UKIPT4 London 2: Brett Angell leads final eight at UKIPT Grand Final
At the end of play yesterday the PokerStars Blog joked with UKIPT2 Nottingham runner-up Brett Angell that he was due a bit of luck deep in a UKIPT. He lost a hand where he was a 98.7% favourite and had had his aces cracked by king-queen three-handed on his way to that runner-up finish at UKIPT2 Nottingham. We'll gloss over the fact he also hit his own 2% shot at that final table.
Perhaps the poker gods were listening as today he hit his own 1% shot against Vladimir Troyanovskiy when there were 26 players left. Both held ace-king, Troyanovskiy had one of Angell's suits dead though, but four diamonds later the Boro boy had doubled up. That gave him the chip lead and, although Troyanovskiy would actually lead for most of the day, Angell eliminated two players late on to sit atop the chip counts when the final table was set. This is how the eight players will line-up when play starts tomorrow:
Seat one: Nickolas Davies, United States, PokerStars Player, 4,000,000
Seat two: Rasmus Agerskov, Denmark, PokerStars Qualifier, 3,150,000
Seat three: Sandro Mescola, Italy, 1,145,000
Seat four: Vladimir Troyanovskiy, Russian Federation, PokerStars Player, 2,705,000
Seat five: Brett Angell, United Kingdom, 5,190,000
Seat six: Fabrizio Fuchs, Switzerland, PokerStars Qualifier, 1,240,000
Seat seven: Caicai Huang, United Kingdom, 1,960,000
Seat eight: Mark James, United Kingdom, PokerStars Player, 2,300,000
Although he'll start the final table fourth in chips the story of the day was undoubtedly Troyanovskiy. When the day started with 51 players left Troyanovskiy was clear of the pack and that trend continued for all but a small portion of the day. The Russian, who has $2.6m in lifetime cashes, including a runner-up finish to Vanessa Selbst in the 2013 PCA $25k High Roller, put on a clinic of tricky poker play and had his opponents right where he wanted them.
With 12 players left he had a quarter of the chips in play and then came the hand of the tournament so far. Nickolas Davies four-bet jammed pocket queens for 2,235,000 (about 55 big blinds) and Troyanovskiy called with ace-king. The queens held, but had he hit one of his overcards he'd have been up to 7,500,000 - good for 35% of the chips - and you sense he'd have had one hand of the trophy.
That hand vaulted Davies into the chip lead and he spoke to the PokerStarsBlog about it when play ended. "It was a dumb spot," he said. "I spoke to some players better than me and they agree it's a really weird spot. He's really tricky and sticky and the money probably means less to him than the win," said Davies. "So I didn't want to get into some stupid battle with him post-flop so I shoved and if we had to run it, we run it, but you never want to flop for 100 big blinds with 11 players left."
Davies, who gave a small fist pump after winning the hand explained it thus, "I've got a lot of 11th-15th place live finishes in my career so it meant a lot to win that hand."
The 30-year-old, who plays professionally and favours tournaments, is originally from Oregon but is now one of many Americans exiled in Playa Del Carmen. He's been in Europe since EPT100 Barcelona and actually travelled here with Nick Rampone and, the runner-up in that tournament, Samuel Phillips. Davies starts second tomorrow, but his group of friends could well be celebrating a win tomorrow evening.
Another player to put on an assured performance today on the way to the final table was Rasmus Agerskov. The Danes' day was all about one hand - pocket kings. First he had them cracked by Nic Szeremeta's ace-king, then he eliminated Jose Rubio with the cowboys, before getting revenge on Szeremeta when he cracked the celebrated poker jack of all trade's aces.
He won plenty of pots without kings of course and if his luck holds he may well add a UKIPT Main Event title to the UKIPT High Roller title he won in Edinburgh in January.
Whilst it's hard to look beyond the top four when it comes to picking a winner - they have more chips of course and are all have pedigree - we shouldn't strike a line through the bottom half of the chip counts just yet.
Mark James played the short stack superbly and looked solid when he finally got his hands on some chips. Caicai Huang is an experienced live player, she has a career high live cash of £42,750, and tomorrow could become the first ever female winner of a UKIPT Main Event. Fabrizio Fuchs battled back from precarious positions more than once to make the final and although Sandro Mescola starts as the short stack he definitely has the respect of his opponent's, who folded on multiple occasions to his three-bets and post-flop raises.
When play resumed on Day 3, at a couple of ticks past noon, there were 51 players vying for the final eight spots and guaranteed payday of £12,800. Only one player though was still in the hunt for a second UKIPT Main Event title. Ludovic Geilich made another deep run in a UKIPT before falling prey to Troyanovskiy, who flopped a set when Geilich had an overpair to a low flop. The UKIPT4 Marbella champion having to settle for 21st place five days on from his eighth place finish at UKIPT4 Isle of Man 2.
The Scot wasn't the only talented player to perish over the seven and a bit levels of play as: Jason Barton (51st), Chris Sly (38th), Keith Hawkins (23rd) and Thomas Dunwoodie (17th) all racked up another UKIPT cash just perhaps not the one they wanted. Whilst amazingly the chip leaders from both Day 1A and Day 1B were still going, Eric Theissen (47th) and Gino Levrini (15th) couldn't make the final though.
The PokerStars Blog makes every final table though and we'll be back from 12.30pm as we play to a winner, someone will walk away with £133,500, the title of UKIPT Grand Final Main Event winner and, of course, a trophy! Never forget the trophy. To see a full list of payouts (and what's still up for grabs) and relive all today's action please click on the links below. For now though, goodnight.
All photos are copyright of Danny Maxwell