Villa Marina

PokerStars UKIPT Series Comes Home to the Isle of Man

Villa Marina on a nice crisp sunny dayYesterday saw the end of the PokerStars UKIPT Isle of Man with the conclusion of the Main Event final table, but this was the finale of a festival of poker that included a rare sighting of a poker kingpin, a rebranding of a well known poker personality, and of course lots of poker.

The biggest surprise was the appearance of former PokerStars owner Isai Scheinberg at the tables of the £2,200 UKIPT High Roller. Isai has been one to avoid the limelight for a very long time, and this appearance in public is the first I can remember him making. The appearance in public wasn’t without it’s merits for Isai, as he was the eventual winner of the event for a return on his investment of £13,850. Obviously the money was not Isai’s main motivation for playing this High Roller, especially as the recent sale of PokerStars was for $4.5 Billion, making the High Roller result little more than pocket change. This was more about Isai enjoying the company that he founded and built into the world biggest online poker brand. The enjoyment wasn’t one way either. In his victory photo, Isai was joined by other players, friends and PokerStars employees who all wanted to join the man who had led the online poker world for the past few years. Isai is barely visible in the picture it’s so full of well wishers and fans. Brad Willis, the PokerStars Head of Blogging, wrote a heartfelt article on Isai’s appearance, and it’s well worth the read if you want to know more.

Lee "Big Horse" Jones

Lee “Big Horse” Jones

With this UKIPT being held at the home of PokerStars, the rule barring Rational Group employees was suspended for this stop only, allowing PokerStars and Full Tilt employees the chance to play against the public. One of the people to take the most advantage of this fact was well known poker talking head, Lee Jones. Jones works as the Head of Poker Communications at PokerStars, and during his time sitting at the feature table on the live stream Lee was given a new nickname by the fans watching along at home and using Twitter to communicate with James Hartigan and Nick Wealthall in the commentator booth. The name that was decided upon was “Big Horse,” and Lee “Big Horse” Jones ran rather deep in the event. He ended up busting in 14th place for £4,100, and seemed happy following being christened with a new name.

The final day saw 8 players return to the feature table to play down to a single winner. The table had a few names familiar to those in the know. Ludovic Geilich, the German sounding Scot, is known by many for his 4th place in the 2013 EPT London main event, as well as his win at the UKIPT/Estrellas Marbella event earlier in the same year. Another former UKIPT winner was also at the table in the shape of Fintan Gavin. Gavin had won UKIPT Edinburgh back in 2011, and is placed 6th on the Hendon Mob’s Ireland All Time Money List.

Many were disappointed to see Geilich the first to get up from the table. He had been playing an entertaining aggressive style that was fun to watch, but had cost him a lot of chips.

One of the hand’s that that helped cripple Ludo saw him trying to pick up a pot against Fintan Gavin by betting his king-seven on every street. Ludo was obviously unaware that Gavin had picked up three of a kind on the turn, while holding ace-three. The seven on the river only deepened Geilich’s woes, as he fired again, only to see Gavin add the chips to his own stack.

Geilich’s last hand saw him shove over a Josh Hart raise with Ac8c. Hart made the call with his AdKd and the board ended Ludo’s run towards a second title. He added £8,000 to his bankroll, and we’ll expect to see him in London later this week.

Fintan Gavin was One of the Favourites

Fintan Gavin was One of the Favourites

Only two hands later, the next player was eliminated. Fintan Gavin had opened from early position with AhQh, and shortstack Thomas Ward had announced he was all in from the cut off. Ward’s AdTs was dominated after Gavin’s call, and the board changed nothing, sending the young Englishman to the rail with $11,120.

Play settled down for a while before the next player’s journey to the title was cut short. Following some solid play, Josef Snejberg got all his chips into the middle on a flop of Qc7sTd against Hart. Snejberg had AcAs, but Hart was holding Tc7c for bottom two, he needed some help. The turn and river were blanks, and Snejberg was eliminated in 6th place for £14,900.

German Marc Radgen was next to go. He had been sharing a room with Josh Hart during this series, and was probably happy to be busted by anyone that wasn’t Hart. Radgen got it all in holding AcTh, and Manx local David Hill made the call holding a dominating AhKd. The dealer was unable to save the German, and sent him back to his room with £19,300 for his 5th place.

Four handed, the big name left in was Fintan Gavin, and many expected him to be in pole position for another UKIPT win. To the surprise of these poker fans, Fintan was actually the next to go. After being crippled trying to run a total bluff against Hill while the Manx man had top pair, Fintan met his Waterloo when his Qh9h lost out to Hart’s AhJc. Gavin added a £24,400 entry to his Hendon Mob page for his 4th place exit.

The stacks were pretty even 3 handed, but Hart was the first to blink, slipping into last place over the course of several hands that just didn’t go his way. His fortunes were about to change as he won a couple of big hands back to back. Hart’s pocket threes beat Hill’s 8c9c suited connectors, and in the next hand his pocket sixes made a set on the turn to beat Hill’s flopped pair of Kings to eliminate Hill in 3rd place for a £30,200 payday.

With just Josh Hart and Ciaran Heaney remaining in the event, the players decided to do a deal for the remaining prize fund. Saving £5,000 to award to 1st place, the remaining funds were chopped up based on the number of chips in play. Hart was guaranteed £52,484 while Heaney was going to be leaving with at least £50,216. The heads up battle was back and forth, with first Hart, and then Heaney playing the short stack before the final hand.

Heaney opened the action from the button with KhJd, and Hart decided to shove over the short stacked Irishman’s bet. Ciaran made the call, and the cards were flipped onto thier backs. Hart was holding Ah3h for an equity lead. The board ran out 2s8s3d6c6h, and Josh Hart had added £5,000 and a UKIPT trophy to his already full suitcase for the trip home.

UKIPT IoM Winner Josh Hart

UKIPT IoM Winner Josh Hart

The payout from the final table look like this:

1          Josh Hart – £57,484*
2          Ciaran Heaney – £50,216*
3          David Hill – £30,200
4          Fintan Gavin – £24,400
5          Marc Radgen – £19,300
6          Josef Snejberg – £14,900
7          Thomas Ward – £11,120
8          Ludovic Geilich – £8,00
*Indicates deal done

The UKIPT wagon is already rolling on towards London for the Grand Final of this series as well as the London EPT. The action will be streamed from Day 2 of the EPT onwards, and is available either on YouTube or PokerStars.tv.

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