Englishman Albert Sapiano has picked up £48,560 – as well as a £1,600 Grand Final seat – for taking down the £400+£30 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em main event during leg 2 of the Genting Poker Series (GPS) at London’s Fox Poker Club.
An incredible 580 players signed up for the £100,000 guaranteed tournament, making a prize pool of £232,000 – or $368,658 – to easily surpass the expectations of organisers at the Shaftesbury Avenue venue.
But it was Sapiano – a Palm Beach regular – who collected the top prize of £50,160 after he outlasted the field to eventually see of fellow Englishman Callum Smith in the heads-up clash that left the runner-up with £32,940 as a consolation prize.
Sapiano certainly didn’t have it easy as he also had to overcome the likes of Kirit Patel, Robin Dhinsa and Ghassan Chehbi to set up his head-to-head with Smith.
Champion Gets Lucky Early in Heads-Up Clash
Once Patel had been eliminated in third for £23,200, Sapiano found himself with a 2 to 1 chip deficit to Smith, but got very lucky when his A-7 overcame his opponent’s Big Slick to take the lead.
In fact, Sapiano was champion after just 10 hands of heads-up play when he called Smith’s all-in shove from the small blind.
Smith initially made it an additional 475,000 to see the flop, which Sapiano called ford the dealer to reveal K♣ Q♥ J♥. Sapiano then bet 400,000 and Smith called to see the 8s on the turn.
Sapiano then moved all-in with Smith making the call for the former to place K-10 on the table to hold top pair and the latter to show A-Q for second pair. The 6♠ river was no good to Smith – who had done amazingly well to battle back from two big blinds midway through the nine-handed final table – and Sapiano was declared the champion.
English Players Dominate Top 10
Places four to 10 were filled by Englishman Dhinsa (fourth for £18,560), Scotsman Neil McCulloch (fifth for £14,500), another home player in Stephen Hollinshead (sixth for £11,600), Polish player Elzbieta Biesse-Piechota (seventh for £9,280) and English trio James Thomson (eighth for £6,960), Chehbi (ninth for £4,640) and Simon Randall (10th for £3,480).
Other notable in-the-money finishers included Surinder Sunar (53rd for £770), GPS leg one champion from Birmingham, Russian Ruslan Vlasov, in 34th for £970, and recent UK Omaha Series £500 buy-in Pot-Limit main event champion David Lloyd (12th for £2,320).
A total of 60 places were paid out, with Scotsman Stewart Barrie filling the final spot for £770.
Edinburgh is Next Stop on GPS
The third leg of the GPS arrives in Scotland for a five-day stop in Edinburgh’s Genting Club Fountain Park from Wednesday, May 30, until Sunday, June 3, before moving on to Stoke, Sheffield – all with £400+£30 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em main events – and London’s Palm Beach Casino for the Grand Final in early December. This final leg of the tour will offer a £1,500+£100 buy-in main event.
There is also an online event planned from Thursday, September 27, to Sunday the 30th, which will also have a £400+£30 buy-in main event.
Meanwhile, the next major event to be staged at the Fox Poker Club will be the London Calling festival, which will reach a climax with a £500+£40 buy-in main event that kicks off at 14:00 BST (British Summer Time) on Saturday.
Genting Poker Series Leg 2 Fox Poker Club Main Event Results
1. Albert Sapiano (England) – £48,560 plus £1,600 Grand Final Seat ($79,706)
2 Callum Smith (England) – £32,940 ($52,343)
3. Kirit Patel (England) – £23,200 ($36,866)
4. Robin Dhinsa (England) – £18,560 ($29,493)
5. Neil McCulloch (Scotland) – £14,500 ($23,041)
6. Stephen Hollinshead (England) – £11,600 ($18,433)
7. Elzbieta Biesse-Piechota (Poland) – £9,280 ($14,746)
8. James Thomson (England) – £6,960 ($11,060)
9. Ghassan Chehbi (England) – £4,640 ($7,373)
10. Simon Randall (England) – £3,480 ($5,530)