Risk management: Nick Abou Risk wins UKIPT Edinburgh and £50,000
Nick Abou Risk has won the UKIPT Edinburgh beating a field of 401 players for £50,000 and a £5,000 seat into the UKIPT Grand Final, aka EPT London. And didn't he play well. Having seized the chip lead at the end of Day 1B, albeit with Owen Robinson still ahead as Day 1A chip leader, he never looked back. Abou Risk started the tournament sat on the left of Jesse May and Liv Boeree, upon whom he wreaked merry hell. Boeree lost one huge pot to him, shoving a non-nut flush into, but of course, the nut flush. Abou Risk played a tough questioning brand of poker all the way through to the final table and ultimately to take down the inaugural UKIPT Edinburgh title.
"I had a good feeling on that first day where I was talking through a lot of hands with Liv Boeree," said Abou Risk "Realising that she had some respect for my game gave me a lot of confidence and I started stealing a lot more blinds." Abou Risk wasn't the only player in contention though and must have been thankful that short stacks Owen Robinson (9th £3,400) and Jake Cody (11th £2,200) earned early dismissals after play restarted with 11 left at 3pm earlier today.
All three of the Day 2 million chip club (Abou Risk, Joeri Zandvliet and Luke Marsh) made it to the final four, and no-one could have said that any of them wouldn't have been a worthy winner. Entering their ranks, and eventually making it to heads up, was Mantas Puidokas. The Lithuanian played a tighter game than most making some big folds, at one point folding queens four-handed to Luke Marsh (who held ace-six so we've been told). The preying mantis almost went all the way and even held the lead three-handed but Abou Risk attacked him relentlessly heads up winning nine hands in a row at one point. Abou Risk finally broke the Lithuanian with J♣6♠ to K♥9♥ flopping two-pair and turning a boat for good measure.
Poker commentator Jesse May had been in Nick Abou Risk's firing line on Day 1 and wasn't surprised that he made it this far: "I had a feeling Nick was going to go a long way. He looked really comfortable at the table and managed to make someone fold kings face-up preflop." To be fair, no-one at the table said it was a good pass at the time but Abou Risk's cultured aggression took him all the way to heads up.
Abou Risk picked out Luke Marsh as the key threat at the table: "Luke started running over the table and I got it in with A♠6♠ and he made a big call with king jack." It was a huge turning point that shifted the sands of this tournament, bringing Abou Risk and Marsh back close to even. Had Marsh won that pot he would have around two-thirds of the chips in play with four players left. The term 'walk in the park' springs to mind had he won that pot. Marsh played some fantastic poker and we expect to see more of the young player.
Fouth place finisher Joeri Zandvliet came so close to scoring an historic double UKIPT win after claiming the UKIPT Manchester win back in February. It's a boast that hasn't been achieved on the PokerStars European Poker Tour which has 57 separate winners. That monkey remains well and truly on the back of both tours.
Zandvliet is a player that not only has game but also loves his time at the table. This very first UKIPT Edinburgh final table had been a quality one with plenty of three- and four-betting and just as much banter. Max Silver and Joeri Zandvliet were particularly chatty but Silver's tongue got him into trouble when he called for a chop on the river when he was already ahead and the board duly delivered a split. He went out in sixth.
Zandvliet's knockout at the hands of Lithuanian Puidokas has done another Lithuanian a big favour. Marius Lietuvninkas looks like he has kept his place at the top of the UKIPT Leaderboard thanks to Zandvliet's failure to bag a second title (which, of course, would have bagged more points for the Dutchman). Check the UKIPT Leaderboard out here - it currently holds the point totals pre-Edinburgh. There are two stops left on the UKIPT; Dublin and London which will have plenty more points up for grabs at the beginning and end of September respectively. Join us then - in person or on the blog - as we find out who becomes the UKIPT Player of the Year. Satellites are running now.
The final table payouts are below but if you want to see all of the 56 cashing players click here.
1. Nick Abou Risk, Canada, PokerStars qualifier, £50,000
2. Mantas Puidokas, Lithuania, £27,700
3. Luke Marsh, UK, £17,600
4. Joeri Zandvliet, Netherlands, PokerStars qualifier, £13,100
5. Richard Chadwick, UK, £10,300
6. Max Silver, UK, £8,200
7. Suzanne Pyefinch, UK, PokerStars qualifier, £6,300
8. Mary Martin, UK, £4,800
9. Owen Robinson, Ireland, £3,400
10. Steve Lovett, UK, £2,600
11. Jake Cody, UK, £2,200
To catch up with all the day's action click on the links below: