Double Dutch at UKIPT Dublin, Joeri Zandvliet wins second title and €83,500
Joeri Zandvliet tonight won UKIPT Dublin to claim his second tour title and €83,500. The Dutchman topped a 718 player field to stop Max Silver from successfully defending his crown, breaking Irish and Hungarian hearts in the process. And Zandvliet did it all, as ever, with a smile on his face.
Zandvliet joins Nick Abou Risk in the exclusive double club, that of winning two UKIPTs titles (they've won a quarter of all UKIPT main events between them, which is just plain greedy). Admittance to that club was also open to reigning UKIPT Dublin champion Max Silver who put up an incredible title defence before busting out in fourth place. Silver, in typical high variance fashion, tried a spectacular five-bet bluff with 8♥4♥ into Joeri Zandvliet's A♦K♦ with four players remaining, but there was still that expectation he would somehow suck out. He was only a two-to-one dog after all, but the Dutchman's hand held giving him almost two thirds of the chips in play.
"I don't care about denying Max a title, if he had spiked an eight or a four I would've liked him to win," said Zandvliet, who has incredibly final tabled three of the six UKIPTs that he has played, winning two and coming fourth in the other.
From that five-bet clash on it just felt like a matter of time until Zandvliet won, but Chuck Fabian - yet another member of the Silver/Abou Risk home game crew - and Robert Csire did not make it easy for him.
Csire's departure in third was a painful one to watch. Zandvliet had all but set him in with a three-bet to 2,000,000 and Csire had moved in less than a million more to create a pot holding half the chips in play. The Dutchman made the obvious call and watched as his A♥9♥ rivered Csire's A♠Q♦ on a J♥K♥J♣7♣9♦ board.
The Hungarian Csire sat and stared at the board, as if he could change the card if it willed it hard enough. If that was his intention it did not work and he was sent to the rail, disbelief soon turning to emotion. In that moment he was inconsolable but given time Csire will be thrilled with his finish, he was down to just one big blind 11 levels prior with his tournament expectation shot to pieces. It was an incredible comeback and the €30,700 paid into his PokerStars account will certainly help with that realisation.
Csire's departure set up a joyful heads up between Zandvliet and the fantastically named American Chuck Fabian. The Dutchman held a four-to-one lead and, despite a comeback double up from Fabian, it still felt like the Dutchman's day.
Fabian had played a conservative game throughout the tournament, not that he wasn't prepared to play hands, but pot control was certainly his central policy - he'd checked back middle set on the river of a relatively innocuous board against Noel O'Brien earlier in the day, perhaps a touch of final table nerves. In fact, he seemed to fully embrace his namesake tactic, the Fabian strategy, which was used by Quintus Fabius Maximus Verrucosus to defeat Hannibal - yes, he of elephant horde fame - by using selective engagement, hit and run tactics aimed at disrupting his enemy's supply line rather than full frontal assault. It was a successful campaign and he looked thrilled to finish second, as he should for the €49,600 that he claims for his first final table.
If the double chasing antics of Zandvliet and Silver was one thread of the story of a great final table (likely the toughest line up of the UKIPT so far) then the other was whether the two chip leaders starting the day would be able to keep the title in Irish hands. While amateur player Noel O'Brien played with his heart on his sleeve and a preparedness to play big pots with anyone that challenged him, one felt that the Irishman's inexperience would prevent him from making it all the way to the top. A very credible sixth place finish of €13,950 was brought to a head when O'Brien jammed K♣2♣ into Silver's Q♠T♦.
The other Irishman, overnight chip leader Jason Tompkins, was a different proposition entirely. A much-fancied grinder with obvious talent, Tompkins correctly bemoaned his table draw and ultimately finished the day frustrated with a tough final table performance. Two hands stick out: the 22 big blind call for his tournament life with A♥6♥ against Chuck Fabian and the call of an under-the-gun limp-shove by Robert Cesire where Tompkins' pocket nines were crushed by kings.
Only the best players are so critical of their own performance and Tompkins certainly seemed to be, perhaps the Irishman needs to learn how to go a little easier on himself - he's obviously a great player and will be a major threat in any UKIPT he contests. We hope to see him next season.
Tompkins had also clashed in several spots with David Docherty, another highly rated online player. Docherty had made a couple of laydowns to the Irishman which you could tell were tough spots and they helped push the Scotsman out the door, the first player to bust when he lost a race with Zandvliet. Docherty is a story in the making; a young talent that is capable of keeping his head when others are losing theirs. He just needs to learn how to win a flip.
Curtis was out in seventh, a short stack stuck between aggressive players which gave him difficulty in finding spots to get his chips in. A shove with K♣Q♥ was slowly called by Csire with A♥T♦ and a paint-free board sent him to the cash desk to collect €10,450 - a fine return on a €500 buy-in.
Final table payouts
1st: Joeri Zandvliet, Netherlands, PokerStars Qualifier, €83,500
2nd: Chuck Fabian, USA, €49,600
3rd: Robert Csire, Hungary, €30,700
4th: Max Silver, United Kingdom, €22,650
5th: Jason Tompkins, Ireland, PokerStars player, €17,600
6th: Noel O'Brien, Ireland, €13,950
7th: Rory Curtis, United Kingdom, €10,450
8th: David Docherty, United Kingdom, €8,000
And with that we bid you adieu for Season 2 of the UKIPT, but the grand final EPT London is yet to be played out so while Sam Razavi may move into the top spot on the UKIPT Leaderboard there is still all to play for.
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