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Season 2 Quarterly Finals
Birmingham’s Genting Star City casino, which will be the venue for this Septembers National Final played host once again to the Season 2 quarterly final. Having been forced to reschedule the event from several weeks earlier due to the heavy snow in the area, it was ironic that problems with the casino’s new tournament software caused a delay at the start but that was all soon forgotten however as the contest got underway.
The poker was hard fought but played out in good spirit throughout the day as after the food interval the field was slowly and surely whittled down until our final table comprised: Pat Murphy, Zoe Clark, John Rafelt, Paul Jones, Phillip Berridge, Raj Kumar, Ben Preece, Darren Laughton & Vittorio Albiniano.
As the bubble approached for the 6 guaranteed spots to be won for National Final seats, play became tighter with the short stacked players looking for the right hand to attempt a double-up and those with plenty of chips trying to use them to gain some extra leverage. Paul Jones took the 6th place leaving the remaining 5 players with also a share of the prize money and the winners trophy to play for. With play continuing to be dominated by pre flop raises or all-ins resulting in an uncontested pot being won, it was Phillip, Raj and Ben going out leaving Darren, who had made a great comeback from being very short stacked earlier on the final table and Vittorio, to battle it out for glory.
The two players sportingly agreed a 50/50 split of the prize money at the start of the heads-up battle so it was all out to see who could claim the winners trophy, and after a short but tough few hands Vittorio triumphed with Darren a very commendable 2nd. Well done to all the players who took part on the day to make it a good days contest.
Despite the problems that had been posed by the recent poor weather the new venue for the Bradford quarterly final got going with all players keen to make the qualifying and payout positions with the unfortunate 1st person to be knocked out just before the break being Paul Duckitt.
As the day progressed and the lunch break was taken there was 100% approval from all players for the excellent food. Play continued at a busy pace throughout and we eventually reached the bubble for final table places when Graham Roberts pushed all in with 4,2 off suit against K,J when a Jack on the turn knocked Graham out of the tournament. The final 9 players were very cagey as only one person on the table had already qualified for Birmingham (Nico Young). Chris Milburn went out on the bubble for the National final qualifying places, so the remaining players cheered realising they had won their seats, and then it was a battle for the money places and the winners trophy.
Jeanette Beavers was the unlucky bubble girl for the money and a short while later the heads up started with a previous winner Neil Birtwell up against Tom Plant. Neil wanting his second trophy tried his best, but after a long hard battle he finally fell to an all in with 2,6 as Tom managed to hit a straight taking the competition down. It was a long day but a good time was had by all in a well contested tournament at a pleasant venue.
The 2nd season quarter final took place at the Bristol Gala Casino on Saturday 9th February, after it had been postponed back in January due to the weather.
The first player out was Jason Bartlett who plays at the George in Bristol. Jason has been a frequent visitor to the CPL finals in Bristol and previously finished as high as 7th place, but today was not going to be his day. He was a good sport and took the round of applause well when it was announced!
After lunch there was a steady flow of players exiting the tournament, until we reached the final 8 players who made up the final table.
Well done to all the final table players, their finishing positions were as follows:
8th – Steve Wood from the White Hart Hotel in Devon
7th – David Bond from the White Hart Hotel in Devon
6th – Nigel Coultrip from the Fox and Hounds in Reading
5th – Gary Portingale from the George in Bristol
4th – Pete Isaac from the White Hart Hotel in Devon
3rd – Barry Windeatt from the Rose and Crown and Queens Head in Andover
2nd – Steve Davies from the Oakfield Hotel in Gwent
1st – Danny Winstone from the Crown and Horseshoe in Bristol
Chip stacks were about even going into ‘Heads up’ between Danny and Steve so it was all to play for. The battle didn’t last too long though when a hand threw up trip aces on the board. Danny went all in and Steve eventually called after some serious thinking and soul searching. Danny turned over Ace/King to beat Steve’s full house! After a chip count, Danny was announced the winner, after it showed he had Steve just about covered.
