UKIPT Series 4 at The Hippodrome Casino Day 2 - Levels 25-28(30,000/60,000/10,000)
Congratulations to Thomas Postlethwaite, Champion of UKIPT Series 4!
91 players arrived today nursing ambitions of being the latest UKIPT Series champion - but it was Cambridge's Thomas Postlethwaite who was the man left beaming into the camera lens, holding the trophy and receiving the plaudits come the end of the tournament.
"It feels brilliant!", Postlethwaite enthused when asked how he felt at the end of the marathon, having put paid to the hopes of the other 312 competitors.
Day 2 saw the survivors of the Day 1A,1B and 1C aggregate to play to a winner.
Russian Victor Nikolaevich Ilyukhin had come into the day as the chip leader, but variance was not to be his friend - his tournament ambitions so vigorously derailed, he finished as the outright bubble.
The play was brisk and brutal, a regular stream of players busting out as the inexorably-rising blinds caught many a shortstack in their frothy wake.
Amongst those who navigated the waves with relative success were Joeri Zandvliet, the double UKIPT champion and Mike Ellis, who can boast a WSOP bracelet amongst many notable achievements.
Both went deep into the cash but finished up 25th and 16th respectively, leaving the path clear for some lesser-known names to carve a slice of poker history for themselves.
The incendiary rate of attrition saw the final reached by 6.00pm, 91 players reduced to nine hopefuls in a quickfire six hours.
The pace barely slowed on the final with Adam Carroll, Richard Paul and Javier Perez Estevez making relatively quick exits in ninth, eighth and seventh respectively.
During this period Alejandro Perez Torres and Sam Darkin were chipping up inpressively, the former looking to add to his EPT final table bubble performance earlier in the year.
However once Tobias Kirby-Hogarty departed in 5th and Allan Pike followed him out of the door in 4th spot, Torres couldn't keep up the momentum, running afoul of Darkin's quads and leaving the table soon after in 3rd place.
That left Sam Darkin and Thomas Postlethwaite battling for the trophy and after an early period of feeling each other out, Postlethwaite put together a run of hands that would sweep him to the trophy, the £14,790 and the title.
Darkin had to make do with a cheque for £9,400 for his second place finish and another champion had been crowned!
Congratulations Thomas Postlethwaite and all involved in what was an impeccably-run event - a lot of fun for players and spectators alike.
Thanks for following, it's been a blast and a quick shout out to the Heliot Steak House who make a mean (and very reasonably-priced) steak. If you're in the area, give it a shot - you won't regret it.
That's it from us then. The next UKIPT event will see the tour visit the much-vaunted DTD cardroom for UKIPT Nottingham (the Main Event starts 7th May) and we'd love to see you there for what should prove another fun, exciting tournament. Best of luck, one and all!
9.37pm: Thomas Postlethwaite wins UKIPT Series 4!
Congratulations to Thomas Postlethwaite who takes down the tournament, defeating Sam Darkin heads-up.
Darkin had been growing increasingly under pressure, having lost a sequence of hands in a row.
Firstly, he three bet to 270,000 after a Postlethwaite open to 130k. Postlethwaite called.
Come the Q♦T♦4♣ board, Darkin led for 300,000, only for Postlethwaite to make it 750,000. Darkin mucked in disgust and Postlethwaite had taken a big chunk out of his stack.
Darkin also lost the next few small pots, leaving Postlethwaite with a 4.5 million to 1.5 million advantage. The next hand, the fireworks began...
Postlethwaite raised to 170,000 on the button, Darkin called...
The board fell 5♣3♦2♠, Darkin led for 200,000, Postelthwaite called.
The turn was the dangerous-looking 4♥ and now Darkin pushed all-in.
Postlethwaite gave a shrug, announced "call," and we had our first all-in of the heads up!
A♠3♥ for Postlethwaite for the straight, whilst Darkin was on an airball bluff with J♠8♦!
He was drawing almost dead although a six or ace would give him a chop but no luck, the river bricked and we had our champion!
