National Final 2011
It's all over now, the new National Champion has now been found! Matthew trout triumphed against a field of over 280 players to take home the National Trophy after nearly 15 hours of poker!
Full results for the final, as well as the main gallery and the Vegas showgirl photos can all be found on our past finals page.
After a frenzied start on the Saturday, including photos with our Las Vegas Showgirl and plenty of panicked last minute arrivals, play got underway (after Dave's traditional speech to start us off of course; did you know we were voted #1 at the British Poker Awards?) at around half past one, with half the players on the gaming floor and half downstairs in the Vegas show bar.
Lunch was split with half the players going at 2:40 and half at 3:40 but poor Andrew Thompson didn't even make it that far, dropping out at just ten minutes past two and getting a huge round of applause on from both floors!
Play continued without much drama for several hours, until the call came down that it was time to merge floors. No sooner had we done so then we were told we were almost at the magic 80 player stopping point, just five players to go! Jon Adams was the last man to go out, ending the first day's play at just past 7:30pm!
As day two began we hit our remaining 80 players (some of whom were clearly worse for wear) with some facts:
1. The average chip stack was 20,700.
2. The chip leader was David Dick.
3. Last year's winner, David Low, was still in the tournament and had 30,800 chips.
4. This years winner would be granted automatic qualification through to next year's final.
Play then began bang on time at 12:30pm, with only a few minutes passing before Adrian Waite stood up from the table to sign out, quickly followed by Rob Walton!
Played continued to drop out at a surprising pace and soon we were down to the bubble, with poor Martin Early the last man to walk away empty handed. With David Low dropping out just shy of the prizes in 23rd, the trophy could be anyone's!
With the final two tables being dealer dealt, the pace quickened once again and we soon had our first man down, Anthony Hembrow. Even though we were in prizes territory now everyone had their eyes on the first place £3500 prize package and that crystal trophy. There were several desperate last-chance all-ins and a lot of tactical play, especially for Steve Dagnall and Eric Utterson, the last two players eligible for the Genting Last Man Standing add-on prize of a Palm Beach Big Game buy-in. However, despite hanging on whilst a further five players dropped out, eventually Steve Dagnall's luck ran out and he left the tournament in 14th place, guaranteeing Eric Utterson at least one ticket to the Palm Beach Big Game!
As for Eric, he would have made the final table had he and Eddie Hopka not both dropped out on the same hand, taking us straight down to nine players!
Going into the final table the chip stacks looked like this:
Seat 1: Imran Alikhan - Golden Cross - 353,000
Seat 2: Matthew Trout - Sir Robert Peel - 421,000
Seat 3: Steve Hester - Thornhill Arms/Barn Owl/Various - 224,000
Seat 4: Barry Scott - Waverly Hotel - 109,000
Seat 5: Richard Dorman - The Dunmow Club - 133,000
Seat 6: Claire Bailey - The Britannia Inn - 32,000
Seat 7: Adam Evans - The Greyhound - 145,000
Seat 8: David Dick - The Joker Bar/The Orb Bar - 75,000
Seat 9: Daniel Wyld - The Plough Inn - 173,000
Short stacked (to say the least) Claire Bailey had no choice but to go in strong. She pitted her pocket sevens against Barry Scott's pocket aces. Things were looking good as she hit a seven on the flop, but an eight on the turn sent her out of the tournament as our highest ranked female player. Congratulations Claire on a fantastic two days of poker!
Barry Scott, feeling a bit more confident after taking Claire out, went up against Dan Wyld, but Dan had pocket aces and left Barry very short stacked indeed.
Next Steve Hester pitted his pocket aces against David Dick's queen, jack and with nothing coming down on the board but another pair, David drops out in eighth place.
Barry Scott pushed all-in with what was left of his stack and was called by Steve Hester. Barry hit the seven he needed on the flop to make trips and managed to stay in the game.
Richard Dorman and Matthew Trout then went head to head, with Matthew's pocket 10s becoming trips to take Richard and his ace, queen out of the tournament in seventh.
Next Dan Wyld and Barry Scott went head to head, but as both had ace queen neither got a result, though shortly afterwards Dan did manage to steal a large pot to keep him in the runnings a bit longer.
Once again hurting for chips, Barry Scott went all-in, going up against Imran Alikhan. Barry had pocket sevens whilst Imran had ace jack. As the flop came down, starting with an ace, it looked like Barry was out, but then came a seven as well and once again Barry was saved.
But even that boost wasn't quite enough as once again Barry went all-in, this time against Steve Hester, pitting his pocket jacks against Steve's 10,6. Another jack came on the turn and Barry sat back down once more.
Adam Evans and Dan Wyld were the next ones up with Adam's jack, five losing out to Dan's jack, nine when a second nine came down on the turn, taking Adam out in a very respectable sixth place!
Steve Hester now found himself hurting for chips and went all-in against Dan Wyld with pocket tens against dan's ten, ace. No help came for either player, giving Steve some sorely needed chips.
Now it was Imran who was struggling, pushing his ace, five all-in against Steve's ace, jack. Unluckily for Imran a second jack came on the flop and took him out in fifth place.
We were at the final four now, with each prize worth over £1000 and a minimum of £500 between each one.
Barry Scott was the first to go as his luck finally ran out, with his queen, nine not holding up against Dan Wyld's pocket kings.
It was some time before we lost our next player, as all three were more or less evenly matched in chips, but soon Matthew Trout went up against Steve Hester, his queen, jack finding a further two jacks (one on the flop, a second on the river) against Steve's ace two. Even Dan Wyld jumped up and punched the wall! Clearly this was not the result he had wanted.
Now it was heads up between Matthew Trout and Dan Wyld. £1000 separated first and second prize so there was a deliberate hush over the players and the watching crowd. After the last hand Matthew Trout was now the chip leader and soon Dan Wyld went all-in and Matthew called. Dan turned over pocket sixes and Matthew turned over king, three. A third six came on the flop getting Dan Wyld to double up.
It wasn't over just yet though, as Matthew then went all-in with pocket queens, Dan calling with ace, jack. No help came for Dan so Matthew doubled up, putting the two players more or less level, with Matthew having the slight advantage.
Then it came down to the final hand. Dan went all-in with king, jack and Matthew called with ace, four. Flop, turn and river all came down with no help for either player, so Matthew took first prize with ace high!
Congratulations to Matthew, who took home not only the Champions Poker League National Champion trophy, but also the first place prize package, worth £3500!
Our top four players, Matthew Trout, Dan Wyld, Steve Hester and Barry Scott, as well as our Genting Poker Last Man Standing, Eric Utterson, all won entry into the Palm Beach Big Game tournaments, so we will be reporting back on how they do and if any of them win that £70,000 prize!
Thanks to all our players who attended, we'll see you all next year for another great National Final!
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