Vladas Tamasauskas wins UKIPT5 Dublin and €176,900
After a one-day hiatus the final UKIPT Main Event of Season 5 came to a conclusion today. After nearly seven levels of exciting play, Vladas Tamasauskas from Lithuania became the latest champion on the tour. He had a tricky period and had to win a race to survive when seven-handed but as the day progressed, so did his confidence along with his stack, and thoroughly deserves the trophy and the €176,900 that goes with it.
"I felt that I could beat him; the chip lead helped!" said Tamasauskas of his heads up battle with Dave Pollock, but it was two hands before than, involving aces, that really went a long way to helping him take a dominating chip lead into their duel, a position he would never give up.
Four-handed he five-bet all in with pocket aces and scored a huge double up via Pollock who four-bet called with ace-queen. That gave the Lithuanian over half the chips in play and he cemented his position event further when, three-handed, he cracked Mark Reilly's aces to send him home (details below). Pollock fought valiantly and aggressively heads up and got his opponent off some better holdings, but his last aggressive move was one too many. He moved all in with ace high on a board containing two fives and was snap called by Tamasauskas who had flopped trips. Game over.
He said he was both a little tired after the three days of poker, and also "very happy with my achievement, even though I might not look it!"
About the UKIPT itself: "The structure was great, the dealers and staff are great - I couldn't say a bad word about it."
The final commenced at 12:30pm and the only British player represented at the table was the first player out. Marc Foggin indicated he was going straight to the bar to get drunk, rather than parlay his money into the EPT Main Event. His fourth final table of the year ended in defeat after his big-slick failed to find a pair on a queen high board. The Geordie has opened from under the gun before Samuel Vousden three-bet with pocket jacks. He did so for value and called when Foggin shoved and leapt into the chip lead as a result.
It took over two hours for the next player to depart as a pattern of chip passing around the table emerged. There were plenty of big hands matching up but none decisive enough to send a player to the rail, until Jelcides Monteiro found himself all in. He can speak six languages but numbers are the same in all of them, and his odds were bad. He moved all in with ace-five and Pollock called with ace-queen, hitting his kicker to decide the hand.
It only took a few more minutes to lose our next player, Quentin Dellis. He had left himself shallow after three-bet-folding a short while earlier. Tamasauskas set him all in with king-three from the small blind, and he called after looking at pocket eights in the big blind, but got unlucky when the board ran king high.
Vousden came into this final table as many people's favourite, due to his Sunday Million and SCOOP wins on PokerStars, but he became the third victim of the level, and another player to fall to Tamasauskas. He was down to 10 big blinds when he called all in with Q♦8♦ from the big blind. Unfortunately for the Finn, Tamasauskas opened a flush-dominating A♦7♦, and he hit the rail after a blank board appeared.
The slender chip leader coming into the final was Adalsteinn Karlsson and he departed in fourth place. The 2015 Icelandic Poker Champion's aggressive game got him to the final in pole position but a similar approach cost him in the early stages today. Once short, he never lost heart and took on Tamasauskas in many pots whilst out of position - a period that defined the middle stages of the final. It wasn't to be for him in the end though and his exit hand had an interesting run out, and it inevitably involved Tamasauskas. He moved all in with queen-eight and his Lithuanian nemesis called with pockets eight. Karlsson grabbed the lead on a queen-high flop only for the case eight to appear on the turn to extinguish his hopes.
Mark Reilly's story today was dominated by the amount of big hands he found in the hole. For the most part he used them to make profit but it was the biggest pair of all that cost him his tournament life in third spot. Tamasauskas had limped in from the button with jack-ten and he called after Reilly raised with pocket aces from the small blind. Tamasauskas flopped top two pair and got Reilly all in, and soon all out.
The last two players needed a breather after hard fought battle to get heads up, so they went off for a 75-minute dinner break. They came back fresh and had the tournament wrapped up in less than an hour. To read back through all the action as it happened in (almost) real time, click here.
Here's a reminder of how much each player won today:
|1||Vladas Tamasauskas||Lithuania||PokerStars player||€ 176,900|
|2||Dave Pollock||Ireland||PokerStars qualifier||€ 107,010|
|3||Mark Reilly||Ireland||€ 75,230|
|4||Adalsteinn Karlsson||Iceland||PokerStars player||€ 56,470|
|5||Samuel Vousden||Finland||PokerStars player||€ 43,440|
|6||Quentin Dellis||Belgium||€ 31,880|
|7||Jelcides Monteiro||Luxembourg||€ 23,520|
|8||Marc Foggin||UK||€ 16,840|
This UKIPT Main Event attracted 1,002 players from 50 counties from around the world and Dublin has been an ever-present stop on the tour since the beginning over six years ago. It's hard to think of a better place to bring another amazing season to an end. Thanks to everyone that has played, read the updates and been involved in the best grassroots tour in Europe. Also congratulations to all the Season 5 champions featured below:
No need to worry about missing the tour too much as Season 6 of the UKIPT is just around the corner. Keep an eye on the UKIPT.com homepage for all date announcements but we can tell you that PokerStars LIVE! at The Hippodrome Casino will host the first leg, April 5-10. See you all there! Satellites start as soon as Thursday on PokerStars.
Photos courtesy of Mickey May