Three days of Main Event have finally concluded the GUKPT Leg 7 Series held at Brighton G Casino.
Strictly speaking it was the £100 Bounty Tournament, won by Jonathan Huckle for £1,690 which rounded it off late on Sunday night, but earlier a hard-fought final table had crowned Paul Foltyn the champion and given him a top prize of £46,400 to add to his already impressive list of live results, which include winning the £3,000 GUKPT Grand Final itself in London in 2008. His second title came after defeating a field of 160, stocked with live and online professionals, tour regulars and qualifiers who traditionally make this stop such an action-packed one.
Brighton is actually the hometown of several online poker players who’ve taken to the live arena in recent years, including James Dempsey and Chris Moorman, and the eventual winner is friends with a lot of the competitors he either outlasted or directly busted to propel him to the top spot. Among those who competed over the seaside felt this time round were Nik Persaud, Jon Kalmar, Jerome Bradpiece, Tim Blake, Priyan de Mel and Tom Middleton, while Mike Ellis, Fuad Serhan and Simon Mairs were among those who took the £2,000 min-cash (17 places in total were paid).
The final ten were very unevenly matched in chips, with Damien Evans and Michael Michalis way ahead with nearly half a million each, while Manuel Palanca returned with just under 70k and started the day moving in repeatedly, but avoided 10th place which went to Lee Taylor who was the earliest casualty of a Foltyn race. Another early all-in confrontation, this time tournament-changing (in the winner’s own words), saw Michael Michalis make a big move with 67 of clubs which Foltyn called preflop with AQ to develop the beginnings of a giant stack, while Michalis hit the rail in 9th. Now came the end for Palanca, a sticky one too as he found KK when Foltyn had AA and his short stack grind was over in 8th (£4,800).
Seven handed at the break, Foltyn had two-fifths of the chips in play, and Jenyue Chiang just three big blinds which went in soon and came out in Damien Evans’ stack, although he was to finish in 6th. John Eames, who earlier lost to a two-outer to double Paul Romain, now switched up a gear and tried to get the big stack ball rolling. He was second in chips at the dinner break but the same hand which eliminated Romain took him out too as big blind Paul Romain’s timely Aces held. Mark James finished 4th having stayed by and large out of the big action earlier, but took home £12,400 from the final table.
Flopping a set of fours and setting the trap for third place finisher Paul Romain (who took £20,400) gave Foltyn a fairly monstrous stack, and heads up action started with his holding a commanding four to one chip lead, but Azorin wasn’t in a kamikaze mood, grinding for a while before finally getting it in with a dominated QT to QJ. £32,400 for the runner up and £46,400 plus his second trophy and a Champion of Champions seat to Paul Foltyn.
Side events had previously seen Armon Pajouheshnia take down the £250 NL Freezeout and Pablo Beltrandeheredia the identically priced but more slightly attended Pot Limit Omaha event. Pajouheshnia also came runner up to Simon Baskerville in the first event, the £200 NL Freezeout. Baskerville took home £4,370 and a seat in the Champion of Champion’s event – as do all the winners of the Brighton GUKPT sides. Joining him therefore will be Kishan Mithani, winner of the £300 NL Freezeout, and David Burn who won the 95-runner £100 NL re-entry tournament for £3,430.
The next stop on the tour is Blackpool, from the 6th-14th November, with the Main Event taking place in the old two-start-day format from the 11th-14th. This will be the final stop on the tour before the Grand Final in London; qualifiers are running now on Gcasino.com/poker.