The results are here!
The first set of Quarterly Finals for the new poker year have finished!
The turnout at the finals was incredible, with over 750 players playing across two weeks at 9 Quarterly finals!
All the results can be found by clicking here and photo galleries for most of the venues are available here.
The Birmingham final started just after 2pm with 143 participants. The casino card room manager kindly donated a prize of a meal for 2 if anyone hit a royal flush; unfortunately it wasn’t to be, so maybe next time someone will get lucky!
It wasn’t long before we started seeing the first re-buys, only about 10 minutes in fact! However it wasn’t until the first hour had passed that we had our first casualty, the unlucky player being Rob Morris who received a huge cheer. Relief could be felt throughout the card room that the first player had gone!
As we approached the break for food, players were starting to fall by the wayside and once we returned from the buffet and the blinds started to increase we saw flurries of players going out when they tried to ‘push’ with their short stacks.
With 15 National Final seats up for grabs it was starting to get a bit tense as we reached the final 2 tables and it was the unfortunate Phil Tupman that bubbled in 16th place. It was only a short respite as the tension increased again as we approached the final table. Out 15th was Sergio Ferdenzi, 14th Simon Greene, 13th Ben Scott, 12th Jason Jones, 11th Chris Naylor.
So the final table chip count and final placings was Matt Wilson (91,000) 10th, Paul Young (64,000) 9th, Simon Barratt (41,000) 8th, Chris Kay (35,000) 7th, Stephen Cox (67,000) 6th, Dave Clasby (153,000) 5th, Paul Eversden (151,000) 4th, Michael Beardmore (81,000) 3rd, Joe Cifaldi (84,000) 2nd and Kevin Evans (86,000) winning overall to grab 1st place!
The prize pool was £1,500 paid to 9 places with runner up taking home a well deserved £300 and our winner Kevin Evans scooping £640.
The Quarterly Final at Bristol saw it's strongest turnout yet, with 56 runners arriving to play!
Unfortunately we quickly lost our first player, Ross Ciddelapaz, who exited the tournament after unwittingly pitting his trip 9's against another player's full house.
During the first part of the tournament three positions were empty, with players Ben Theobald, Adam Edghill and Tim Edghill struggling in traffic, but the trio managed to arrive and take their places just as the casino's staff were preparing to remove them from the tournament.
Play continued at a lightning pace, with the tournament being reduced to the final table in record time. The final table itself had several notable players, including previous Quarterly Final winners Nathan Warren and Ben Theobald as well as National Final 5th place winner Katie Rolls.
No player in the league has ever won more than one Quarterly Final and unfortunately for Nathan and Ben this held true once again, with Ben dropping out in 6th place and Nathan and Katie both being knocked out on the same hand, with Nathan taking 4th place due to having a larger chip stack at the start of the hand.
Now only the top three prize spots remained and the tension on the table increased. Alan Grove was the next to drop, walking away with third place and £120.
The final heads-up was now between Phil Bamsey, long time player at the Great Escape, and Adrien Premand from the George, who only joined the league at the start of September. Both players had impressive chip stacks, but Adrien's was bigger and his play showed it.
Despite continuous pressure from Adrien, Phil played cautiously and consistently for the next 50 minutes, chipping away at Adrien's stack, constantly taking big blind after big blind from the new player, whilst steadfastly refusing to rise to any attempts from Adrien to bring him into larger staked hands.
Finally Adrien could take no more and both players went all in. Both turned over their cards to reveal less than ideal hands, Phil having Q6 and Adrien sporting J7. The cards came down 6 Q 3 2 J, letting Phil win the day with two pair, taking home the Champions Poker League Quarterly Final trophy, as well as his prize money of £355!
Congratulations to Phil and also to Adrien, Alan, Nathan, Katie and Ben, who all earned an invitation through to the National Finals!
Our Edinburgh final saw it's biggest turnout yet with 58 players turning up on the day!
This meant that the six players who finished in the money on the day also qualified through to the National Final.
