Wednesday, 17th July 2024 13:14
Home / Poker / David Docherty leading UKIPT Player of the Year race. UKIPT Blackpool up next

Alongside the schedule of events is the UKIPT Player of the Year race. And as we report, there’s already a heated race for top spot…

Irish Open champion David Docherty has toppled Andy Black from the top spot in the UKIPT Player of the Year race and will be heading to UKIPT Blackpool next week determined to keep his lead.

UKIPT Blackpool is the tour’s first visit to the famous Lancashire resort with a six-day festival taking place from July 11 to 16 at the Grosvenor Casino.

It’s also the first UKIPT stop this year on the UK mainland.

The makings of an exciting rivalry

Docherty – who won the biggest poker tournament ever held in Ireland when he took down the PokerStars-sponsored Irish Open in April – finished fourth in last week’s PokerStars Summer Festival Malta Main Event for €52,660.

The result means he knocked Irish poker legend Andy Black off the #1 spot on the UKIPT leader board.

David Docherty winning the Irish Open

It also heralds an exciting rivalry between the top three players – Docherty, Black and Greek player Fotios Ntamaris who is currently in second place.

Docherty and Black are both determined to win the prestigious UKIPT Player of the Year race – a classic battle between the young(ish) pretender and highly experienced veteran.

A familiar rival

Andy Black, 57, is currently #1 in the Ireland all-time money list, and has more than $5 million in live tournament winnings with results going back more than 26 years.

Scottish pro Docherty, 35, has only recently been achieving major scores but his total live tournament winnings already amount to just over $1.1 million, and he is currently ranked #6 on the Scotland all-time money list.

“I decided after winning the Irish Open that I had to chase the UKIPT leader board so I went to Malta hoping to put some extra points on the board,” said Docherty.

“It feels pretty ridiculous to have made the final table again AND been just a flip away from possibly winning!

“I think I’ve now put enough distance between myself and the pack that I’m already a favourite to win the leader board, but I’m going to play every stop to make sure. I’ll be in all the side events in Blackpool next week battling away.”


Black has already stated how keen he is to win the UKIPT leader board and was fully aware that missing Malta and Blackpool would set him back in the Player of the Year race.

However, he has every intention of fighting back at UKIPT festivals later in the year.

There are plenty to choose from: after Blackpool, the UKIPT will be hosting festivals in Brighton in September, then London and Edinburgh followed by Nottingham in November for the Grand Final.


Docherty currently has 190 points, Ntamaris has 142 points and Black has 132 points.

Docherty got 100 points for his Irish Open victory plus 81 points for his fourth-place finish in Malta and another nine points for finishing 19th in a €220 NLH Freezeout tournament earlier in the festival.

Ntamaris has 142 points after three cashes at the Irish Open and a sixth place in the Malta Main Event.

Black accrued his points thanks to a fifth place in the Irish Open Main Event and third place in the Irish Open Hendon Mob Championship.

However, crucially, Black missed Malta to compete in Vegas and will also miss UKIPT Blackpool.

UKIPT Blackpool Main Event

The £1,100 buy-in Main Event comes with three starting flights, kicking off on Thursday, July 13 with two re-entries allowed per flight. Players get a 30,000 starting stack and 40-minute levels on Day 1.

Online qualifiers are running on PokerStars right now through to July 10, with feeder satellites starting at just £5.50.

The direct qualifier later today will have three seats guaranteed and then next Sunday (July 9) – the final Sunday before the event starts – they’ll be another five seats guaranteed.

David Docherty has already won a satellite for his entry.

In addition to the Main Event, UKIPT Blackpool will also feature a £2,200 High Roller and the £330 buy-in UKIPT Cup.

There are a total of 14 tournaments on the schedule including two £220 NLHE Freezeouts, a £220 NLHE Bounty tournament, a £550 Deepstack Freezeout plus a bunch of super satellites.

You can buy into any of the tournaments on-site at the venue using cash, debit card, Luxon Pay or your PokerStars account.

Among those set to compete in Blackpool are PokerStars Team Pros Georgina James, Sam Grafton, and Nick Walsh.

Blackpool is an ideal location for a poker festival; it’s the quintessential British seaside resort known for a wealth of attractions including the famous Pier and Pleasure Beach, old-school amusement park, rollercoaster, arcades, promenade, bars, and restaurants.

UKIPT Leader board: What’s at stake?

Players at all this year’s UKIPT stops – including the Irish Open and the PokerStars’ Summer Festival Malta – are in with a chance of winning the 2023 PokerStars UKIPT leader board.

Prizes are awarded to the top three players:

Winner: UKIPT 2024 Package worth £15,000 for the winner.

Runner-up: Live event credits worth £2,200.

Third place: Live event credits worth £1,100.

The leader board is a points-based system, whereby every player who cashes in an eligible event (all standard Multi-Table Tournaments with a buy-in over £220/€220, excluding satellites) will receive points based on their finishing position and number of event entries.

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