Congratulations to Sam Grafton on being crowned this year’s GUKPT Grand Final champion. Taking place at the famous Grosvenor Victoria casino in the centre of London, Grafton defeated a field of 137, including many of Britain’s top players en route to his first major victory and a well earned £102,700 payday. The £2,500 buy-in event, which attracted a total prize pool just short of £350k, included big names such as Paul Foltyn, Sam Trickett, and our very own Karl Mahrenholz. After his big win Grafton commented that “the quality of the field made it a tough competition, it’s something you can be proud of.”
He went on to declare that he was “really, really chuffed,” with the victory. Grafton who has already had a number of strong finishes in his live tournament career, can finally call himself a major champion.
Sunday’s final table hit the ground running with lots of players hitting the rail in quick succession. It wasn’t until play got down to three-handed that the pace started to slow down. Eventually, Victor Ilyukhin hit the rail in third place after Peter Charalambous’s two pair defeated his second pair.
Once it got down to heads-up, the quick pace of play resumed. Grafton doubled up almost instantly when his A-Q held up over Peter’s A-6. The double up for Grafton left both stacks practically even and for the proceeding hands each player would take it in turns winning the small pots. But eventually Peter got caught bluffing on a large pot and from then on Grafton was in the driving seat. The final hand of the tournament came soon after when Sam three-bet all-in with A♠-4♠ pre-flop only to be called by Peter who held pocket tens. The flop was kind for Grafton and gave him a flush draw which eventually came in on the river. A jubilant Sam Grafton collected the mountain of chips and was declared GUKPT champion.
Following another in-the-money finish, Martin Holmes concludes the year at the top of the GUKPT leaderboard and can now call himself the player of the year after ending up with 394 points in total, some 100 clear of his nearest rivals. The win means that Holmes receives free entry to every GUKPT Main Event in 2013, while runners-up Hills and Taylor each receive £3,000 GUKPT vouchers for Main Events in 2013.
1. Sam Grafton – £102,700
2. Peter Charalambous – £72,800
3. Victor Ilyukhin – £45,400
4. Matt Moss – £28,250
5. Jon Spinks – £22,250
6. George Hassabis – £17,100
7. Dave Maudlin – £13,700
8. Sandeep Khosa – £10,300
9. Chris Brammer – £7,700