-Q. He was in good shape against Mistri’s J-7 until the K-J-6-3-3 board ran out.
Mistri took the tournament by the scruff of the neck when he took out Vu in third. Mistri raised in the small blind with A-9 and then called Vu’s shove with K-8. The A-2-8-7-4 put him heads-up without too much of a sweat. Heads-up was even easier, and after taking down a huge pot off Chung almost straight away, Mistri held a 47.25m to 6.75m chip lead. Chung managed a double up, but with time running out he shoved with 8-3 and was looked up by Mistri’s K-4. The K-K-8-3-7 board was decisive and Mistri took down the £35,000 first prize.
The next stop on the Grand Prix Poker Tour is Old Trafford, January 16-17 where you can play for a share of the £250k guaranteed prize pool. You can play online Day 1s now at partypoker.com or live Day 1s at the Manchester235 casino (Jan 9-10 and 14-15) or Old Trafford itself (Jan 16).