Congratulations to Danny along with the other 4 people who cashed and made it through to the National final which will be held on 21st and 2nd September 2013. Thanks to the casino for running a great final.
The Durham quarterly final took place at the 3rd time of asking on March 9th after two prior postponements due to snow with a fair percentage of players from the host venue, the Horden CW Supporters Club facing challenges from several members from the Beacon (Eston), and the Normanby Hotel amongst others. Also amongst the contenders was Stephen Gill who played at the Commercial, Cleckheaton but now lives locally in Houghton le Spring.
There was an early shock in store as two former champions were first out as Dave Bentley was eliminated by Ben Applegarth followed by Robert Chapman who was taken out by both Ben and Lee Stewart who split the pot with 2 pair a piece. Despite early success, Ben was eliminated in 9th place by Stephen Gill's full house just before the break.
As the final table of 8 took their seats the two remaining ladies were in early action, Katie Wallace's straight was not good enough to beat Annette Yousef's full house and out Katie went. Neil Richardson exited 7th after running into Ross Workman's pocket Qs. Stephen Gill was our 6th place finisher, eliminated by Annette's two pair of As and 9s. Wayne Henderson finished 5th and just out of the money after Lee Stewart hit a straight. Despite early success on the final table, Annette ended up in 4th as her pair of J’s were not enough to beat Ross Workman's K’s.
Three players remained: Lee Stewart, James Evans and Ross Workman; all from the host club (Horden CW Supporters). Ross had already qualified for the national final from the previous quarterly final so Lee and James were safe in the knowledge that today's 2 qualifying places belonged to them. After a lot of back and forth action and 3 fairly even chip stacks for a lot of the time, it was James Evans who became our 3rd place finisher, eliminated by Ross. With the blind levels getting higher, former champion Lee and last time out's runner up Ross played numerous hands before it was all over. With a low flop on the board, Lee bet with top pair (7s), Ross re-raised leaving Lee with the decision of giving up on a lot of chips or going all in as a great number of his chips were already in the pot. He chose the latter only for Ross to instantly call with his 8 and 5 of spades already giving him the flush. With Lee virtually drawing dead it was all over by the turn as Ross went one better than last time to clinch the trophy and Lee had to settle for 2nd this time around.
Play at Luton started at approx 2.10pm with 103 players, who’s main goal for the day was to make the top 12 and go on to Birmingham for the National finals in September. We had to wait 50 mins to lose our first player in Patrick Mullaney. It was after a lot of clever tactics and frenetic play that at around 7.30pm we had reached that magic number 12 and another hour later we had reached the last 6 who would be winning cash prizes as well. At 10pm we had our Heads Up showdown hand; Jennie from the Cork holding K,K and Gary from the Sportsman with 8,6. The Flop was 9 , 10, 10 to give Gary a chance to hit a straight and crack those Kings but with the turn producing a 5 and the river a 2 it was to be Jennie taking down the tournament with a two pair.
Play started at 12 o ' clock prompt with 131 runners. Our first player to be knocked out after 55 minutes was the unfortunate Brian Hinchcliffe. The goal now for the remaining players was to make the top 14 places who would all be guaranteed seats for the National Final at Birmingham later in the year. Top lady for the day was Melanie Beard finishing 19th. By 6pm we were down to 14 and an hour later we were down to 7 all making the cash. We had another hour of hard heads up play between Steve Bassi and Jeremy Abbott. When we reached our showdown hand Steve had Ace,7 and Jez King,4. The flop was 9,9,5 the turn 6 and river 3. Steve victorious with a pair of 9s with the ace.
Despite the first rebuy being taken after only 5 minutes of play it was a further 1 hour before we lost our first player in Andrew Omara. Despite a very strong looking all-in push, it was called and his bluff attempt with 6,3 off suit failed to hold up.
It was 8pm when we got to the final 10, everyone hoping to get one of the 7 guaranteed seats, but 1 player of the final 7 had qualified previously for the Nationals this September so an extra place was up for grabs.
