Pierrick Tallon wins UKIPT Bristol and £53,000
After four fantastic days of poker it's Pierrick Tallon who's emerged victorious to win UKIPT Bristol and £53,000 whilst Chris Brice's second place finish is worth £42,000 after the two players struck a deal heads-up.The 23-year-old becomes the second Belgian to win a UKIPT Main Event, emulating Gilles Augustus who triumphed at UKIPT1 Coventry. Amazingly, Brice was also at that final table, finishing seventh. "I feel really happy. I can't really find the words to describe it. I don't think I realise what has happened yet," said Tallon after he'd won.
To say the result was never in doubt would be pure hyperbole, this is poker after all, but Tallon entered the final table as chip leader and it was not until heads-up play that he lost that advantage for the first time. "No one gets shoved on more than you," said Chi Zhang to the Belgian at one point during the final table and it did seem that Tallon was involved in more than his fair share of all-ins and decisions about calling all-ins.
That his record in those he did play, prior to heads-up play, was won three, lost four it's clear that Tallon didn't triumph at this final table simply by running good in all-ins. Indeed his methods for winning big pots included picking off bluffs, eliciting hero calls, inducing bets and good old aggressive poker to force his opponent to fold. The key hand heads-up is a nice combination of the two pillars that the foundations of his victory were built on. Having re-raised from the big blind with pocket nines he continued on the nine high flop and managed to get Brice to move all-in with bottom pair, a hand that had just 0.4% equity.
That was the biggest pot of the tournament and despite Brice doubling up once Tallon finished him off when his A♥3♠ held against Brice's K♥4♥. "I felt the final table went my way when I needed it to," explained Tallon after he'd got his hands on the trophy. "I lost some pots also but the luck was on my side," he said.
If Tallon's route to heads-up had been relatively smooth, Brice's was anything but. He began the final table with over 60 big blinds but his chipstack began a slow dribble downwards until he was involved in a series of all-ins.
In the space of 60 minutes he doubled through Tallon, doubled up Chi Zhang, doubled through Joseph Lalor, knocked out Lalor and then doubled through Tallon again. At that point play was five handed and Brice was vying for the chip lead with 3,300,000. It was almost the same amount he'd take to heads-up play, but despite taking the lead briefly during heads-up play he ultimately couldn't mount a comeback from the ten to one chip deficit he was faced with after losing that huge pot. Still, £42,000 is a great result for the Radiology Manager.
When play began at noon there were 11 players left in contention for the title, all eyes were on Brett Angell though as the 'Boro boy was going for his second UKIPT title and third final table in four UKIPT Main Events. However Angell would fall short in tenth place when he lost a classic race to Ben Winsor with ace-king against jacks. His exit followed that of Andrew Fleming (11th) and proceeded Hak-Mann Lee's (9th) and after ninety minutes of play the official final table was set.
Lee Mulligan and Les Packer were the two shortest stacks when cards got in the air and neither could ladder up. Mulligan fell at the hands of Otto Richard in a three-way all-in that also featured Zhang and Packer also fell to the mercurial Frenchman. Originally from Paris, Richard now calls Brighton home and he was a curious presence at the table. He was studiously jotting notes throughout the tournament, which wasn't a problem, it was more the time he took to make decisions even when there was no action in front of him. Twice he had the clock called on him, once in a pre-flop situation where he was facing a regular three-bet.
Next to go was Ben Winsor, the professional online sports betting trader had played a steady game throughout but saw it all unravel in two hands in quick succession against Tallon. First he had a bluff picked off and then the rest went in with a dominated ace that stayed that way. He went out in sixth for £12,900 and we finally got a look at his footwear.
Fifteen minutes later five became four when Joe Lalor lost back to back pots to Brice (A3 vs QQ and KJ vs AQ) to bust in fifth. The 55-year-old computer software writer is no stranger to final tables as he's final tabled the Sunday Million twice.
Four handed play lasted over an hour until Richard busted. He got it in good against Zhang and lost half his chips and then got the rest in bad against Tallon and although he had two live cards neither hit.
So that left start of day chip leader Zhang as the shortest of the three with about 25 big blinds, they would all go to the eventual winner. A hero call gone wrong dented the maths students prospects and Tallon trapped him with an overpair for the rest. It was a composed performance from the 20-year-old, who was well supported on the rail throughout the final, and with the talent he has he's odds on for another big score in the future.
At this point it looked like we might have a wire to wire winner of a UKIPT Main Event, but although Tallon briefly lost the lead there would be no denying him the title. The Belgian, who plays poker for a living has no concrete plans for the money earned this week: "I'm going to try and be reasonable with the money but I'll probably spend a bit more than usual the next few days and then get back to my normal games," he told the PokerStars Blog.
Below is a reminder of how much everyone won at today's final table. While they took the lion's share of the prize pool, 63 players shared £302,834. For a full breakdown, please click here.
|1st||Pierrick Tallon||Belgium||PokerStars Qualifier||£53,000|
|2nd||Christopher Brice||United Kingdom||PokerStars Qualifier||£42,300|
|3rd||Chi Zhang||United Kingdom||PokerStars Qualifier||£26,500|
|5th||Joseph Lalor||Ireland||PokerStars Qualifier||£16,000|
|6th||Ben Winsor||United Kingdom||£12,900|
|7th||Leslie Packer||United Kingdom||£9,700|
|8th||Lee Mulligan||United Kingdom||£6,900|
You can catch up on all today's action here and here, but that's it from UKIPT Bristol. The next UKIPT stop takes place in the Isle of Man 30th September - 4th October and satellites are running now on PokerStars.
All photos are copyright of Mickey May.