UK top pro Marc Goodwin talks us through his recent success at the GUKPT: “I was just raising, raising, raising, pushing on the medium-sized stacks”

‘Mr Cool’ Marc Goodwin produces one of the performances of his career with a decisive win at GUKPT Manchester

Marc Goodwin took down the fourth leg of this year ’s GUKPT in emphatic fashion, beating 308 opponents and recording one of the biggest wins of his career as he cashed for over £90,000.

From the opening hand onwards Goodwin played perfect ‘power’ poker, growing his chipstack from 10k to 150k in record time – and that was just on the first day. ‘I must have got to 50k unchallenged,’ he says. ‘I was just raising, raising, raising, pushing on the medium-sized stacks.’

Goodwin admits he got the cards as well but believes that were it not for his loose image, he could never have got paid off in the ways he did. ‘The biggest coup was when one of the chip leaders came to our table. I had 70k, he had 55k. I raised with Q-3, he re-raised me and I had to pass,’ he explains. ‘A few hands later, he raised under the gun and I had Aces on the button. I raised and he thought I was at it again. It was a lucky situation but I’d done all the groundwork.’


By the time it got down to heads-up, Goodwin had garnered over 2 million chips to serial GUKPT final-tablist Nik Persaud’s 880k, and it didn’t take long for him to whittle Persaud down to around 400k. The end came swiftly thereafter. On a board of A-10-3, Goodwin moved all-in holding top pair with A-8 and Persaud called with K-10. The Brummie pro reacted to his victory in typically understated style: ‘I’m very pleased, well chuffed.’

As a player who has faced the likes of Gus Hansen and Phil Ivey in high-stakes cash games and major tournaments, Goodwin’s capacity for fearless play should come as no surprise. But it’s worth remembering that his confidence going into the GUKPT Manchester was not exactly sky-high.

Ever since his $325k cash in the Monte Carlo Millions in 2005 his tournament game has been in the doldrums. His only outright win in the last three years was in a £750 event at the Midland Masters, and even when he went deep he couldn’t finish it off.

‘I write for magazines and I help coach people but I was feeling like I could teach but couldn’t do it myself. I honestly think I should have won something before this but I just haven’t. Whether I haven’t been good enough and now I am or whether things just haven’t gone well before and now they are, I’m not sure. But you always doubt yourself.’


Keen observers at the final table will have noticed that doubts were the furthest thing from Goodwin’s mind, as he made call after call with marginal hands and completely bossed the table with well-timed re-raises.

‘I just said to myself, I’m not going to rush my decisions. I’m going to think it through. A lot of the time, because I haven’t been running well, I’ve decided someone hasn’t got it and ended up still passing. [In this tournament] if someone’s bets haven’t made sense, I’ve made the call.’

It’s clearly too early to say whether this win will completely revitalise Goodwin’s tournament fortunes, but it certainly demonstrates that one of UK poker’s most popular players is still a force to be reckoned with.

We talk to players like Marc all the time in PokerPlayer magazine. Read for yourself HERE


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