UKIPT Series: Team PokerStars Pro Jake Cody wins UKIPT Series 1 and £19,400

The inaugural UKIPT Series is going to be tough to top as Team PokerStars Pro Jake Cody defeated a field of 343 to claim the first prize of £19,400 and his first tournament victory since he completed his Triple Crown in May 2011.

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Your champion - Jake Cody

He's had bigger scores than this one since then but not got his hands on a trophy and it's clear the winning is as important to him as any monetary gain. "It's nice to get that winning feeling back, it's actually the same hand I won EPT Deauville with. It's also great to win a PokerStars tournament as a Team PokerStars Pro."

Cody was quick to take to Twitter to announce his win:

And the congratulations soon followed:

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Heads-up like the entire tournament was played in a great atmosphere

To get that win he had to get past a tough field, none more so than Lydia Cugudda, who would finish runner-up when her J♦[10c] lost out to Cody's pocket kings with near chip parity. She had dominated play leading up to the final table, was the first to break the million chip mark and had almost double that of second place with just 14 players left.

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Cugudda - put on a dominant display

That she didn't take the chip lead to the final table was down to a huge three-way pot that played out with ten players left. She held pocket jacks, Rafael Henderson had queens and Tim Wong pipped them both with kings. The cowboys held and Wong winged his way to the top of the chip counts.

It was a position he held until there were just four players left, then he, like many before him found that Cody simply doesn't lose the big pots when it matters. Twice he got it in good against Cody, both times he would've eliminated the Team PokerStars Pro. First Cody's A♥4♥ got there against Wong's A♦9♦, then his K♥9♥ made a full house to crush Wong's pocket jacks and his hopes in fourth place.

In Cody's defence he shoved first in both hands and in between the two pots lost a big pot with A♥J♥ against Terry Jordan's A♦5♦ when the latter made a wheel.

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Wong - did nothing wrong but it all went Pete Tong

Terry Jordan's final table fortunes nicely encapsulate the game of no-limit Hold'em. He was chip leader with four left and out in third ten minutes later. First Cugudda cracked his pocket sixes with A♥6♦, ace on the flop. Then Cody finished him off, A♣K♣ holding when it mattered against Jordan's J♦9♥.

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Jordan went from first to worst in quick order

By this point Enzo Gomez (fifth), Uzzol Miah (sixth), Kaloyan Kirov (seventh) and Shantanu Banerji (eighth) had all played their part in an entertaining final table

UKIPT Series 1 Final table result:

1st. Jake Cody, United Kingdom, Team PokerStars Pro, £19,400
2nd. Lydia Cugudda, United Kingdom £13,140
3rd. Terry Jordan, United Kingdom, PokerStars Qualifier, £8,110
4th. Tim Wong, United Kingdom, £6,240
5th. Enzo Gomez, United Kingdom, £4,880
6th. Uzzol Miah, United Kingdom, £3,430
7th. Kaloyan Kirov, Bulgaria, PokerStars Qualifier, £2,700
8th. Shantanu Banerji, United Kingdom, PokerStars Player, £1,977

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The elite eight

Before the final table though there was the small matter of bursting the bubble. 98 players returned for Day 2 all hoping to secure a top 40 finish and a min-cash of £520. Before we reached that point though poker luminaries like Cristiano Blanco, Manig Loeser, Deborah Worley-Roberts and James Greenwood had been vanquished. Sometimes hand for hand play can last an age but here it wasn't even needed as Mateusz Zbikowski was sent packing by Jordan before it started and we were in the money.

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The UKIPT Series bubble

Following the tension release of the bubble bursting there was a steady stream of eliminations, those that cashed but crashed before the final table included: Day 1B chip leader Nikolay Ponomarev (38th, £520), Mitchell Cooper (21st, £665) and UKIPT London finalist Pat Simcoe (11th, £1,250). To see the full list of payouts click here.

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Simcoe - just missed out on another UKIPT final table

To catch up on all of today's action click on the links below

Levels 13-18
Levels 19-24
Levels 25-30

The next UKIPT stop is Marbella from June 12th-16th and the next UKIPT series event is a couple of weeks later June 28th-30th. If I can't convince you to play one of them perhaps Jake Cody can. "The UKIPT is a great platform for anyone looking to jump into live poker and the UKIPT Series is a great taster for a lower buy-in. You get to play against pros in a great atmosphere and you can qualify online for a fraction of the buy-in." Those qualifiers should be live in the client soon, but until next time it's goodnight from the PokerStars Blog.

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All photos are copyright of Neil Stoddart.

Nick Wright
@PokerStars in UKIPT