EPT12 Malta: Darrell Goh seals IPT high roller victory

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Darrell Goh: Champion before the sun came up

We may have hit upon something significant in Malta late last night: a way to ensure poker tournaments that seem certain to run until at least breakfast get finished at a (relatively) decent hour.

After all the agonising over what to do with the final of the €2,000 IPT High Roller, and whether to reconvene on Tuesday or Wednesday should the clock tick past four o'clock, six of the remaining seven players at the time of the discussion were eliminated within about three hours. They crowned a champion at round about 3am.

That man was Darrell Goh, an Irish player who was railed to victory by a hardy band of friends also from the British Isles, who also managed (in time-honoured fashion) to keep the waiting staff busy as they watch Goh prevail. They were all still there at the end to give Goh to bumps as they crowded into his winner's photo.

In only July, Goh was tweeting, "Cashed my first live tournament". Three months later and he was able to say, "#IPT High Roller shipped #sundayfunday".

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The bumps for Darrell Goh

It was actually an all British Isles affair at the end, with everybody friends with everyone else. Agshin Rasulov, a high-roller specialist from Azerbaijan, was the short stack when they went on what would be the last break of the day. He was quickly gobbled up leaving Goh to square off against Shola Akindele, from Leeds in the UK, who was last seen around a final table at the World Series of Poker this summer and was continuing a run of decent form.

Akindele had her supporters too, most prominently her husband Simon Deadman, and it was Deadman first with the news when the game was over. "Lost AK v QQ to finish 2nd #soproud," Deadman tweeted, explaining how come a deep-stacked heads up battle was concluded so soon.

Yes, queens against ace-king is always going to get things done.

So it was that both Goh and Akindele secured the highest tournament scores of their careers: €151,670 for Goh and €96,160 for Akindele. They crowded into the same winner's photo at the end to celebrate a combined €250,000 payday.

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Friends and supporters of Darrell Goh and Shola Akindele crowd the joint-winners photo

And best of all: some of the bars were still open too when it all ended, allowing them all to head off and continue the party.

The full results will be posted on the side events results page in due course.

Howard Swains
@howardswains in European Poker Tour