The main event of the second leg of the 2010 GUKPT at the Grosvenor Casino in Walsall has been won by Colin McTaggart. The 30-year-old landlord from Ormskirk defeated a field of 206 players to claim the £57,700 first prize in the £1,000 NL Hold’em tournament.
After knocking out Bolton legend Alli Mallu in 3rd place, the Belfast born player faced Birmingham’s Anthony Crotty heads up for the title. He went into this final phase of the gcasino.com sponsored event with a significant chip lead and 15-minutes later it was all over.
In the final hand McTaggart faced a tricky decision after Crotty re-raised all-in on the river on a dangerous paired and flushing board of 8-J-T-Q-T. After several minutes of agonising he made the call and showed A-K for a straight. Crotty had just K-Q.
McTaggart qualified to play in the tournament by winning an online freeroll on Blue Square Poker, run in conjunction with www.aworldofpoker.com and www.gcasino.com. He commented afterwards
“It had been my goal to play in a GUKPT main event this year and I was delighted to have won my way in via the AWOP Players’ Club. It is a dream to have gone on to claim the win. All it has cost me is £30 in petrol money.”
By taking down the trophy he has also secured himself a seat in another freeroll later in the year – the £150,000 Champion of Champions tournament.
The Walsall tournament was one of the toughest fields ever assembled in the four years that the tour has been running. With 23 players left, over half of them had previously been on GUKPT final tables and there were no less than seven former winners still in contention.
The final table featured two previous GUKPT winners. 2007 Grand Final victor Mike Ellis finished in 4th place while 2009 Champion of Champions Haitao (Colin) Wu exited 7th. 19-year-old Thomas MacDonald, who went into the final as the chip leader finished in 5th place while Darren Hickman from Wolverhampton was 6th. Stockport bookie Mike Hill, competing in his third GUKPT final table exited in 8th and 20-year-old James Mitchell, who was the overnight chip leader on the first day of the tournament finished in 9th place. Margate’s Karl Limbert completed the final table line up, departing in 10th place.
Recent double winner Priyan de Mel just missed out on a third consecutive final table, departing in 11th place. Several other previous main event winners also narrowly missed out on the final. Karl Mahrenholz was 14th, Praz Bansi was 16th while former Eastender Michael Greco departed in 18th.
The tour now heads south to London, where the Grosvenor Victoria Casino will play host to Leg 3, which takes place from 18th – 28th March. The buy-in for the main event at the London festival will be larger than usual, costing £1,500 to play.
Last year just under 400 players took part in the London main event, which was won by Ireland’s Martin Silke. This year’s main event starts on Thursday 25th March and on Tuesday 16th there is a 10-seat guaranteed super satellite at the Edgware Rd casino.
However, the tour continues online at www.bluesqpoker.com at 8pm on Monday 1st March, when the second of the 10% Online Series tournaments takes place. The winner of this £100 online event will also claim a seat in the end-of-year £150,000 Champion of Champions tournament.
Place – Player – Prize – GUKPT Ranking Points
1st – Colin McTaggart – £57,700 – 125
2nd – Anthony Crotty – £39,150 – 100
3rd – Alli Mallu – £25,250 – 80
4th – Mike Ellis – £14,950 – 65
5th – Thomas MacDonald – £11,350 – 55
6th – Darren Hickman – £9,250 – 45
7th – Haitao Wu – £7,200 – 35
8th – Mike Hill – £5,650 – 25
9th – James Mitchell – £4,100 – 20
10th – Karl Limbert – £3,600 – 15