The final 6 places came out as:
6th: Russ MacNay
5th: Susan Morrison
4th: Graeme Howe
3rd: Jim Barton
2nd: Michael Clinton
1st: James Page
A relatively small field of 53 players sat down in the poker room at this professionally dealer dealt inaugural regional final venue being held at Sovereigns in Farnborough. After Dave Edge, our new Area Manager for London and the south, had congratulated the players and made the obligatory announcements he handed the tournament over to Matt Grainger to shout out the words synonymous with poker, “Dealers, shuffle up and deal”. The clock was started, the blinds were in and the game had now begun.
Darryl Capper of the Red Lion, Aldershot got off to a great start with his very first hand, he looked down at pocket Ace’s, Darren Sherwood of Yates in Woking was at the same table holding pocket Kings. Heavy betting followed which had both players all-in, the flop came down Ace Ace rag, with the hand effectively over, Darren had to re-buy and Darryl doubled up. Unfortunately Darryl’s luck was short lived as he was knocked out in 21st place.
Our first man down saw Dave Hatch of the Royal Exchange, Lindford, all-in with his pocket Jacks losing to Ramin Khorshidi of Yates, Woking whose Ace Six of hearts hit trip 6’s on the flop. With no Jack coming to the rescue on the turn or river, Dave was out.
Play was now well under way, the blinds were increasing every twenty minutes, another player went out and then came the first break. The re-buy and top-up deadline had passed and the small chips were chipped-up. There was no more safety net, just hard poker.
Players were now being knocked-out with notable regularity, Colin Porteous had his pocket Aces busted by Ten Jack suited which flopped two pair. Dave Edge heard yet another bad beat story from another player, and after all, everyone knows just how much he loves to hear them.
We were down to the last two tables of just twelve players and with the blinds at 1000/2000, antes were introduced making the game just that little bit harder for the short stacks. The blinds took their toll and the big stacks were able to bully the small stacks, it was only a question of time for some of the players as to how long they could hang in for, the call went out, “Final Table”, we were down to just nine players.
Tony Rudge of the Wheatsheaf in Farnham was commanding the overall lead with 86,600 in chips and drew seat 2, the small blind. Rob Watkins, the Royal Exchange in Lindford, was next with 56,900 drawing seat 9, closely followed by Matt Jones, of the College Arms in Reading, holding 55,100 and drawing seat 4. Mai-Ling Mann, Yates in Woking, was only a breath away with 49,200 in seat 7 but holding more than double to her nearest rival, Peter Dillon from the Marigold, London, who had 19,200 but the great advantage of drawing the dealer button. Gary Woodley of the Ivy Leaf Club in Cove, Farnborough was next with 18,400 drawing seat 8 along with his team-mate and partner in crime Shan Slater on 17,500 also of the Ivy Leaf, taking the big blind in seat 3. Yet another player from the Ivy was Gary Bevan taking seat 5 with his 9,500, in fact all 5 players from this venue finished in the top 20 with Rob Hunter taking 20th place and Stewart Tyson finishing 15th. Bringing in the shortest stack to the final table was Frederic Gautrin also from the Wheatsheaf with just 4,000 in chips.
The blinds were now 2000/4000 with 300 ante, play was cagey to start, with the players passing and folding to the blinds, Frederic had no choice when he was all-in on the big blind with his 23 suited, Rob had raised with his 47 suited isolating Frederic, and with both players missing the board of 9 10 J K 5, Robs 7 kicked in to take Frederic out in 9th place.
Rob then took down another big pot after hitting a flush and was the new tournament chip leader, a position he was not willing to let go of.
Shan moved all-in with her 10 J to Tonys pocket 7’s and with Tonys hand holding up, Shan took 8th place.
Peter was next to go after moving all-in with K Q, Rob called with his J 9 and managed to hit a full-house 9’s over 4’s to put Peter out on the bubble and 7th place.
On Mai-Lings big blind, Gary Woodley was the next short stack and moved all-in with A 2, Mai-Ling had no choice but to call with her Q 3 as it wasn’t costing her too much more, the board came down with A 10 5 10 9 and Gary doubled up.
The blinds were now capped at 3000/6000 with a 400 ante. Gary Bevan moved all-in with his remaining 4,100 holding A 9, Rob who was on the big blind called blind to turn over A Q. The flop came 3 3 6, the turn 7 so Gary was in trouble, needing a 6 or 7 for a split-pot or a 9 to win. The river came down Q, gaving Rob the winning hand and Gary was out in 6th place.
