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See previous entry "Quarterly Finals week 1"See next entry "Season 3 list is now up!"

January Finals week 2

Champions Poker League, the UK's #1 Pub Poker League
As usual full results and galleries for these finals can be found at our past finals page as they come in.


Aberdeen's quarterly final was under way again, with 50 players attending this time around, which meant 5 places for the national final were up for grabs. With play getting under way the final table was again quickly announced after just 5 1/2 hours with the final 10 consisting of:

Seat 1: Sean McDonald
Seat 2: Justin Anderson
Seat 3: Nathan Baulch
Seat 4: Mark Davey
Seat 5: Ryan Davidson
Seat 6: David Low
Seat 7: Moira Milne
Seat 8: Leslie Watson
Seat 9: Ryan Ward
Seat 10: Andrew Thomson

With the final table getting started we quickly lost Ryan Ward and David Low respectively, with Nathan Baulch and Ryan Davidson quickly following. Unlucky to narrowly miss out on a seat in the final was 6th place Sean McDonald, we then had our 5 qualifiers, but who would win?

Justin Anderson finished in a respectable 5th place closely followed by Mark Davey in 4th, Leslie Watson finished in 3rd which left Andrew Thomson and Moira Milne to battle it out heads up. After a few hands more it would be Andrew Thomson who would lift the trophy leaving Moira Milne to take a well earned 2nd place.

Congratulations to Andrew and our other qualifiers!


Play started on time at Bristol Gala Casino with 62 runners competing for six prizes and seven National Final places!

Only a couple of players dropped out before the break, mostly trying to sneak off without being spotted, but you left your tickets with your names on at the table, Paul and Ian, so we know who you are!

Very early on the table nearest the windows, dealt by Ian Jones, established itself as 'the table of death'. Any player moved to the table didn't last long and it was a mad dash by the casino staff to keep the table stocked with players!

It wasn't long until we were onto our final two tables, where we finally lost our last lady, Kim Pring, who once again put in a very strong showing finishing 12th. Kim has previously finished 16th, 13th, 12th and 5th so you have to admire the consistency!

The final table went as follows:

Seat 1: Kurt Daniel
Seat 2: Anthony Hembrow
Seat 3: Terry Walker
Seat 4: Martin Newcombe
Seat 5: Owen Donovan
Seat 6: David Williams
Seat 7: Ashley Bristow
Seat 8: Rikki Edwards
Seat 9: Richard Williams
Seat 10: William Stewart

Ashley was the obvious chip leader going in, with a ridiculous number of chips in front of him.

Straight away Owen Donovan doubled up with a K, 10.

Next Kurt pushed all-in with pocket sixes, with Richard calling with ace four. An ace came down on the turn, taking Kurt out in 10th.

Owen then went all-in again, splitting a pot with Terry Walker.

David Williams then began the first in a long string of all-in pushes, taking the blinds from the table to bolster his diminishing chip stack.

Owen then went all-in a third time, being called by Ashley and Rikki. Owen hits trip sixes though and doubles up.

David then pushes all-in, again taking the blinds. Everyone is surprised when he then pushes all-in again on the very next hand, again forcing the whole table to fold and taking the blinds. He then pushes in once again, the fourth time in five hands. Ashley deliberated for a time then finally decided to call. David turns over pocket tens, with Ashley holding Ace Queen. Two more aces come down in the middle giving Ashley trips and taking David out of the tournament.

Now Terry Walker pushes all-in, only for Martin Newcombe to call him and knock him out of the tournament in short order.

There was a cheer as the players realised they had all now qualified for the National Final, with a general sense of relief. William Stewart then stood up and put his coat on, announcing he had only wanted to qualify for the National, pushing all-in. Rikki called him and they turn the cards over. William has King Queen and Rikki has pocket eights. The other two eights come down in the middle to a big cheer from the players, taking William out of the tournament.

Next it was Martin's turn to go all-in, with Owen taking him out, followed soon after by Anthony, again being taken out by Owen. Next to go is Rikki, taken out by Ashley, whose lead is only getting larger and larger.

This just leaves Owen, Ashley and Richard left in the game, with Ashley way out in front in the chip count. Two confrontations between Owen and Richard in rapid succession take Owen out in third.

Suddenly it looked like Ashley was going to be blinded out of the tournament, as Owen and Richard's exchange had happened so quickly that Ashley hadn't yet returned from a bathroom break. Richard only gained one set of blinds off Ashley though and play resumed in earnest.

After a couple of tentative hands Ashley pushed all-in, with Richard calling immediately. Ashley had Ace Six and Richard turned over Nine King. The cards in the middle came down Eight, Jack, Six, Five, Nine, with Richard doubling up on the river.

It was a short wait for the next hand as such a huge amount of chips were changing hands, with Richard now clearly the chip leader.

Ashley once again pushed all-in, this time with Ace Five, Richard calling with pocket Tens. The cards came down Four, Jack, Two, Seven, Eight meaning Richard's pocket Tens held up to give him first prize.

Congratulations Richard!


Play started at the Loose Cannon club in London just after 2pm with 94 players. It was clearly a strong crowd as we had to wait to the very last hand before the break to see our first player knocked out! Better luck next time Julie!

When play restarted the everyone's aim was to make the top 10 and go through to the National Final in Birmingham later this year. Finishing in 10th our top lady on the day was Claire Bailey, well done Claire! By 8pm we had reached the bubble for the prizes, with the top 6 all coming in the money.

Just an hour later James and Niall met heads up and what exiting showdown hand we had. Niall went all in with King 8 and James Called with Jack 9 suited. The flop was 7,2,10. the turn a jack putting James out in front. The river came down a 9 giving James two pair but also handing Niall a gut shot straight and first prize! Well done Niall!


