It had everything. An early bust-out with Kings against Aces, suckouts, some brilliant bluffs and most of all an excellent atmosphere and a fantastic venue (thanks Aspers!). And once the dust had settled it was Shane Stalley (stall3y12) who pipped PokerPlayer Dave Woods to the trophy, denying Woods the brag of being the only two-time Grand Prix winner.
Alan Steer (TealcPT) might have been the first poker casualty, when he ran Kings into Aces, but it was PokerPlayer that suffered the first bad beat of the day early on when the bar tab was inadvertently left open after the welcome drinks, leaving a few lucky players to scoop extras – including a chicken supreme pizza! And it was editor Ross Jarvis who was the first PokerPlayer to fall when his pocket Tens lost to Jerome Ho’s A-K – an Ace on the river leaving Jarvis howling at the prospect of losing the last longer AND being put on photography duty for the rest of the day.
In every tournament there has to be a bubble boy, but Eddie McGovern (LaProd1) was desperately unlucky to land just outside the cash when he was busted in brutal fashion by PokerPlayer Dave Woods. After a raise from Woods pre-flop with pocket Sevens, McGovern – with one eye on the bubble – elected to flat call with his pocket Jacks. A 4-8-8 flop saw Woods lead out before McGovern moved all-in. That sent Woods to the tank and talking through the hand. He incorrectly concluded that ‘all pairs Jacks and above would have raised pre-flop’ and made the call only to find himself massively behind. A Seven on the turn was cruel, but McGovern took it brilliantly, shaking Woods’ hand and leaving with a rueful smile.
With play down to two tables, Tim Farthing was the next PokerPlayer to fall. He moved his short stack in with K-Q and was called by Jerome Ho’s Sixes. A Queen in the window led to a mini fist-pump from PP_Timmy before the Six was revealed to make Ho’s set. With that he claimed his second bounty of the day and set his sights on Woods’ chips and a clean sweep.
It wasn’t to be though. After flirting with the chip lead on the final table Ho fell to Shane Stalley in fourth in a massive pot. Calling Ho’s raise pre-flop and calling again on a Q-Q-7 board, Stalley moved all-in when a third club dropped on the turn. Ho tanked but made the call with Jacks only to see that Stalley had turned the nut flush. He couldn’t fill up on the river and left with €550.
Three-handed, Stalley ratcheted up the aggression and took out Bob Bulman to give himself a 3/1 chip lead heads-up against Dave Woods. It didn’t take long to get all the money in, Woods’ 10♠-J♠ falling very short against Stalley’s A♠-8♠ on a K♠-9♠-3♠ board. Stalley celebrated before being informed that Woods still had an out, but the miracle Q♠ didn’t arrive and Stalley could finally claim the victory.
Stalley elected to take the PokerPlayer Sponsorship Package as his prize, including a seat at the Winamax Dublin Poker Open and the PPT grand final. We’ll be reporting on how he gets on in future issues. Thanks to everyone for making the final such a fantastic event. The standard of play was great and the tournament played in the very best of spirits. Remember, the next Grand Prix starts on Monday February 10, and this time it’s all online. Reg now and get more details here.
[table id=38 /]
Get the passwords for all PokerPlayer freerolls by subscribing online for just over £1 an issue! Click here to subscribe now!