Mai-Ling was now on the big blind with only 5,400. Gary Woodley under the gun, folded, Rob raised to 12,000, Tony folded, Matt folded his small blind and Rob turned over his A 2 to Mail-Lings K 10. The board came down A 10 8 9 2 putting Mai-Ling into 5th place and Rob was increasing his chip stack once more.
Gary Woodley moved all-in after Tony had originally flat called his big blind and subsequent raise, Gary showed J Q suited and Tony had A 8 off. The flop came down 4 9 3. It wasn't looking good for Gary with Tony's A still holding the lead. The turn came down Q and the river J letting Gary doubled up.
Tony moved all-in with his next hand 68,200 but did not get any callers so captured the blinds.
The next hand proved to be the crushing blow as there was two all-ins, Tony holding A 4 and Matt holding J Q, Gary very wisely folded leaving Rob to call as he easily had both players well covered and turned over his pocket 10’s. The board came down 3 4 6 6 7 which was of no use to Matt as he went out in 4th place and Tony with the higher chip count taking 3rd.
Rob now had in excess of 275,000 in chips and it looked impossible for him to lose, Gary only having somewhere around 25,000.
Gary moved all-in with K Q and Rob called with Q 7, the board was Q 6 5 5 J, allowing Gary to double up.
Rob announced all-in and Gary decided to call with his K 10, Rob showed his A 3. The flop came down 6 7 8, Gary needed a 9 for the straight or any 10 or K to take down Rob's A, the turn was another 8, the river 3 giving Rob two pairs and making him the somewhat ecstatic winner and Gary Woodley a very commendable 2nd place.
This was a great final table to watch because it was non-stop action. The final players fully embraced and enjoyed the atmosphere generated by the supportive on-lookers culminating the whole event. The dealers that had been supplied by Sovereigns were top-notch and extremely professional throughout the tournament, showing excellent table control helping this event run very smoothly.
With all 57 runners registered we got under way at 2:00 p.m. As we were in Yorkshire everyone was playing very tight so we had to wait until just before the meal break at 3.00 p.m for our first casualty, Lance Taylor, closely followed by Karen Winstone.
After chowing down on the excellent buffet provided by the casino play resumed and we soon lost landlord and landlady Steven and Leslie Hird although we only found out Steven had been eliminated because Leslie told us. (Bragging rights obviously very important in the Hird household).
As the blinds increased so did the casualties and by 7:00 p.m we were down to two tables and soon reached the final table bubble when Matt Keenan holding A7 called all-in only to be faced with A8 but when the flop came A78 and turn 7 it looked we had our final table only for Matt to be denied by an 8 on the river.
Eventually we lost Andrew Walton and we had our final table as below:-
Stephanie Parnham 3000
Mark Williams 15000
Ray Finch 79000
Leslie Warren 37000
Matt Keenan 15500
Cliff Meese 37000
Ashley Cooper 25000
Tom Corrie 36000
Tim Blackburn 95000
Almost immediately Mark pushed with KJ and was called by Stephanie A10 and Ray 77. Flop 869 Turn A and river 7 gave Stephanie a straight and sending Mark out. Stephanie then went on an amazing run, turning her 3000 into 50,000 in the first 4 hands.
Next to fall was Ashley who was now short stacked and pushed with 69 only to be called by Tom with 99 and Leslie with JJ. JJ held up and Ashley left in 8th.
Tom, now short stacked, pushed with A9 and was called by Tim with AQ. Q on the flop sent Tom out on the bubble.
Matt then went all-in with his last 1000 against Leslie. Leslie's 5 7 found another 7 on the flop and sent Matt home with £20 and a seat at the National.
Next out is Cliff who pushed with A J and was called by A 10. Another 10 on the flop sends cliff home with a National Seat and £60. This was quickly followed by Stephanie, who was delighted to have reached 4th after starting the final table with just 3000 chips, taking home £75.
Ray then pushed all-in with pocket 9's to be called by Leslie's QK. No cards came for anyone, taking Leslie out with £90 in third place.
Now it was down to a heads up between Ray and Tim. They had been battling each other all day having started on the same table with Tim having constantly attacked Ray's big blind all day. He continued this tactic throughout the final table and into the heads up.
