UKIPT Series 3: Dinh Tuan Nguyen wins UKIPT Series 3 and £15,348
When the blinds ticked up to 60,000 - 120,000, ante 20,000 there were just 58 big blinds in play between the four remaining players. They were spread incredibly evenly too, with just just five big blinds separating worst from first it really was a case of 'insert tournament winner's name here.'
The player who seized the initiative when it mattered most was Dinh Tuan Nguyen, as just over an hour later he was the last man standing having defeated Daniel Bonfield in a heads-up encounter that lasted just one hand.
It was an ending not in keeping with a final table that whilst not one for the purists - stacks were short, blinds were high - had lasted four and a half hours, but Nguyen will not care one iota. He found himself in the right place at the right time on two occasions. The first was when the five remaining players decided that with the blinds high and the stacks bunched that a deal would be the smart play. The 28-year-old, who was born in Vietnam but moved to the UK 10 years ago, had started the final table in seventh place with just eight big blinds, but by the time the deal rolled round he had moved into second place.
That deal gave the following payouts, leaving £3,265 to play for:
Daniel Bonfield, United Kingdom, PokerStars Player, £12,055
Michail Voulagkas, Greece, £8,550
Dinh Tuan Nguyen, Vietnam, £12,083
Jesus Espinosa Fernandez, Spain, £14,122
Frank Bastow, United Kingdom, £9,230
The second time was during the first hand of heads-up play, Nguyen, who held a slight chip lead simply open shoved [10h]7♥ for an effective 21 big blinds and was called by Bonfield who had A♦8♦. A 4♥5♥[10c] flop meant that the cash game professional was just two cards away from winning what he said was only his fourth tournament. The [10d] turn was overkill and gave Nguyen the win.
For much of the final table it seemed like Jesus Espinosa Fernandez would be the most likely winner, he had started the official final table of eight with almost a third of the chips in play and that was still the case when he got the largest slice of the pie in the deal. However, the wheels fell off with four players left as he lost a chunky pot to Michali Voulagkas and then the rest of his chips to Nguyen to exit in fourth place.
Third place finisher Michali Voulagkas might be the only player tonight who regrets doing a deal, not because it wasn't in his best interests, but because of what happened immediately afterwards. He was the shortest stack at the time of the deal, 20 minutes and two double ups later he was chip leader.
In the first of those he all but eliminated Frank Bastow with pocket kings against A♣Q♠ and despite Bastow getting one double up he was soon out in fifth.
In the second he doubled though Fernandez and that signalled the beginning of the end for the Spaniard, but Voulagkas couldn't hang on to the chip lead. He lost a pot for more than 50% of the chips in play to Nguyen with K♦Q♣ against A♦7♣ another with A♠8♣ against Bonfield's A♥K♣. His final few blinds went it with K♣3♥ against Bonfield's 7♥6♠ which made trip sixes.
Before the five handed deal three players had fallen by the wayside. First out at the final was Paul Grace, he wasn't able to turn his short stack into anything significant and succumbed to Lorenzo Biundo. However, the Italian was next out in seventh and he was followed to the rail by Salman Safdar.
UKIPT Series 3 Final Table Result:
1st. Dinh Tuan Nguyen, Vietnam, £15,348* (and a seat to the UKIPT Champion of Champions)
2nd. Daniel Bonfield, United Kingdom, PokerStars Player, £12,055*
3rd. Michail Voulagkas, Greece, £8,850*
4th. Jesus Espinosa Fernandez, Spain, £14,122*
5th. Frank Bastow, United Kingdom, £9,230*
6th. Salman Safdar, United Kingdom, PokerStars Qualifier, £4,805
7th. Lorenzo Biundo, Italy, £3,615
8th. Paul Grace, Ireland, PokerStars Player, £2,570
*denotes payout adjustment due to five-way deal
A total of 137 of the 464 players had begun Day 2 all hoping to 'do a Nguyen'. However, before the money we lost Rumit Somaiya, Darren Fuller and William Champion to name just three. Whilst those who made the money but not the final table included: Day 1A chip leader Haresh Thaker (12th, £1,480), Day 1B chip leader Daniel Galla (35th, £595), UKIPT3 Newcastle runner-up Alex Jobling (32nd, £595) and Simon Griffin (33rd, £595). A special mention to Griffin who has now cashed in all three UKIPT Series events.
To see a full list of who cashed please click here. You can catch up on all today's action by clicking on the links below, but that's it from UKIPT Series 3. A reminder that the UKIPT Main Event starts on Wednesday. And the the WCOOP Main Event is going on right now.
All photos are copyright of Neil Stoddart.