Superb performance from David Gomez sees Spaniard win UKIPT5 Edinburgh and £49,660
I think we can put the myth of the 'curse of the chip leader' well and truly to bed. In this tournament David Gomez was the Day 1B chip leader, was still top at the end of Day 2 and now he's won it all to become the latest UKIPT champion. "It's amazing. In Spain, not too many people have this type of trophy so it's special," he said after he'd won.
For most of the final day's play a victory for the Spaniard had seemed the most likely outcome as he held the chip lead for all but a brief period. But he could never have predicted the spectacular finish to this tournament. There was no heads-up play in this event as the final hand took place with three people still at the felt, with the Spaniard a commanding chip leader.
He opened the pot with pocket kings, Angelina Rich three-bet with A♦K♦, Ben Burnhill - who was the shortest of the three - committed his chips with J♣J♠. Gomez shoved over the top and after a brief think Rich called all-in.
The 7♦T♥T♣ flop was as safe as they come for Gomez, but the 8♦ turn gave Burnhill a straight draw and Rich a flush draw. There was still one out - the J♦ that would see the tournament continue three handed - but the 2♣ fell on the river to give Gomez the victory. Rich had Burnhill covered so finished runner-up, and so for the second season in a row we had a female finish second in Edinburgh. (Team PokerStars Pro Liv Boeree was runner-up in Season 4)
As alluded to above there was little that went wrong for Gomez today. Play began with 11 players and the Spaniard, who now calls Manchester home, in the chip lead. He was basically playing every pot and by winning more than he lost he soon extended his lead. He wasn't involved in any of the hands that saw Thomas Prean (11th), Dara O'Kearney (10th) and Alan Brown (9th) eliminated though, and so when the official final table of eight was set it was close at the top between Gomez, Alex Lynskey and Burnhill, who was being referred to as 'firaldo' by Dean Hutchison's rail due to his passing resemblance to EPT12 Malta winner Niall Farrell.
At the other end of the chip counts sat Hutchison, aka the defending champion. There have been some amazing title defences on the UKIPT over the years -- think back to Max Silver, fourth at UKIPT2 Dublin; and Brett Angell, seventh in UKIPT5 London. But back to back final tables for Hutchison in his home UKIPT was a fine achievement in itself for the Scotsman.
When play was still eight handed he got a lucky double with a dominated ace against Gomez, and it looked like his title defence might go all the way. But, the Poker Gods decided to even out the variance. He got it in with queens against the A♠Q♣ of Rich, but an ace on the flop sent him out in fifth. The UKIPT double winners club total still stands at four for now.
The elimination of the defending champion was the fourth exit in a hectic opening two hours of the final table. First out of the elite eight was Gary Laing. He turned top pair to go with an open ended straight draw and called off against Rich, who had flopped a set. He missed the river and was out in eighth earning £6,038. It was the latest in a string of impressive results for the Fife man who won his seat to this event in a Pub Poker league.
Next to go was Michael McGee who was left with less than five big blinds after being coolered by Lynskey. Again it was Rich who played the role of executioner, setting him in with K♣7♥ from the small blind and holding against McGee's J♥5♦ which didn't improve. It was an assured performance from McGee though and you wouldn't bet against the Scot - who until recently shared a house with UKIPT3 London winner Robbie Bull - from making another UKIPT final table down the line.
From flatmate bragging rights to the brotherly kind. Dode Elliot's brother - Willie - made the final table at UKIPT4 Nottingham where he finished fourth. Unfortunately for Dode it's Willie who retains the bragging rights as Elliot ran A♥Q♣ into Burnhill's pocket aces to bust in sixth place. Willie though was in reflective mood as his brother had earlier hit a three outer to survive and there were no complaints from either party.
After Hutchison's exit the main story of this final table was that we had a couple amongst the final four as Lynskey and Rich are partners. At this stage it was Rich who was in the lead with almost four million of the 9,400,000 chips in play. The tournament would turn though on a fantastic call from Gomez in a huge pot against her.
She raised with J♣T♥ and bet every street of a 7♠Q♦9♦2♣A♥ board setting Gomez in for a pot sized bet of around 1,400,000 on the river. The Spaniard tanked, tanked, and tanked some more before making an excellent call with Q♣T♠. That pot was a real momentum swinger as it gave Gomez back the chip lead he'd lost. Gomez said of that hand "She was the chip leader, and everyone else had fairly even stacks, so I considered she might bluff open-ended straight draws and flush draws. If I win that pot, now I can open a lot of pots, so it's risky, but it paid off!"
Minutes later though the momentum was with Burnhill when he eliminated Lynskey in a cooler of a hand. The Aussie found A♥Q♠ and three-bet shoved, Burnhill had pocket jacks and flopped a set for good measure.
So then there were three! Three handed play lasted for around 40 minutes with Gomez always in the ascendency and he had almost 60 percent of the chips in play when that final spectacular hand took place.
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, 55 players shared £49,660. For a full breakdown, please click here.
|1||David Gomez||Spain||PokerStars Qualifier||49,660|
|2||Angelina Rich||USA||PokerStars Qualifier||31,490|
|3||Ben Burnhill||United Kingdom||PokerStars Qualifier||22,760|
|4||Alex Lynskey||Australia||PokerStars Qualifier||18,410|
|5||Dean Hutchison||United Kingdom||PokerStars Player||14,570|
|6||Dode Elliot||United Kingdom||11,210|
|7||Michael McGee||United Kingdom||8,340|
|8||Gary Laing||United Kingdom||6,038|
You can catch up on all today's action by clicking here and here, but that's it for the UKIPT in 2015. Our next event takes place in Dublin, February 10th-14th and online qualifiers to that event will commence on Tuesday. Thanks for reading, we'll be back in 2016 for the final event of Season 5.
All photos are copyright of Mickey May