Chris Yong wins £10,986 and UKIPT5 Series 1 Title
Day 2 of the UKIPT5 Series1 has played to a winner and it is Chris Yong who claimed dominion over his fellow players by blitzing his way to the title in quicksmart fashion here at The Hippodrome Casino.
"Well I feel great!" he said with a beaming smile following his win.
The steep blinds and snappy 30 minute levels always meant the day would play out with a degree of alacrity, but everyone was caught off guard as the 42 arriving players were whittled down to the final 8 in just a few dramatic levels.
Naturally there were some big name casualties falling in the wake of this meaty action. Rachael Costa came into the day with the chip lead and burning hopes that she could convert this position into a title-winning performance.
It wasn't to be though, Costa crashing out in a crucial hand, as Yong outflopped her pocket aces to win a huge pot. James Dempsey would also see his challenge fall on stony ground, a key coin flip derailing the WSOP and WPT winner's progress just prior to the cash spots.
Eventually the bubble was breached with Colin Marks, Luca Gavazzi and Evgenii Feiskanov all just failing to decorate their weekend with a hendon mob flag.
18 players however were left fist-pumping their glee at guaranteed remuneration and within a blink of an eye, these 18 were shorn down to our final table:
Joseph Pateman, United Kingdom, 859,000
Christopher Yong, Malaysia, 780,000
Richard Paul, United Kingdom, 386,000
Jesus Castro, Spain, 330,000
Mark Hitchens, United Kingdom, 315,000
Richard Heron, Ireland, 287,000
Richard Brabin, United Kingdom, 113,000
"Tony" Gabriel Gusetoiu, Romania, 103,000
The relentless pace refused to relent on the final (relentless paces are like that.)
Players dropped with clockwork regularity, Brabin, Gusteoiu and Heron departing in 8th (£1,025), 7th (£1,260) and 6th (£1,745) respectively.
Spaniard Jesus Castro massaged an impressively deep run of 5th out of his perenially-short stack, eventually unlucky to bust in 5th spot for £2,320.
Four-handed Chris Yong turned up the heat, raising virtually every hand and winning a very high percentage of these as he steam-rolled the table.
Hitchens was one man to suffer greatly at the hands of Yong and it was no surprise when Yong administered the final blow to his chances as Hitchens crashed out 4th to finish up with £3,105.
Three-handed, Joseph Pateman and Chris Yong held a healthy advantage over third-placed Richard Paul and he couldn't find a way to turn this around, his final offering a fine-looking squeeze that was unfortunate to run into a craftily-played pair of aces in Pateman's hands.
Third place beckoned for Paul, who collected £4,305 and that left Pateman and Yong to contend the title.
After hammering out a variance-crushing deal, the pair played on for £1,800 and the trophy and although Pateman briefly threatened to turn round the 2-1 deficit at the start of heads-up, Yong was not to be denied.
A kings versus tens cooler was enough to ensure Yong would be left clutching the trophy to add to his recent golden run, which also included a 5th place finish at UKIPT London.
"I have a 100% final table record here!" he was unsurprisingly keen to emphasise following the win.
Here's how the final table payouts finished up:
1st Chris Yong, Malaysia £10,986
2nd Joseph Pateman, United Kingdom £7,819
3rd RIchard Paul, United Kingdom £4,305
4th Mark Hitchens, United Kingdom £3,105
5th Jesus Castro, Spain £2,320
6th Richard Heron,, Ireland £1,745
7th Gabriel Gusetoiu, Romania £1,260
8th Richard Brabin, United Kingdom £1,025
This win ensures we will see Yong partake in the upcoming UKIPT Nottingham April 12th-19th, the main event guaranteed at a jaw-dropping £1 million.
Hopefully we will see you there too. Historic tournaments like this don't come along too often. Don't miss out on this slice of poker history. For now though, thanks for following.
Photos courtesy of Mickey May.