Well played Sam Darkin, who finishes up 2nd with £9,400 his reward for the deep run but it is Thomas Postlethwaite collects the trophy and the £14,790.
"It feels brilliant," he told us, beaming with delight at his girlfriend watching from the rail. When asked where he will keep his prized trophy, he said "...at the centre of everything. Maybe I'll make a plaque for it!"
That brings a close to what has been an action-packed event. We hope you've enjoyed the coverage. We'll have a wrap-up post along with photos of the winner to follow shortly but for now, thanks for following.
9.22pm: Cautious play prevails...
The speed with which the final table has played out has left these two players reasonably deep with over forty big blinds each. So far there has been a lot of button raising and a lot of folding from the big blind.
We are waiting for a big hand to play out and ignite this heads up. Currently Sam Darkin holds a slight advantage 3.3 million to Thomas Postlethwaite's 2.7 million...
The two players have asked for a small time-out to regather their thoughts, We'll be back shortly...
8.52pm: Two warriors locked in battle
Thomas Postlethwaite came into the heads-up with a chip lead, but he has seen his lead whittled away as Darkin has eaten into his stack.
Darkin now has a slim advantage with around 3.2 million to 2.7 million chips.
The players are raising each other regularly from the button - Darkin perhaps just a shade more aggressively...
LEVEL UP: BLINDS 30,000-60,000-10,000
8.36pm: Torres eliminated in 3rd place - £7,040
Alejandro Perez Torres has seen his tournament collapse. First off he was crippled making a big call for 850,000 on the river of a A♦3♣3♦Q♣9♠ board against Sam Darkin - only for Darkin to show him pocket threes for quads.
His shrapnel (well still around 400,000) went into the middle two hands later, Thomas Postlethwaite making the call with A♣6♦. He was dominating Torres' K♣6♠ and when the dealer laid out J♠9♣5♠9♦6♥, his time was done.
Well played sir, Torres exit means we have Sam Darkin heads-up with Thomas Postlethwaite for the title. Who can show nerves of steel to survive!
8.22pm: No retreat, no surrender
Three-handed, the players just tried to thrash out a deal but were unable to reach a compromise meaning they play on for the full value of the prizes.
Here are the remaining three places:
8.03pm: Pike eliminated in 4th -£5,700
Two pairs are likely to bring about a violent confrontation with the blinds so big and when Allan Pike and Sam Darkin both found one - they went to war.
Darkin it was though who had the best of it - he'd found pocket aces, Pike just nines.
Pike needed to hit, but the board of Q♦8♦5♥5♦6♠ was of no help and he finishes up in 4th spot. It's an impressive finish for Pike, who is a form horse, considering he is fresh from his victory for £10,950 in the London Spring Classic.
There were cheers from Darkin's rail, following their man dealing out another elimination, Only moments ago were arguing with the tournament director over a ruling but now all their bile was forgotten - their focus fully on Darkin who has the advantage as the hunt for the title continues three-handed...
7.50pm: Kirby-Hogarty crashes out in 5th place - £4,490
The blinds are huge now and down to just over ten big blinds, Tobias Kirby-Hogarty looked to collect those meaty blinds - shoving with A♥3♣.
Unfortunately Allan Pike was lurking with bad intentions behind, finding A♠K♥, he re-shoved to isolate and the pair went heads-up.
In a world of trouble, Kirby-Hogarty called for the three he needed.
The flop of A♣K♦J♦ couldn't have been much worse however...
"Queen-ten?" he called hopefully.
No such luck, the board ran out 3♥9♦ to improve his hand slightly to two pair, but it wasn't enough. Pike takes it down (moving to close to a million chips) and Kirby-Hogarty hits the rails in 5th. Good game.
They continue four-handed for the title, Who can hold their nerve at this pressurised stage?
7.48pm: Five-handed for the title
The 91 strong field has been whittled down to five players - Sam Darkin maintaining his chip advantage with around 1.6 million.
They have just been back for a few moments in level 25 however and we have an all-in!
Stay tuned for the details...
To read updates from levels 21-24, click here.