When we got down to heads up play it was between 2 lads from the same pub and with their knowledge of each others style of play, it was a real seesaw battle with chips passing from player to player until a 3 diamond flop came and Steve made an all-in move to be called instantly by David. Steve had hit his flush with J 4 of diamonds, whilst David had the king to be drawing to a higher flush, but alas for David no more diamonds came giving the title, top prize and winners trophy to Steve.
It was a rather eventful day at the Norfolk Quarterly final held at the Crown, with a power cut during the day causing a few worries as the light was starting to fade.
Despite the unexpected hurdle, everyone still had a wonderful time, even Chris Lever who was the first to drop out (just after the lunch break) to a round of applause.
To summarise the final table action, we had 2 players with a 50k stack each 3 players with 25k and 2 players with 10k, the short stack with only 6k.
The short stack Danny Webb only managed to last a few hands as the blinds were at 2k-4k, the second to go was Robbie Wright sharing his chips between Marty Brown (now the chip leader with 90k) and Russell Steward the second largest chip stack. The next short stack Duane Smith lost out on a hand to Marty who goes on frequently stealing the blinds. Many more hands were played with a steady flow of chips now going to Dale. Our 4th place finisher was Luke who was knocked out by Dale to became the chip leader with 120k.
The last 3 players, all gaining seats for the National Finals later this year, consisted of Dale 120k, Marty 90k and Russell with 50k.
Russell takes the first 2 sets of blinds which are now at 6k-12k so well worth stealing, Dale takes a blind, then Russell wins a big pot of 50k. Marty wins the next pot the biggest of the day with over 100k of chips. The next couple of hands were a case who could raise big first to steal the blinds, Until russell takes out Dale to become the chip leader.
The final hand between Russell and Marty wasn't long in the waiting, Marty all in with 10-3 suited against Russells Q,J off suit, the flop comes 5 Q J giving Russell two pair and with a 5 then a 3 on the river the tournament was over. Russell going home the Champ with the trophy, 1st place prize money and Marty taking 2nd place prize money.
With over 100 eager players who had travelled to play at the Northampton final play got under way as scheduled at 2 o’clock and the action was fairly steady over the first few levels. With the 1st break arriving most players who had not taken up the rebuy made sure the add-on option was taken to increase their current stack.
After a refreshing buffet had been taken with players taking up the chance to chat with other competitors or to discuss hands with other qualifiers from their regular venues play recommenced at a pace with a good atmosphere around the card room.
60 players remained as we approached early evening with tables being condensed down by the card room staff to ensure the remaining tables stayed full, and as play continued at a steady pace with occasional rest breaks we were down to the final 2 tables of players a couple of hours later.
Some good tactical play was in evidence as the field was slowly narrowed down until we had the 11 players remaining that had all won seats at this year’s coming National final and shortly after the final table of 9 players were left to battle it out to see who could clinch one of the 6 money winning places too.
The final nine players at the final table were : Karl Williams, Mark White, Tom Byrne, Jim Sherriffs, Kate Strawbridge, Jacob Hill, Paul Hayler, Kelvyn Massey and Steven Massey. With Karl, Mark and Tom taking 9th, 8th and 7th places respectively it was then down to the final 6 to battle it out. Jim Sherriffs was unfortunate to be the first to bust out from the final 6 when a Jack on the board gave his opponent a higher pair against Jim’s pocket 10’s. With Kate, Jacob and Paul taking 5th, 4th and 3rd places the final heads up battle was to be between two brothers, Steven and Kelvyn Massey, with Steven running though a patch of good fortune at the final table this was to continue with him holding pocket Aces for the final hand of the day which held up to win him the No.1 spot and the quarterly final winners trophy.
It was a memorable end to a tournament played in good sprit throughout the day and congratulations to the players who won seats at the National Finals with those who’s luck didn’t hold out looking to return for better fortune at the next quarterly finals.
Posted by John 'the pipe' Jermy
It is about time Luton came up with some decent choice of food instead of always a curry, I know its cheap and easy to make, but not every one likes it,
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