Three decades in…

Greetings poker fans and apologies for the lack of post on Friday – I did think, however it would make more sense to post after the weekend’s poker action at the GUKPT Manchester leg and the EPT San Remo.

So onto business:

First time’s a charm at the GUKPT

Unlike the 298 runners, I was unable to make it up to Manchester for the forth leg of the GUKPT due to work and partying commitments (it was my 30th birthday this weekend).

With £298,000 to play for and a seat in the £100,000 Champion of Champion’s tournament up for grabs the competition was always going to be fierce.

Some of the UK’s toughest pro’s were in attendance including:
Paul Jackson, Joe Grech, Dave Colclough, Surinder Sunar, Jeff Kimber, the Hit Squad’s Karl Marenholtz & James Akenhead, Leg 3 winner Martin Silke. Stuart Rutter, Ryan Fronda, Marc Goodwin. Ian Frazer and online whiz kid Chris Moorman.
With a field as a tough as this it was always going to be a tricky one to navigate, but in true tournament style – there can be only one…

And it was Simon Moorman (father of online tournament professional Chris Moorman) who walked away £88,630 richer.

GUKPT Manchester winner Simon Moorman. Images courtesy of GUKPT/Quentin Kozma

GUKPT Manchester winner Simon Moorman. Images courtesy of GUKPT/Quentin Kozma

Playing in only his second ever live tournament and first ever GUKPT, 52-year-old Simon from Essex defeated a final table featuring Surinder Sunar and GCBPT serial final tablist Dave Maudlin before triumphing over Finland’s Harri Isomaki (also playing in one of his first live tournaments after qualifying via an online freeroll for a 50,000% ROI…) after a short heads-up battle.

The irony of this cannot be lost on Moorman junior (Chris) who has so far been unable to translate his prolific online success to the live tournament scene, especially as it was Chris who bought his father into the tournament as a late birthday present.

“The only way I can top this is to win the main event of the World Series of Poker.” Chris commented afterwards.

The tour now moves on to Newcastle, where the 5th leg of this year tour will take place from the 18th-24th May, with the 4-day main event taking place from the 21st-24th.

Visit the GUKPT website for more details.
The Italian Job

On a more continental note, also on last week was the EPT San Remo main event where 1,178 players ponied up the €5,300 buy-in to compete in what has officially become the biggest major poker tournament ever held in Europe.

With an eye-poppingly massive prize pool of € 5,713,300 to play for and a star studded field to play through, this was always going to be a high calibre tournament, hence the picturesque wealthy setting – San Remo is just a 30-minute drive from Monte Carlo.

As well as the obligatory collection of ultra-aggressive Scandies including EPT winner Andreas Hoivold, young Mr Albert Iversen (see my forthcoming interview with him in Poker Pro Europe) fellow Dane Jesper Hougaard and 2007 WSOPE winner Annette Obrestad there was also a plethora of representatives from a multitude of countries.

Representing the US was last year’s winner Jason Mercier, Greg ‘Fossil Man’ Raymer and Chad Brown. Winner of the EPT Dortmund leg Sandra Naujoks was in attendance as were fellow Germans Benjamin Kang, Jan Heitmann and George Danzer.

EPT regulars such as Marcel Luske, Patrik Antonius were in attendance on Day 1B as well as Bill ‘The Mathematics of Poker’ Chen, WSOP champion Peter Eastgate, Ireland’s Marty Smyth, Liam Flood and Tony Cascarino, Wales’ John Tabatabai and Roberto Romanello, online super sicko Ben ‘Milkybar Kid’ Grundy, Richard Ashby, 2007 GUKPT champ Mike Ellis and I believe that Richard Kellett told me he was planning to play as well as many, many others.

In fact I could go on to list a whole host of different names from many, many different countries but I’m not going to as it would take up loads of space and not actually be that interesting, after all it is the action and adventure that actually matters.

EPT San Remo winner Constant Rijkenberg

EPT San Remo winner Constant Rijkenberg

And it was Dutchman Constant Rijkenberg who bagged the €1,508,000 first prize beating Finland’s Kalle Niemi heads-up in just five hands.

The 20-year-old Dutchman from Amsterdam is an economics student so I’m sure he will have plenty of plans to invest his winnings productively, probably none of which will involve blowing the lot playing ultra-high stakes.

The next leg the EPT Grand Final kicks off tomorrow (28th April) so it’ll just be the small matter of relocating the 1,778 poker players up the road to Monte Carlo for the €10,600 tournament and more fast and furious action.

Visit the EPT homepage here for more info.

No rest for the wicked

On a work related note I am busy with a Roland de Wolfe and Juha Helppi interview which should be appearing in Poker Pro Europe at some point in the next few months – I’ll keep you posted.

It looks like a busy couple of weeks for me as I attempt to clear my current workload before heading off to Sin City (Las Vegas, not Frank Miller’s black and white comic book dystopia) for a working holiday involving poker… lots of poker.

Also, big thanks to UK poker pundit Barry Carter for helping me sell some of my work and for all his invaluable advice on making it in the cut throat world of poker journalism.

Stay tuned poker fans – there will be more blogage as I have many more articles to sell. After all life (so I am told by my older friends) begins at 30 – so today is the first day of the rest of my life. I’ll let you know how it goes…

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One Response to “Three decades in…”

  1. Kevin Stevens Says:

    Did you watch the live feed from the press room Ben? I watched the EPT show on channel 4 and Rijkenberg came across as a complete nob, was he really like that or did he get a bad edit?

    Enjoying the blog, keep it up and good luck with the writing.

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