Fintan Gavin demonstrated an inspiring never-say-die attitude to win the PokerStars sponsored UK and Ireland Poker Tour (UKIPT) Main Event in Edinburgh last night.
Fintan, who had started Day 3 as chip leader but lost his position when the final table became six handed, fought back from being the short stack when the tournament was down to just four players to claim his first UKIPT title and £61,500 in prize money.
Fintan Gets Chipped Up
Inasmuch as Sunday showed the resilience of the genial Irishman from Galway – Fintan is well known in Ireland as the Master of Ceremonies at the Irish Poker Tour – it was on Saturday that he exploded into a massive chip lead late in the day (a feature of this Main Event) when his Q♠ Q♥ was greeted with a Flop of Q♦ J♣ J♠ against Craig Brown´s pocket Kings. His overnight chip stack was recorded as 1,900,000 – 600,000 clear of Scotsman Thomas Ward, the only other player to have more than one million chips.
Battle of the Short Stacks
Sunday started with twelve players contesting for a seat on the final table of nine. It did not take long to get there, as overnight short stack George Clyde-Smith took out George Devine (12th), Alan Kirk (11th) and Alexander Wanner (10th) within the space of an hour. It looked as if Clyde-Smith was going to be the story of the day, but after a further hour´s play he was left reeling by a five-bet bluff from Fintan Gavin and then the chip leader hit him again with a post-flop shove that the Englishman backed away from.
Edinburgh Heat Starts to Tell
The heat from the cards started getting to some of the players. It had been three hours since the last elimination, with the only major action being when Antonis Poulengeris moved all in with 10♣ 10♥ against Craig Brown´s A♦ Q♦. The board fell K♣ A♣ 2♣ / 6♣ / A♥ to give Poulengeris a club flush and move him into second. Plenty of cards were being three-bet or shoved prior to the flop, and rarely were hands going to showdown. Then it all kicked off!
Players Start to Tumble
Blinds were just going up to 15,000/30,000 (ante 3,000) when Kevin Letham shoved his A♦ 7♥ into Craig Brown´s A♠ K♣. A seven on the flop gave Letham the lead, but a King on the turn rescued Brown´s hand and sent Letham to the rail in ninth. Rob Swindells was next to go in eighth, despite also pairing his undercard on the flop – his A♠ 4♥ being dominated by Thomas Ward´s A♣ J♥ on a board which ran 4♣ J♦ Q♥ / 6♦ / 8♣ – and Antonis Poulengeris was first crippled by Thomas Ward´s flopped set of 10´s and then sent to the rail by Fintan Gavin´s pair of Aces.
Fintan Loses his Chip Advantage
Despite picking up chips from the demise of Antonis Poulengeris, Fintan had been badly wounded in a pot of more than 2.6 million when Jamie Dale had got all-in with A♦ Q♥ against Fintan´s pocket 8s. The A♠ on the flop gave Dale a commanding chip lead, and although Fintan recovered some of his stack with some aggressive betting against the short-stacked players, went into the dinner break in third position
Chip counts at Dinner
- Jamie Dale 2,230,000
- Thomas Ward 1,630,000
- Fintan Gavin 1,400,000
- Andrew Hawksby 915,000
- George Clyde-Smith 745,000
- Craig Brown 740,000
Craig Cracks and George Goes
Having just seen Andrew Hawksby double up through Thomas Ward, Craig Brown moved all-in with 6♥ 5♥ and was snap called by Jamie Dale holding A♦ K♦. The 6♠ on the flop gave Craig the lead, but the K♠ on the turn increased Jamie´s advantage and sent Craig brown to the rail in sixth. In the very next hand George Clyde-Smith, who had been frequently shoving pre-dinner with no takers, pushed once too often into Jamie Dale, who dispatched with pocket 8s – giving Dale more than half the chips in play and leaving Fintan Gavin as the short stack.
Dale´s Pressure Cooker Backfires
Jamie Dale went straight on attack mode after taking down those two large pots – three-betting every hand and forcing his opponents to fold. However, his strategy came unstuck when running into Andrew Hawksby´s flopped set of aces and then calling Fintan Gavin´s A♦ 2♥ shove. Andrew Hawksby became the new chip leader after eliminating Thomas Ward in an A♣ Q♠ v Q♥ J♠ race, and Jamie now found himself third of the three that remained.
Into the Heads Up
After three players had busted out of the tournament in 45 minutes, Jamie Dale made it four within the hour – betting into Hawksby´s A♥ J♠ with 4♠ 4♦. The flop 10♠ A♦ 10♣ put Andrew Hawksby firmly in control and, with neither of the remaining fours appearing on the board, Jamie was out in third – Andrew Hawksby having an almost 4:1 chip advantage over Fintan Gavin as the heads-up began.
Double Double Burst Hawksby´s Bubble!
In only the second hand of the heads-up Fintan went on the attack and doubled up when his pocket nines made a set on the turn and collected against Hawksby´s A♦ J♣. Fintan doubled up again within a few hands when his A♦ A♣ held against Hawksby´s 10♠ 9♣ on a flop which ran 3♦ 8♠ J♠, and then used his chip advantage to bully Hawksby out of a number of small pots. The final hand of the tournament saw Andrew Hawksby (9♣ 6♠) call Fintan Gavin´s (J♦ 9♠) raise on a flop of 7♣ 9♥ 4♣, and with no help on the turn or river, Andrew Hawksby was eliminated in second place – giving Fintan Gavin a well-deserved UKIPT title.
Top Twelve Cashes
The players who were eliminated on the final day were sure of collecting a minimum of £2,750 and some valuable points towards the UKIPT Leaderboard.
Here is the full list of Sunday´s payouts (UK poker players except where indicated).
1st Fintan Gavin (Ireland), £61,500
2nd Andrew Hawksby, £37,400
3rd Jamie Dale, £22,900
4th: Thomas Ward, £16,850
5th: George Clyde-Smith, £13,100
6th: Craig Brown, £10,500
7th Antonis Poulengeris, £8,050
8th: Rob Swindells, £6,300
9th: Kevin Letham, £4,555
10th: Alexander Wanner (Germany), £3,150
11th: Alan Kirk, £3,150
12th: George Devine, £2,750