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2007 | Live & Online Poker Tournament News
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Friday, December 7, 2007 | Francis Lee


The last stop on the Grosvenor UK Poker Tour (GUKPT) was the grand final held at the Victoria Casino London. The £3,000 buy in event attracted 199 players fighting for the first place prize set at just under £200,000. All previous winners of the 2007 GUKPT had won a seat to this event including the likes of Michael Greco winner of leg three in Cardiff.

When we reached the final table stage Mark Friedman was in a strong position sat at the top of the leader board on £912,000, almost double of second placed Sami Yusuf on £545,000. There was a number of players all with under £200,000 needing to make a good start to have a shot at the last few places.

Final Table Chip Rankings:

  • 1st Mark Friedman £912,000
  • 2nd Sami Yusuf £545,000
  • 3rd Simon Zach £346,000
  • 4th Ben Vinson £293,000
  • 5th Michael Ellis £245,000
  • 6th Paul Moss £202,000
  • 7th Dave Barnes £196,000
  • 8th Carlos Barrera £137,000
  • 9th Owen Lock £109,000

The first elimination hand on the final table came about after 15 minutes of play. Unexpectedly it was Simon Zach who started out in a good position from the start in 3rd place on £346,000 in chips. He lost most of his chip stack to Carlos Barrera when we ran into pocket Aces when having :ah :kh himself. This left him with only £37,000 in chips and a few hands later he decided to go All In holding :jd :8s after the Flop had come down :4s :9d :kh He had two callers, Dave Barnes with :ks :jh and Michael Ellis with :kc :5h Barnes led out with a big bet after the :js came down on the Turn, making Ellis lay down his hand. Zach was drawing dead dead on the River and left the table after the dealer completed the board with the :as Zach’s 9th place finish earned his £14,800.

Paul Moss short stacked with £105,000 in chips, quickly followed Zach to the rail after moving All In with :jh :qd Owen Lock made the call with :as :10h The Ace was good enough to win the pot with the final board showing :8d :ks :5d :8s :kd

This win didn’t help Lock as he was the next player eliminated from the tournament. He picked up pocket Queens and his All In move was called by Sami Yufuf holding pocket Kings. The Kings held up with the board coming down :8d :kd :7d :qc :jh confirming Lock’s exit in 7th place winning £23,800.

On the very next hand the action folded round to Ben Vison on the small blind and he raised it up to £100,000. Dave Barnes in the big blind moved All In for a further £53,000 and Vison Called. Barnes tabled :kh :9c but found himself behind up against :as :7d The lead was taken by both players after the Flop :7c :6c :10s put Vison in the lead, and the :9s on the Turn paired Barnes Nine putting him in the lead. Vison had a couple of outs and hit one of them, with the :ad falling on the River knocking Barnes out in 6th place.

Ever since Carlos Barrera won early on with the pocket Aces, he was relatively quiet up until this point. He picked up :ks :9s and decided to make a stand moving All In. His timing couldn’t be worse as he ran into Michael Ellis with pocket Queens. The board came down :6c :8s :2d :8h :5h missing Barrera’s hand sending him to the rail in 5th.

Sami Yusuf got himself level in chips with the leader Mark Freidman on £1.1 million in chips, beating him twice in successive hands. They had almost double of third placed Michael Ellis on £605,000, Ben Vison was on the short stack with only £216,000.

Vison picked up a few blinds pushing his short stack around, but this style of play turned out to be his downfall as he was called All In with :8c :6h against Ellis with pocket Deuces. The Flop gave Ellis his set coming down :2d :8d :4d leaving Vison needing a runner runner to survive. The :3d meant he couldn’t win the pot outright, but only split the pot if a diamond fell on the River. The :3h meant the end for Vison collecting £53,500 for finishing 4th. This win had put Ellis a back in the hunt, closer to his two remaining opponents.

Michael Ellis then took most of the chips stack of the long time chip leader Mark Friedman, storming ahead on 2 million in chips leaving Freidman short stacked on just £282,000. Inevitably the end came for Friedman making a stand with :jd :10s Sami Yusuf was is opponent holding :ks :9h Both players missed the board showing :6d :5h :5d :3d :3c sending Freidman out of the tournament in 3rd place winning £71,300.

Michael Ellis had double the chip stack of Sami Yusuf going into the heads up show down, but lost his lead early on doubling Yusuf up. Ellis came back at Yusuf with some aggressive play and managed to get himself just ahead in chips. The end came shortly after this as Ellis picked up :ad :kh when Yusuf had pocket Queens. All the chips went into the middle and the Flop came down :10c :8c :qs hitting Yusuf’s Queens, leaving Ellis with an inside straight draw as his only chance. The :js on the Turn completely changed the out look of the hand as Ellis’s straight meant Yusuf needed the board to pair to survive. The :6h finished of the tournament handing Michael Ellis the GUKPT grand final title, and the £197,600 first place prize money.

Final Standings:

  • 1st Michael Ellis £197,600
  • 2nd Sami Yusuf £106,900
  • 3rd Mark Friedman £71,300
  • 4th Ben Vinson £53,50
  • 5th Carlos Barrera £41,600
  • 6th Dave Barnes £32,700
  • 7th Owen Lock £23,8000
  • 8th Paul Moss £17,800
  • 9th Simon Zach £14,800



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