Gambling Pays for Kevin Allen as he Claims GUKPT Grand Final
Kevin “Gambling Pays” Allen took down the GukPT Grand Final for £158,700 after starting the final day with the smallest chip stack of the 13 remaining players.
The final leg of the Grosvenor UK Poker Tour was hosted at the Grosvenor Victoria Casino on London´s Edgware Road this weekend, and it featured a £400,000 guaranteed Main Event which attracted 294 players including recent MCOP High Rollers champion Bryn Kenney, UKIPT Galway High Roller victor Sergio Aido and Sam Grafton – who won the GukPT Grand Final last year.
132 players returned for Day 2 – during which the 28-player money bubble was burst when Mitch Johnson eliminated Khoa Nguyen A♣ J♦ > K♣ Q♣ – and, after ten levels of play, just thirteen players remained in the GukPT Grand Final Main Event headed by Richard Kellett.
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Nice Start for Kevin Allen but Grafton Busts
Kevin Allen enjoyed the type of start that all short-stacked players dream of. Doubling up in the first hand K♦ J♦ > A♥ Q♥ against Paul Hardwidge, Allen then found A♦ A♣ to double up again against Pratik Ghatge (Q♥ Q♠). Paul Hardwidge was the first player to be eliminated on Day 3 when his A♦ 10♥ failed to improve past Rudolf Fourie´s J♣ J♦, and Nicholas Meng also hit the rail before the end of the first level.
Sam Grafton´s fortunes went in the opposite direction – losing a stack of his chips to Richard Kellett when Kellett´s A♥ 7♥ hit a backdoor Flush – and then getting his last chips in with K♠ K♦ against Matt Davenport´s A♠ 10♦ and seeing the A♥ dealt on the flop. Zimnan Ziyard joined Grafton on the rail soon after, when he shoved with K♠ 6♣ and ran into Scott Margerson´s J♥ J♣, and the final table of nine was set.
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Ghatge Unlucky to Bust – Kassouf Flushed Out
The final table began with blinds at 8,000/16,000 (ante 2,000) and Pratik Ghatge was unlucky to be the first player to bust when his shove with A♠ K♠ was called by Thomas Bichon (K♥ K♦), whose Kings held. Rudolf Fourie reduced Richard Kellett´s lead at the top when doubling up A♥ A♦ > 10♠ 10♦, and Matt Davenport improved his position when his A♦ K♦ out-kicked Bichon´s A♠ Q♦ after both players had paired their Aces.
A further three levels passed without any eliminations, until Kevin Allen moved all-in with K♥ 10♥ on a flop of Q♣ 2♥ A♥ and was called by Will Kassouf (Q♥ 9♥). Kassouf was ahead with his paired Queen, but the 8♥ on the River gave Kevin Allen a better flush and Kassouf was eliminated in eighth place.
Allen Moves Up – Chased by Davenport
With his enhanced chip stack, Kevin Allen started applying more pressure in valuable pots. A post-flop three-bet saw him take 200,000 chips from Richard Kellett and move into the chip lead; and, after Rudolf Fourie bust Thomas Bichon in seventh place Q♥ Q♣ > A♥ K♠, Allen again took a massive pot against Kellett with two pairs (Q♦ 9♣) to increase his chip stack to 2.8 million.
Richard Kellett eventually bust in sixth after running his A♣ K♦ into Matt Davenport´s pocket Aces, and Davenport got his third KO of the day when eliminating Scott Margerson in fifth J♦ 10♣ > K♠ 10♥ (Davenport hit a Club Flush on the Turn) to move into second place behind Kevin Allen as the tournament went four-handed.
Lead Flip Flops in Three Handed Battle
The game had moved into level 26 (blinds 25,000/50,000 – ante 6,000) before the next player was to depart the final table, and it was Ben Jackson who finished in fourth after moving all-in with A♠ Q♦ and running into Matt Davenport´s pocket Kings. Matt Davenport now had a stack approaching four million chips – more than half the chips in play – but double-ups by Kevin Allen A♦ K♥ > J♦ 8♣ and Rudolf Fourie Q♥ 5♥ (two pairs) > A♥ 6♣ evened up the chip stacks.
Another double-up by Rudolf Fourie over Davenport (Q♠ Q♣ > 10♥ 9♠ on a Ten high board) put Fourie into the chip lead, and Kevin Allen crippled Davenport when his K♠ 10♣ spiked the K♥ on the River for another double up > Davenport´s A♥ 5♦. Matt Davenport was soon to be bust in third by Kevin Allen A♥ K♦ > 7♥ 9♦ to set the heads-up between Fourie (3.7 million chips) and Allen (3.6 million chips) as the game entered Level 30 (blinds 50,000/100,000).
Allen Fades Outs to Win GukPT Grand Finale
The first big pot of the heads-up saw Kevin Allen take an advantage in the climax of the GukPT Grand Final – his pocket Tens narrowly holding against Rudolf Fourie´s A♦ 9♥ – and, throughout the remainder of the level, the respective chip stacks stayed pretty much the same – with few hands seeing the flop, and none at all going to showdown.
A post-Turn shove into a pot already containing 1.6 million at the start of Level 31 forced Rudolf Fourie to fold, and gave Kevin Allen a 2:1 chip advantage, and the final pot of the GukPT Grand Final came just a few hands later – Fourie shoving with J♠ 8♠ and Allen making the call with K♦ Q♠.
The flop of 5♦ 7♠ 9♠ gave Rudolf Fourie plenty of outs for a straight and flush draw, but he missed them all on the Turn of 4♣ and River of 3♥ to give Kevin Allen victory with just King-high.
The first prize of £158,700 is the biggest of Kevin Allen´s career – surpassing the £120,000 he won with victory in Dusk till Dawn´s Monte Carlo tournament back in April. The other payouts for those who reached Day 3 of the GukPT Grand Final were:
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