UKIPT Cork: Sam Razavi wins UKIPT Cork and €71,000
Sam Ravazi has won UKIPT Cork and €71,000 defeating David O'Connor heads up in a tough two-hour bout. Ravazi fought back from a two-to-one deficit to beat O'Connor, who was playing his first major live tournament. While both players deserved to be in the final two, UKIPT Cork will be remembered most for a moment deep into the final table when there were just three players left.
"David is going to need running cards to avoid elimination," are words that Martin Mulsow will be trying to forget for some time. Five million chips sat in the middle of the table as the tournament official announced the state of play; David O'Connor, all-in and at risk, with A♦K♦ and Martin Muslow, looking to cement a major chip lead, with A♥A♣ on a 6♣9♥J♠ flop. Sam Razavi watched on from the side lines, waiting to see who he would face heads up for the UKIPT Cork title; the indomitable Irishman or the maniacal German. It looked for all the world that it would be Muslow, O'Connor just 1.92% to pull off the suckout of the Century. Then the K♥ hit the turn.
"David is going to need a king and only a king," the official pointed out as the cameras cut from face to face to board. The room, now deathly silent, waited for the river card. Just two outs for O'Connor. The K♠ hit the deck and O'Connor's rail, which included UKIPT champs Nick Abou Risk, Max Silver and David Vamplew, erupted. Mulsow, smile wiped from his face, stood hands on hips, battered and bewildered. A round of beers and chasers already ordered, a victory toast too soon. Of course, we'd had to lose a lot of players by that point so let's wind things back a bit.
Before the final table proper began we had to lose three players, having finished Day 2 late with 11 left. The three that didn't make that final hurdle were Marc Gaudlitz, fan favourite Phil Baker and Vincent O'Connor. After a short break - TV shenanigans as per usual - the final eight sat down to play through to the €71,000 UKIPT title.
Seat one: Allen McCauley, Ireland, 1,522,000
Seat two: Peter Burnett, United Kingdom, 477,000
Seat three: Martin Mulsow, Germany, PokerStars player, 1,878,000
Seat four: Adam Jaguscik, Poland, 886,000
Seat five: David O'Connnor, Ireland, 629,000
Seat six: Sam Razavi, United Kingdom, 2,013,000
Seat seven: Jamie Flynn, Ireland, PokerStars qualifier, 504,000
Seat eight: Chris Dowling, Ireland 822,000
Peter Burnett was the first to go jamming A♠5♦ into the pocket nines of Chris Dowling but that stack top up didn't help the Irishman to go much further, he bust out with pocket tens to Razavi's jacks just an hour later in seventh
With two players gone Adam Jaguscik, who had been ground down by O'Connor and Razavi on his left, found a hand with K♥Q♥ and got it in. Unfortunately for the Pole, Flynn held pocket queens. That left five with Razavi still a long way out in front, O'Connor and Flynn catching.
Allen MacCauley was next to fall after shoving a short stack in with rags and getting looked up by Mulsow with A♦2♦. No outdraw and he was despatched in fifth place, but looked thrilled to bank €14,800. The gregarious German had started the day second in chips and was now back up to 1,300,000, back in the running.
Coming back from the dinner break to start the fifth level of the day we were left with four players; just one big blind separating O'Connor and Razavi who sat ahead of Flynn and Mulsow, but it was the German that was to break ranks. Razavi opened the button for 100,000, Flynn called in the small blind, Mulsow three-bet to 331,000 from the big and, Razavi safely out the way, Irishman Flynn shoved for 1,400,000.
Mulsow leant back in his chair, sucked air deep into his chest and, as if his life depended on it, said: "I have to call." Flynn showed pocket threes, Mulsow A♠T♠. It was another big call from the German, not the first, and he was rewarded with a ten on the flop. That pot pushed Mulsow a million ahead with 3,603,000 and Flynn out of the tournament with a credible fourth place finish and €18,500.
Then that moment. It's the situation that you dream of; aces versus ace-king for a dominating heads up chip lead, just not the nightmare runner-runner that took place. Mulsow took it like a man and he deserves every single euro he takes back to Germany. If you see him at another tournament, buy the man a beer. He did the game a credit.
Mulsow was eliminated shortly after, shoving a dominated ace into his nemesis O'Connor. In the seconds leading up to his exit interview UKIPT host Nick Wealthall turned to the PokerStars Blog and said: "What do I say to this guy? That's not meant to happen." Indeed. It's not. The toughest of beats at the very worst of times. Afterwards Wealthall said he couldn't believe how well he'd taken it: "I'd like to say I'd take it that well, but I can't. He's a bigger man than me."
That set up a heads up between O'Connor, carrying a two-to-one chip lead, and Razavi. Both players known for grinding heads up cash games, Ravazi's reputation more than a little intimidating. It was never going to be a short lived affair, unless another cooler such as the one between O'Connor and Mulsow manifested itself. Two hours later it took the classic clash of monster hand versus monster draw to all but settle the bout, J♥9♥ for Razavi and T♣8♣ for O'Connor on a 2♣5♥9♣J♠ board. The K♠ river landed for Razavi and rocketed the showman into the lead. The obligatory Michael Jackson celebration performed to his cheering section, UKIPT champ Jamie Burland so enthused he broke part of the TV set rail itself.
It didn't take long for the final blow, A♦7♣ holding against O'Connor's K♣6♣ and Razavi stood hands aloft and bellowing, Prince of Pop impressions forgotten in the moment of victory. Any of the final three would have been worthy victors, but ever since Razavi stretched out with the chip lead yesterday evening there was a feeling that this was his tournament to lose. Apart from an ill-fated attempt at the moonwalk, he really didn't put a foot wrong.
To catch up with all the day's action click on the links below. For all 81 payouts click here.
All of wonderful images used in this UKIPT Cork coverage are copyright of Neil Stoddart. He knows people. You know, people. So please be kind enough to credit him.