Very few people come to play poker at Hippodrome Casino and don’t fall in love with the place. The UKIPT has made its London home here and it’d be hard to imagine playing anywhere else in this fine city now. At midday today there would’ve been 10 players who agreed with those sentiments. Seven hours later, at least one person would still agree.
Siddique – champion!
That’s all it took for start of day chip leader Usman Siddique to dismantle the hopes of nine very capable opponents. Siddique might’ve allowed himself to dream of the title from as early as midway through yesterday’s play when he won a 2 million chip pot courtesy of an obvervational mistake by an opponent. That pot alone was good for a final table average stack and it gave the 23-year-old the ammunition to boss every table he was at from then on. He ended Day 2 as chip leader and, despite a short while today when Warren Russell overtook him, never let go of his grip on the tournament.
Heads up battle
On his huge pots yesterday, Siddique had this to say: “Yes it was really important but there were two stages. Firstly someone 5-bet ripped pocket jacks into my kings for 500,000 so that put me up to a million – then another player decided to get it in versus me in that huge pot.”
The last man he had to get through was the man who started off the day on fire. French primary school teacher David Gassian picked up kings in the opening moments of the day and used them to oust Anatolis Jevtejev in tenth place. The Lithuanian was unlucky as he had picked up a hand as well with jacks. That exit meant all players resided on one table and it was soon the official final table of eight when Gassian used pocket kings once more to Jack Hardcastle in ninth. That hand was also a cooler as the Portmouth native held ace-king but failed to find the three-outer he needed.
Gassian – 2nd place
Gassian won another two big hands – once with aces and another with quads – and that helped keep him alive as Siddique destroyed all players around him. His luck ran out when he was heads up though. He was very short and moved all in with king-deuce; Siddique looked down at ace-six, made the call and went on to make two pair.
The official final table kicked off with the exit of Scottish pro David Docherty. This was the second time he’s made a UKIPT final table (the other being Dublin, Season 2) and the second time he’s been first out. Not much he could do with pocket aces though. Jack Salter had raised with queen-ten and called the three-bet shove before warning Docherty he was very lucky. He wasn’t wrong and had the aces destroyed by the turn with a straight.
Docherty – 8th place
The only Norwegian to feature on the final day was next to go. Morten Halvorsen flopped overs and a straight draw, made his move, but was called by Siddique who had flopped top pair and an open-ended straight draw. The turn and river bricked to see six remain. Siddique also took out the next player – the dangerous Salter – and that, along with the seat draw, was key for him as he alluded to later.
Halvorsen (picking up his coat) – 7th place
“The table draw was really important – having Jack Salter and the other big stack on my right meant I had the nut table position. That and coming in as a big stack meant I was able to apply pressure at the right stages.
Also the big stack I had meant I could pass up some marginal spots and look for some bigger edges.”
Salter (left) 6th place
Winning the flip versus Jack, who I thought was the most dangerous opponent, was crucial. ” Salter had a big hand with ace-king but couldn’t hit to dislodge Siddique’s pocket fives.
The one hand that Siddique seemingly wasn’t involved in saw Daniel Harwood go in the fourth. The Cheltenham lad had been making lots of moves all day but wasn’t getting called when he had it, and then when he made a move with a middling hand he ran into a big hand – his eights failing to come from behind to crack the jacks of Gassian.
Harwood – 5th place
Russell – 4th place
The tournament ticked over into Level 29 and a dinner break was scheduled at the end of it, but Siddique had it all wrapped up in 30 minutes. First he took out the dangerous Warren Russell, who was the only man who really threatened him today, playing his first ever tournament in Europe after relocating to London five weeks ago for work reasons. He held ace-ten but Siddique wasn’t planning on losing any races today and his sevens navigated a bricky board with ease. Moments later Joe Hindry was his next victim. He pushed with ten-nine and Siddique called with ace-five, which went on to make two pair. That gave him an almost insurmountable leads heads up and he made light work of Gassian before enjoying all the post victory formalities.
Joe Hindry – 3rd place
Siddique played well and ran really well – a dangerous combination. “It was just golden like a dream really. I ran really pure throughout the tournament. I kept expecting to get a beat somewhere along the line but it never really happened!” he said.
Here’s the official final results:
Spring is in full flow here in the UK with summer around the corner, and you know what that means? Yep, summer holiday time! For the fourth year in a row the UKIPT is going on its summer holidays, once more meeting up with it’s Spanish cousin, the Estralles Poker Tour (ESPT). Qualifiers are running online at PokerStars now, so get involved and join us June 14-19 in Marbella for sun, parties and a little bit of poker.
For now, this is us signing off from the centre of London. Thanks for reading all week and see you all in June!
These jesters (Toby Stone & David Curtis) will be in Marbella to entertain
PokerStars Blog Reporting Team at UKIPT6 London: Marc Convey and Jack Stanton. Photos by Mickey May. Follow the PokerStars Blog on Twitter: @PokerStarsBlog