Eventually the inevitable happened and Tim pushed from his small blind with K 10 only for Ray to instantly call with pocket aces. Tim hit a 10 on the flop, but no help came on the turn or the river, letting Ray go home with first place and £355!
So an excellent day came to a close at 9pm. I would like to congratulate all those who qualified for the National Finals and would also like to thank the casino staff for a well run tournament.
It was a record breaking final at Luton this Quarter, with 219 runners starting the tournament! Luckily we were able to secure additional seating so all of our players were able to play straight away. Due to this massive influx of players the tournament was forced to start slightly later than advertised, but our players were consoled by the news they would be playing for a total prize pool of £2250!
The biggest cheer of the day went to poor Gabriel Parsons who went out quickly after setting his trip jacks against a full house, Jacks over Aces.
Eventually only ten players remained, with the final table looking like this:
Sandra Tyler was our highest placing lady on the day, finishing third and netting herself £270 in prize money.
The final heads up between Neil Cooper and Michael Campbell ended with Michael 's pocket sixes against Neil's ace eight. The cards came down king king four, with a two on the turn and a nine on the river, letting Michael take the day with two pair to win the coveted Champions Poker League Quarterly Final trophy and first prize of £880!
Congratulations to Michael and all 22 players who qualified for the National Final on the day!
The Tournament got under way at 2:15pm. 130 runners gave us a prize fund of £1500 and we didn't have to wait long for our first casualties. Four players went out in the first 30 minutes, three of whom were from the same venue.
The eliminations came thick and fast and by the food break we were down to 110 runners who thoroughly enjoyed the excellent free buffet provided by the casino.
After the meal break and re-buy period the action continued and the it became obvious that the danger hand of the day was AQ after at least 4 players pushed all in only to be out-drawn.
There were the expected tales of bad beats as players emerged from the poker room shaking their heads and muttering to themselves. One notable bad beat came when a short stacked Peter Raynor pushed with AK and was called by Alistair McKenzie with 73 unsuited. The flop brought no help for either player but a 7 on the turn followed by another on the river sent Peter to the rail.
By contrast Steve Dagnall with 20,000 pushed with AK and was called by two players, one a short stack of 18,000 and the other a big stack of about 60,000. Much to Steve's delight an A on the flop followed by K on turn and K on river resulted in a full house and a very welcome treble up.
With 130 runners we had 13 seats at the National Finals up for grabs and the unfortunate player to go out on the bubble was James Phillips from the Ley Inn.
After James had gone play loosened up and we were soon down to the cash bubble. Richard Jones from the Jubilee was eliminated in 10th but could console himself that at least he has the Nationals to look forward to.
So our Final Table of 9 was:-
After a short break we continued and the short stacked Chris pushed with A 5. With 2 callers holding A10 and 77 and then a flop of A5 Chris looked to be right back in it but a 10 on the river gave Kate the better two pairs sending Chris home.
Jamie Roberts was next to go in 8th place quickly followed by Mark, Jackie and Damian.
Katie Perrin was our 4th place finisher leaving Steve with Rob and Howard who both play in the same venue in North Wales. The play became quite tight now as the jumps in prize money were significant but eventually Steve took out Rob who picked up 180 pounds.
Steve was now a big chip leader but Howard doubled up immediately. This was followed by almost an hour of heads up play with the chip lead constantly changing. With the blinds at 10k/20k a deal was discussed but the players eventually decided to battle it out. Steve pushed with AQ and Howard ,who was now very short stacked, called with A5. With no help on board Steve took the trophy and the £640 first prize.
I would just like to thank all the players and supporters who contributed to a great day and congratulations to all the winners of cash prizes and also Lee Bateson,Lee Thompson an Alistair McKenzie who qualified for the Nationals.
Aberdeen saw a great turn out of 24 players on the day, letting three players qualify through to the National Finals.
The Final Rankings were as follows:
1st Martin 'Gerbil' Davidson
2nd Kevin 'Yid' Sykes
3rd Martin 'Baz' Low
Congratulations guys, see you at the National Final!
Newcastle had a great day, with 19 players turning up to the Final.
Congratulations to Stephen Landless, who walked away with 1st prize! Stephen and runner-up Chris Burnicle both managed to qualify for the National Finals, so good luck to them!