The battle of the Roses began when five Yorkshire players turned up to try and win a Trophy and take it back to Yorkshire. Neil Birtwell, who came to Leeds from Manchester last season and took the trophy was hoping to grab it again, but the Yorkshire lads had his number marked and Neil was the first person out!

The Yorkshire lads kept pushing to get a good chip lead and started to take the players out one by one. After a couple of hours we had lost 2 players out of the 5. It started to get tense has we got down to the last two tables, with three players from the Sir Robert Peel still in the running. Then Adam Wales fell to a bigger full house, followed by Jon Senior, who lost to a higher Kicker. Leaving just Gordon Young to win the trophy for Yorkshire.

When it got down to the last 10 players, Gordon made a move to push with a full house, only to lose to Quad aces. This left him with 8000 chips, by this point only a few blinds. He needed to double up quickly which he did hitting a straight. Next he went up against Liz Birtwell, the last woman standing in the tournament. Liz went out in 10th place, leaving 8 players between Gordon and the trophy.

Not long later Gordon had made his way through the rest of the final table and was heads up with Dax Balfour. Gordon was just about the chip leader at this time, but chips were getting passed back and forwards every hand until finally Dax got himself pocket 7s and pushed all-in. Gordon called him straight away with A7, both players stood up, awaiting the outcome of the cards.

The cardroom was silent, the dealer hesitating to put the cards down. The flop came down 99A, giving both players two pair, but with George's aces putting him ahead. The turn came down a 6, followed by a mighty cheer from the Yorkshire boys as the river hit a 4. Gordon had done it! We will have to wait and see what season 3 has in store for us as the results now stand at one each!

Well done Gordon “Gordie” Young.


Coming soon


The mini final went well at Norfolk once again with a total turn out of 39 people, the highest yet!

The winner this quarter was John Hockney, a local player from Great Ellingham and second place went to Kieran Canham and third to Sara-Sane Salman and finally forth place went to Adam Briggs all four have now qualified to the national final.

The blinds were finally capped at 7500-15000 for the heads up battle between John and Kieran, of which John had a good advantage with with roughly two and a half times as many chips.

John was dominating to start with during heads up, knocking Kieran down to only 30,000 at one stage, but with a couple of good double throughs he was back to level pegging. Once again John kept stealing the blinds until the final hand was dealt; king five of diamonds for John and a pair of 10's for Kieran.

All bets were pre-flop and Kieran was feeling good for the double through but when the flop came 4, king, 5 We all knew which way this was going, with neither hitting on the turn or the river. John ended up winning with kings and 10's.


With 108 confirmed runners this was a great start for our first final at Gala Northampton. With 10% gaining entry into the National final everyone was keen to get to those all important last 11 players not to mention the top 6 getting paid with the top prize of £500 to the winner.

We commenced just after 2.00pm with the play starting quite slowly with no-one busting out for quite a while. The first to drop was Joe Birom who plays three times a week with Champions Poker, twice at the Old Swan Earls Barton and at The Red Lion in Denton. As with all players knocked out he had his own bad beat story but better luck next time Joe!

After the break at about 3.20pm the players broke for lunch and reconvened with about 95 players still competing in the tournament. There was then a steady stream of players exiting the tournament until we got to the final 11 players who all made it through to the National final in September 2011 as below.

Rod Massey from the Spinning Wheel in Baston
Tez Chick from the Courtyard in Derby
Jason Jones from the Spinning Wheel in Baston
Daren Marks from the Barn Owl in Northampton
Joel Chick from the Courtyard in Debry
Eddie Hopka from the Derby Enginerers Club in Derby
Dean Hall from the Wyboston Lakes Golf Club Wyboston
Michael Mould from the Derby Engineers Club in Derby
Sidney Blake from the Mitre Hotel in Derby
Mark Foster from the Swan Inn in Leicestershire
Jonathon Fletcher from the Blue Bell in Peterborough

Almost immediately after the announcement was made that we were at the final 11 players, Daren Marks pushed all in only to be the next one knocked out. He said he had been hanging on for the last few hands with very few chips and just managed to limp over the line!

The final table then commenced at about 8pm with the top 9 players all battling it out for the cash on the day. It was made up of Rod, Tez, Jason, Joel, Eddie, Dean, Michael, Sidney and Mark.

A special mention should go to Tez from the Courtyard who was our highest placed lady, finishing 4th.

After another hour or so then we were down to ‘heads up’ between Rod and Eddie. Eddie had by far the bigger chip stack and looked as though he should clean up quite quickly. With his very vocal fan base from the Derby Engineers Club to cheer him on, all bets were on him taking the title. But this was not to be, Rod fought back and during the ‘epic’ one hour struggle managed to take some big hands and claw his way back into contention. The deciding hand saw Rod and Eddie both push all in, with Rod chasing the straight and Eddie having top pair. The straight held up and Rod was crowned the winner.

Congratulations to Rod from the Spinning Wheel who takes home £500, the glass trophy, winners’ certificate, entry into the National final and most important of all the winners ‘bragging rights’!

Rod very kindly sent us an email after the event with his thoughts on the day which makes for some interesting reading – thanks Rod!

“Hi, this is Rod, the lucky winner of yesterdays’ grind-out heads-up final at Northampton.
It has occurred to me during the mental replay how lucky I was. I had severe doubts I was going to make the top 11 for the nationals and was down to my last all-in with a pair of 3's when a three hit the flop.
Still short stacked, I slow played a pair of nines, hitting trips on the flop, but suddenly realised the board was getting very dangerous with 9 10 and J. I pushed all in hoping for a fold but was called. The turn could have gone oh so wrong but came good with another nine for quads. Even still, I think I was among the contenders for shortest stack on the final table.
Hope this is of some use for the write-up and an overall thank you for a very enjoyable tourney.”


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