Paul Findlay wins UKIPT Series 6 London!
105 players returned to the Hippodrome Casino today to contend the coveted UKIPT Series 6 title and after an attritional seventeen levels of poker - just one man remained. Paul Findlay climbed the rocky mountains of variance, breasting the summit just before midnight as he despatched his final rival Mario Trattou to collect the trophy, £12,396 in prize money, the UKIPT Series trophy and the CoC seat.
The tournament had been characterized by a breakneck pace and this continued through much of the day - the bubble spot reached by mid afternoon - Rob Ayton the unfortunate to fill that unwanted slot.
Everyone else was getting paid though, and this buoyant feeling was the catalyst for a host of shoves, showdowns, ill and well-placed bluffs that eventually left just eight men standing for the final table.
Here's how they lined up at the start of the final:
Seat 1: Jen-Yue Chiang - 1,040,000
Seat 2: Darren Murphy - 365,000
Seat 3: Mario Trattou - 2,450,000
Seat 4: Paul Findlay - 520,000
Seat 5: Onur Dag - 835,000
Seat 6: Steven Lewzey - 240,000
Seat 7: Khashayar Zarghampour - 710,000
Seat 8: Damasco Garcia - 875,000
Chiang entered the final table well-placed for a deep run, yet he was the first of Paul Findlay's victims - running two big hands (ace-king and eights) into two even bigger hands (kings and tens) to crash out in 8th spot for £2,100.
The subsequent period was the most sedate of the day - almost three levels passed without incident as the players passed chips around efficiently. Finally Steven Lewzey broke that pattern by shoving with a suited ace, only for Findlay to find bullets and absorb his stack. He exited 7th for £2,850 and Murphy (also crippled in that same aces hand) followed soon afterward in 6th(£3,900) when Zarghampour mopped up his remaining chips.
Once Onur Dag had departed in 5th(£5,100), the remaining four players decided the structure had become a little too tempestuous to leave the determination of the payouts entirely to lady luck and hammered out a deal that saw the payout structure duly flattened somewhat.
With all four now guaranteed a juicy payout, they were happier to gamble - Damasco Garcia the next to leave after his two pair was rivered by a straight (4th for £9,092) Once Mario Trattou and Khashayar Zarghambour went to war with relatively meagre holdings, Trattou emerged victorious, leaving Zarghambour on the rail in 3rd place (£9,688).
That left Findlay and Trattou to contend the trophy and although Findlay started with a chip deficit, he set a couple of effective traps, the last seeing him limp pocket aces. The traps captured Trattou both times to secure his chips and the title.
Findlay has been a genial and friendly presence in the card room throughout these two days and his demeanour was mirrored by his post-tournament interview about his future plans.
"I'm in the UKIPT London Main Event. It's my 30th next year. My friends have already booked to go to Vegas. Plus I'm going to give 10% to Help for Heroes - I'm an ambassador for the charity after they helped me when I lost a leg in Afghanistan."
A true star at the felt- no one can begrudge him his victory and we'll look forward to seeing him in London in a month or so.
That brought the day to an end. Thanks for your support and we'll be back to do it all over again at the upcoming UKIPT Isle of Man (October 2nd-6th) and the London UKIPT (October 8th-12th).
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Updates from levels 13-16 can be found by clicking here.
PokerStars Blog reporting team at UKIPT Series 6- London: Rod Stirzaker. Photos by Neil Stoddart.