UKIPT3 London: Sergio Aido wins UKIPT London and £144,555
Today saw us bid adios to Season 3 of the UKIPT, the first stop of Season 4 sees the UKIPT pack it's suitcase and head off on holiday to Marbella, Spain. Fitting then that a Spaniard should win the last event of the season. That man is Sergio Aido, he was the most aggressive player at the final table throughout (although Thomas Ward ran him close) and that aggression paid off handsomely as he pocketed £144,555, picks up a shiny trophy and a seat in Monday night's Champion of Champions event, where he might earn himself a free pass to Season 4.
He started the final table sixth in chips but an early double up with pocket tens against Chris Dowling's A♦K♦ gave him chips to go with his undoubted talent (he chopped the EPT £1K turbo last night). For Dowling, who was left with just four big blinds, and exited soon after to Patrick Simcoe, it was more UKIPT final table disappointment, he's now finished eighth, seventh and sixth on his three trips to the final table.
That Dowling was out first seemed unlikely given that 30 minutes prior to his exit Ward had been left with just 15 big blinds when Simcoe rivered a diamond to flush his top set. It should therefore come as no surprise that the first few levels of the final table were very much the Simcoe show. He eliminated Cesar Garcia in seventh, when pocket kings collided with pocket jacks he had a stack of nearly six million when no one else had half of that.
By this stage Ward had recovered, thanks in part to doubling through the active Aido with A♠J♣ against pocket kings, ace on the flop. Ace-jack would be a theme between those two, more on that later. This all meant that the two Belgians who had made the final table were now the two shortest stacks and we'd lose them both in back to back hands.
First to go was Guy Goossens, after losing half his stack to Simcoe (who else) he had little choice but to call off his last five big blinds from the big blind with pocket twos when Aido set him in from the small blind. The Spaniard's 5♠3♠ connected rather well with the 7♦Q♠5♥3♦7♠ board to send the motorbike shop owner out in sixth.
Minutes later start of final table chip leader Wim Neys, who was being railed by the De Meulder twins, followed his compatriot to the rail. An 18 big blind three-bet shove with A♠9♦ picked off by Aido's pocket sevens which held up, the final table was suddenly a Belgian free zone.
Down to four and Simcoe was still the chip leader, Aido and Ward were closing in with local lad Philippe Souki the definite short stack. That short stack was soon amalgamated into Ward's stack. Again pocket sevens holding up against a three-bet shove, Souki missing with [10d]9♦. The Vic cash game regular has £44,870 to pad his bankroll with though.
When three-handed play began Simcoe's stack began to get eroded by the sheer agression of Aido and Ward. It wasn't long before the two aggressive players played a monster pot. Ward was all-in and at risk with A♦Q♣ against Aido's pocket queens in a 6,760,000 chip pot. An ace on the turn gave Ward the chip lead and left Aido as the short stack.
But, the Spaniard battled back and when he eliminated Simcoe in third with flopped top pair against the Brits bottom pair - all-in on the flop - he took a 10,195,000 to 6,195,000 chip lead to heads-up play.
Before heads-up play began the players struck a deal that evened out the payouts a little. Aido was guaranteed £124,555, Ward £116,845 with £20,000 still up for grabs.
Just a few hands into heads-up play the chip positions were reversed when Ward got three streets of value with K♠2♠ on a 2♥K♣3♣Q♥[10d] board.
But, two big back to back pots where Aido held ace-jack in both would send all the chips and the title to the Spaniard. In the first Aido was at risk, all-in for 5,465,000 against Ward's K♣Q♣ a ten high board saw the chip lead flip flop again. On the very next hand Aido five-bet shoved with A♠J♠ and Ward committed his last five million with pocket tens. This time though the best hand couldn't hold as an ace on the flop and another on the river ruled decisively in Aido's favour.
UKIPT Final table result:
1st. Sergio Aido, Spain, £144,555*
2nd. Thomas Ward, United Kingdom, PokerStars Qualifier, £116,845*
3rd. Patrick Simcoe, United Kingdom, PokerStars Qualifier, £63,560
4th. Philippe Souki, United Kingdom, £44,870
5th. Wim Neys, Belgium, PokerStars Qualifier, £33,680
6th. Guy Goossens, Belgium, £22,490
7th. Cesar Garcia, Spain, PokerStars Qualifier, £15,050
8th. Chris Dowling, Ireland, PokerStars Player, £12,691
* denotes a deal was done
To catch up with all today's action click here and a full list of those that cashed can be found here. But, the UKIPT London title was not the only one decided today, Neil Raine has been top of the UKIPT Season 3 leader board for most of the season, with close friend Tom Hall hot on his heels. A third place finish by Raine in a £100 turbo side-event here, meant that despite Hall's 33rd place finish in the UKIPT London main event, he needed to finish eighth or better in the £2,000 UKIPT High Roller to snatch the title away from Raine.
Well Hall was one of 28 players who returned for Day 2 today, he was already in the money but chasing the leader board title that would see him get entry to every UKIPT stop of Season 4 (second is good for four events excluding the final). Well he's only gone and done it. He's currently 2/6 in the event, which plays to a conclusion tonight, he's also locked up a minimum of £18,050 so far and is shooting for the top prize of £101,950.
So Hall will be back for all of Season 4, as will the PokerStars Blog, starting in Marbella. You can qualify on the client from April 1st and the main event takes place June 12th-16th. We'll see you then, bring sunscreen.
Photos from UKIPT London © Mickey May.