Gareth Walker Wins UKIPT Nottingham 2011

Gareth Walker

Image Credit: Neil Stoddart

The UK and Ireland Poker Tour Nottingham Main Event came to a conclusion yesterday with Greg Walker prevailing to win the tournament for £109,000. The £560 buy-in tournament had two starting days (Day 1A and Day 1B) with Day 1A attracting 478 players and Day 1B seeing another 580 players enter the tournament, meaning a total of 1,058 players which is a UK-record breaking field.

On Day 1A it was Full Tilt Pro Dave ‘El Blondie’ Colclough who finished as chip leader with 224,300 chips. On Day 1B it was Sam Macdonald who finished as chip leader with 260,100 chips, followed closely by Luke Fields who accumulated 255,900 chips. All three of them recommenced play on Day 2 as all of the 215 surviving players took their seats once again, all hoping to be one of the final eight players to make the final table of the event. However neither of them managed to make it through Day 2 with Fields finishing 36th (£2,120), Macdonald finishing 26th (£2,380), and Colclough finishing 17th (£2,645).

While Day 2 was supposed to play down to the final eight players, the Tournament Director, Toby Stone decided to end the days play after 12 levels to recommence the final day with 12 players. It was Bookmaker Mike Hill (who finished third on the Season 1 UKIPT Leaderboard) who finished the day as chip leader, holding 2,422,000 chips.

The final days action began at 16:15pm GMT and within an hour the tournament was down to 11 players. After a raise from Ian Gilchrist, Stephen Fitzpatrick moved all-in in the small blind for 611,000 chips and received the call from Gilchrist who flipped over JJ leaving Fitzpatrick’s A10 in trouble. The board ran 9844J to see Fitzpatrick eliminated in 12th place for £4,500.

Soon after Fitzpatrick was eliminated, both Nick Slade and Khoa Nguyen found themselves out. Slade moved all-in holding 9-4 against his opponents A-Q and with no help on the board he was out in 11th place for £4,500. Nguyen then open-shoved holding Q3 and was called by Chris Dowling who held 44 and with a board of J45J8 Nguyen was eliminated in 10th place for £5,800.

They were soon followed by Ian Gilchrist who open-shoved for 370,000 with kJ and was called by German player Tim Bettingen who held A10. The board fell 769Q9 to put Gilchrist out in 9th place for £5,800 and the remaining players had now made it to the ‘official final table’.

There was then an action-packed two hours which saw three players eliminated in just two hours. The first of them to be eliminated was David Heaton who ran his AJ into Chris Dowling’s KK preflop, and with no help from the board Heaton was out in 8th place for £7,950. Thomas Rolfe was then eliminated in 7th place for £13,750 after his 66 failed to hold up against Romano Pizzo’s AQ. However it was the next hand, which saw the elimination of Chris Dowling from Ireland, which sent the rail into a frenzy. Brett Angell raised to 275,000 and Dowling moved all-in for 1,440,000. Angell made the call and revealed his AQ and Dowling revealed his cards – AQ! Everyone was expecting a split pot, but the board of K4910Q gave Angell a Flush and saw Dowling out in 6th place for £19,050.

Next to go was Mike Hill who began the day as chip leader. Hill made an incredibly poor-timed bluff by moving all-in on the board of J55108 holding 94 (9 high!) and Romano Pizzo instantly called with 85 for a Full House! Hill pocketed £24,350 for his 5th place finish but he will be bitterly disappointed to be eliminated after such a move.

Next to go was German player Tom Bettingen. Romano Pizzo opened for 500,000 and Bettingen moved all-in for 2,900,000, receiving the call from Pizzo. Bettingen revealed his K10 but was needing help from the board because Pizzo revealed JJ. The flop of Q10Q gave Bettingen hope, however the turn of 7 and river of A sealed his fate and he was eliminated in 4th place for £31,700.

Out in third place was Romano Pizzo. He moved all-in for 2million chips holding A5 and was called by Gareth Walker who held A7. With a board of Q24J6, Walker’s 7 kicker came into play and meant Pizzo was eliminated for £40,750 and we were down to heads-up.

Gareth Walker began heads-up play with 11million chips over Brett Angell’s 4.6million chips and it only took one hour for him to claim victory, at 04:30am GMT. In the final hand of the tournament Walker held 96 and bet 4.5million chips to put Angell all-in, and Angell made the call holding 1010. It was looking like Angell would double-up and heads-up play would continue, however the board of K34510 giving Walker a flush, £109,000 for winning, and the title of 2011 UKIPT Nottingham Champion. We will be seeing a lot more from Walker because he said he will be using the winnings to buy-in to all the other UKIPT Season 2 events, as well as buy a new car. Congratulations Gareth!

2011 UKIPT Nottingham Final Table Results

1st was Gareth Walker winning £109,000
2nd was Brett Angell winning £68,700
3rd was Romano Pizzo winning £40,750
4th was Tim Bettingen winning £31,700
5th was Mike Hill winning £24,350
6th was Chris Dowling winning £19,050
7th was Thomas Rolfe winning £13,750
8th was David Heaton winning £7,950