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Monday, October 12, 2009 | Francis Lee


The European Poker Tour (EPT) made its annual UK stop, hosted at London’s Victoria Casino.  730 players started out in the £5,250 main event which created a total prize pool of £3,540,500.  The first place prize everyone was trying to win was set at £850,000.

After four days play the tournament had reached the final table stage of the event with the last eight battling it out to be the EPT UK champion of 2009.  The notable name to make the final table was the 2008 WSOP champion Peter Eastgate, who was well positioned to go deep in this event in second place in the chip rankings.  Here is how the final table looked at the start of play.

Final Table Chip Rankings

1st Aaron Gustavson 7,140,000
2nd Peter Eastgate 3,535,000
3rd Martin Gudvangen 3,510,000
4th Nikolai Senninger 2,175,000
5th Dominic Cullen 2,105,000
6th Raymond Wu 1,535,000
7th Rui Milhomens 1,100,000
8th Karim Bennani 845,000

It wasn’t until after the first break that the first elimination came about.  Short stacked Karim Bennani didn’t have much luck in the early stages and found his stack whittled down to just 290,000.  He decided to move all in holding :kd :3h and was dominated by Rui Milhomens with :ks :10s Bennani managed to pair his three on the flop showing :js :7d :3s but was in danger as Milhomens was drawing to a flush.  The Turn proved to be the decisive card as the :4s completed the flush meaning Bennani was drawing dead with one card to come.

Shortly after Raymond Wu looked to be in reasonable shape when pushing all in with :qc :10h and was called by Aaron Gustavson with :kc :6c That was until the flop came down :kh :8h :5d putting Gustavson firmly in the lead.  The :5c on the turn finished off Wu as he was already drawing dead when the :2d completed the board.

The next elimination came when Milhomen raised from an early position to 230,000.  Everyone folded until the action reached Peter Eastgate who was on the big blind.  After going into the tank to what seemed like an age he decided to put Milhomen to the test by moving all in.  Milhomen didn’t seem happy but reluctantly decided to call.  It turned out to be a race with Milhomen having pocket eight’s to Eastgate’s :ad :10s The first four cards down missed both players although Eastgate picked up more outs with a straight draw.  The river card brought the :10h giving Eastgate the pot, eliminating Milhomen into 6th place.

When the next elimination hand came we had exactly the same cards up against each other with all the money in pre flop.  This time Dominic Cullen had the :as :10s and Gustavson was holding the pocket eights.  The first card out on the flop was the :8d which proved to be enough to win the pot for Gustavson.

Four handed quickly turned to three when Martin Gudvangen shoved 1.1 million chips in the middle with :ad :3c and found some action with Nikolai Senninger calling holding :ah :qc Neither player hit any piece of the board and the Queen kicker eliminated Gudvangen out to collect £227,000 in prize money.

Going into three handed play Gustavson was in the chip lead having 9.1 million in chips with Eastgate on 7.6 million.  Short stacked Senninger wasn’t too far behind having 5.1 million.

Gustavson managed to increase his chip stack to over 14 million when knocking out Senninger into 3rd place.  Senninger started off the pre flop betting, raising to 275,000 to which Gustavson re raised to 800,000.  Senninger made the call and the flop came down :3d :7h :qh Gustavson bet out 1.1 million and Senninger called to see the :9c fall on the turn.  Gustavson again came out firing moving all in and after taking time to think about his next move, Senninger eventually made the call.  Senninger flipped over pocket eights but found himself behind Gustavson’s :qd :10s Only an eight would save Senninger but the river came down with the :10c leaving Gustavson and Eastgate heads up.

Heads up only lasted a couple of hands, the first Gustavson pushed Eastgate off the pot taking a big chunk out of his stack.  On the next hand all the chips went in pre flop with Eastgate being dominated holding :ah :9d against :as :qd The board blanked for both players meaning Gustavson was the EPT UK champion winning £850,000.

Final Standings

1st Aaron Gustavson £850,000
2nd Peter Eastgate £530,000
3rd Nikolai Senninger £285,000
4th Martin Gudvangen £227,000
5th Dominic Cullen £173,000
6th Rui Milhomens £124,000
7th Raymond Wu £87,000
8th Karim Bennani £50,100



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