UKIPT Killarney: Femi Fakinle wins the UKIPT Killarney
Femi Fakinle has won the UKIPT Killarney for €63,400 keeping the second Irish tour date title on home soil beating a 253-strong field in the process. The Wexford man had led the final table from the front starting the day with 1m chips, some 400,000 more than Peter Barrable in second place, and he almost always had the look of a man that was going to win. He did, however, relinquish his grip on the top spot several times towards the back end of the tournament but that we'll come to shortly.
Fakinle set out his stall early and that stall was labelled with a big sign saying 'Fakinle's Shop - we're ready to help you play big pots.' He personally knocked out Mike Hill in 8th (€7,425), Philip Phu in 7th (€9,600), Peter Barrable in 4th (€17,700) and, of course, Aonghus Farrell in 2nd (€39,200). He got it in good against Hill with queens against tens, for a flip against Barrable and with a A♠T♠ suckout against Phu's shortstacked A♥Q♠. Farrell was not so easy to finish off and huge chip swings took place between the two Irishman when the action broke three-handed.
A mention should be made for the great performance from Jens Schmukal. Alongside Fakinle he was, somewhat predictably, the other final table axeman. The German seemed to be following in his national football side's strategy of appearing out of nowhere and smashing shots home. Schmukal scored two important goals with the knockouts of David Rowley in 6th (€12,100) and Brian Downey in 5th (€14,600). Two big flips were presented to him and he converted both. That's German efficiency for you. Unfortunately Schmukal couldn't quite cross that final hurdle and finished with third place honours . Quite frankly, it would have been horrific had he won here given how Germany had knocked out England in the World Cup. No-one is allowed to have that good of a day.*
* We freely admit bias in this case as English bloggers. Jens seemed to be an exceptionally nice guy and we hope to see him at future events. Well played, sir.
UKIPT Killarney runner-up Aonghus Farrell had started the day fairly short but an early double up helped him make an epic comeback that almost saw him claim the title for his own. After returning from the break the shortest three-handed he embarked on a one-man mission to destroy Fakinle (maybe it was something to do with the fact that he had position on him...). It came as little surprise to Fakinle that Farrell was the thorn in his side,.'Aonghus was the player I was most worried about at the start of the final table. Once he doubled up I knew he'd be trouble and he certainly got the better of me in the early and middle stages,' explained the champ.
Fakinle had been a little guilty of the old win-lots-of-small-pots-blow-up-in-the-big-pots syndrome and none more so than in this hand. Three-handed Fakinle opened from the button at 10,000-20,000 blind level and was raised by Farrell in the small blind to around 200,000. Fakinle called and then shoved all-in over Farrell's 300,000 lead on a 3♥2♠9♦ flop. Farrell, who only had another 600,000 behind, called with T♣T♠ absolutely crushing Fakinle's pocket sixes.
After that Fakinle fell back on his small pot talents, where he seemed to have a real edge, before going for the big all-in knockout punch. There were a couple of swings but eventually Fakinle's J♠Q♦ rivered two-pair against Farrell's K♥8♥ top pair to rapturous applause. In the aftermath of his victory Fakinle told us, 'I'm over the moon but I'm most excited about the fact I've won a seat to the EPT London, the chance to play against some of the best players in the world is something I'm looking forward to.' That, ladies and gentlemen, is the attitude of a winner.
Now today could be seen by some as a little bit of a disappointment for Mike Hill who was the first casualty of the final table. Not so, he told us. His tournament aim had been to finish 21st or higher as he knew that would take him above Chris Brammer on the UKIPT leader board so anything higher than that was a bonus - a €7,425 bonus as it goes. Fakinle's success here in Killarney will boost him into the top twenty and another deep run could see him challenge the likes of Hill and Chris Brammer for a lucrative leaderboard finish too. Importantly for Irish pride that is two from two for Ireland-based UKIPT events. Padraig Parkinson managed to keep the UKIPT Galway title this side of the stream and Fakinle has repeated that feat. Will Irish eyes still be smiling in Dublin? Join us to find out September 9-12 for the UKIPT Dublin . UKIPT Brighton takes place July 15-19 and is the next stop on the tour. Satellites are running now on PokerStars.eu.
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