IT professional by day, poker player by night – now Miikka Toikka takes down his first big live event
The 2015 Goliath managed to beat its own record and maintain its crown as the biggest live-only poker tournament outside of Vegas. 2,764 unique players took part in the £120 buy-in Main Event and, after combining the 1,446 re-entries, it made for a very grand total of 4,210. That meant the total prize pool on offer was an incredible £421,000, smashing the £250,000 guarantee.
On Sunday, after nine days of non-stop action and with poker fans watching from all around the world on the live stream, the 2015 Goliath drew to a close when 27-year-old Finnish player Miikka Toikka brushed aside the last of the remaining 4,209 competitors and emerged victorious, winning the trophy and £70,800 in cash!
Toikka started Day 3 of the Main Event first in chips but it was no easy ride for the Finn who experienced a few ups and downs along the way. When he met his heads-up opponent, Katie Swift, he held an enormous ten to one chip lead – 95m to 9.5m!
Swift is no stranger to the UK poker circuit and has been taking part in the Goliath and GUKPT events for years, but couldn’t perform the miracle turnaround. It was all over quickly in fact, on the second hand of heads-up play, when Swift moved all-in with K♥-J♣ and Toikka called with A♦-4♠. The A♠-K♠-T♠-T♦-3♥ sealed the deal for Toikka but also netted Swift a huge payday of £46,300.
2015 Goliath Final Table
- Miikka Toikka – £75,800.00
- Katie Swift – £46,300.00
- Ryan Meager – £29,050.00
- Sunil Moti – £20,200.00
- Philip Bain – £12,650.00
- Andrew James – £8,400.00
- Benjamin Boulden – £5,900.00
- Shane Andrew Mossop – £3,800.00
- Grant Paul Ferguson – £3,100.00
Davids v Goliath
Grosvenor ran a David v Goliath Bootcamp this year, hosted by pros Jeff Kimber, Ellie Biessek and Joe Beevers. 12 ‘Davids’ took part and two went on to cash in the Main Event. Neither Nick David Secker or and David Mee had much experience playing poker, but they were eager to learn more and improve their game. They obviously took the advice from the pros on board – David Mee finished in 74th for £750 and Nick David Secker finished in an impressive 17th place winning £1750 and a seat to the 2016 Goliath Main Event.
Despite the enormity of the Goliath Main Event, Grosvenor Casinos still managed to deliver a full week of fun-filled entertainment and other poker side events. Notable performances include first place in the side events for Louise Ann Hill (Blind Man’s Bluff), Ashley Dobbs (Deep ‘n’ Steep), Falko Pavels (Open Dealer’s Championship), Richard Simmons (PLO), Vincent Campbell (Win the Button), Aurelijis and Viadas Siriunas (Tag Team Event) and “Be like David” Team (Team Event).
Grosvenor Casinos also ran its first 50/50, inspired by the ever growing 25/25 Series. The event was originally capped at 250 players but due to demand over 400 players were accommodated. V Amir-Zahiri took down the title and £36,500 first prize.
The next 25/25 Events will be taking place in Cardiff and Newcastle during the first weekend of September and then the GUKPT will be back with the £1,090 buy-in, £200,000 guaranteed Main Event at the Grosvenor Casino Luton September 13-20. Satellites to both the 25/25 and GUKPT events run regularly on www.grosvenorpoker.com.
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