Poker tournaments are like symphonies. They shift through different orchestral movements before ultimately ending on one winning note. If last year’s UKIPT Galway was a frenetic high pitched Padraig Parkinson-inspired knees up then this year’s score sheet delivered a thumping military beat that slowly and inexorably drove Nick Abou Risk forward into the chip lead, the final table and ultimately a second UKIPT title.
In the last moments of the tournament the score demanded silence. Abou Risk’s heads up opponent Trish Mallin had shoved the turn of a 9♥5♠10♦4♥ board and the rail’s clapping and whooping fell to an suspenseful quiet. Under the lights of the TV table set Abou Risk looked at the 1.61 million that Mallin had pushed into the middle and looked for all the world that he was calling but still he waited. Finally, as if responding to the wave of a conductor’s baton to cue his call, he pushed two large stacks of turquoise 25,000 chips forward showing 10♥2♥ to Mallin’s 7♥8♣ straight draw. The 10♠ river gave Abou Risk top trips, €67,100, a crystal vase and an historic UKIPT double. Mallin, a local amateur, won €41,300 and rapturous applause from her large rail of supporters.
The nine-handed final table started a little late today, mainly thanks to the setting up of the television table, but when it did get moving it did so quickly. Aonghus Farrell and Johan Meyer both fell within minutes. The former, who started the day as the short stack, looked quite unhappy to have his aces cracked by Abou Risk’s K♠J♠, understandably so but, hey, they’re going to get cracked one in six times there. Meyer’s was a more straightforward affair with A♠J♠ losing out to Navickas’ pocket tens.
It was the best part of an hour before Norwegian Roar Aspaas (the best name in the entire UKIPT Galway field) was knocked and a further hour before the next player fell; Dan Rankin claiming €12,725 when he was forced to get it in with Q♦J♣ against Navickas’ K♠J♠. Both Rankin and Olin had been shoving a lot in the run up to this knockout and so it came as little surprise that was Olin was the next to fall.
Olin might come to regret his light three-bet shove which had targeted Maurice Silke’s open raise. Silke had already proved himself someone that would call without a truly premium hand as he did to Olin’s 22 big blind shove with A♥9♣. Olin held J♠2♦. It didn’t catch.
Navickas was next out. The erstwhile axe-man somehow falling and slipping under Trish Mallin’s blade when her A♣7♣ hit a flush against his A♠K♦. It was a tough exit for the 19-year old PokerStars qualifier from Lithunania, but €18,600 should help soften the blow.
Maurice Silke claimed the heads up bubble when he shoved for 900,000 with A♣10♣ over Abou Risk’s 85,000 open with pocket eights. The 8♥8♦ held up sending Abou Risk into the heads up with a healthy 3.3 million to 1.9 million lead over Mallin. The rest you know and that, along with Abou Risk’s double, is history. See you in Nottingham 11-14 February.
For all the payouts and prize winners click here.
Photos are all thanks and copyright to Mickey May, who employs a small army of lawyers and large battalion of ninjas to punish anyone abusing use of her images.