GUKPT regular Cal Morreale has won the Main Event at the second leg of this year’s GUKPT in Manchester.
Morreale (pictured) who was runner-up at GUKPT London in January, has been chasing a GUKPT Main Event title for some time. He was eighth in last year’s GUKPT Coventry Main Event and has a string of GUKPT achievements under his belt including winning several side events last year.
Morreale finally secured the ultimate victory after beating overnight chip leader Simon Higgins heads-up. In the final hand, he called a huge ten-high bluff from Higgins with the nuts to win his first GUKPT Main Event title.
The Dunstable-based Italian won £106,700 with Higgins taking £90,000 for his runner-up finish. Jack Hardcastle, who was the Day 1a chip leader and won last year’s GUKPT Main Event at Goliath, was in contention throughout the event and finished third for £48,850.
There were 445 entries in the GUKPT Manchester Main Event creating a £489,500 prize pool.
Morreale was already leading the National Poker League Player of the Year race with 103 points after a stand-out performance at GUKPT London last month. Not only was he runner-up in the GUKPT London Main Event for £65,950 but he also came second in the Mystery Bounty for a further £14,650 and made the last two tables in the Mini Main. Morreale is a GUKPT regular and played dozens of events last year, ultimately finishing third in the National Poker League. That achievement won him a £20,000 Diamond Package which he is clearly putting to excellent use.
Bixi Yao (pictured), who cashed in six Main Events last year, was fourth in the GUKPT Manchester Main Event for £31,350 while Chris Williams, who also won the £2k High Roller, was fifth for £20,300. Shane Burton, whose previous best was £1,345 for 10th place in the 2020 GUKPT Manchester Mini Main, was sixth for £14,750. Oliver Braddock, runner-up in the Manchester Grosvenor 30/30 Series, finished seventh, with Irish Open champion Ryan Mandara 8th and GUKPT Luton 2022 champion Jamie Le 9th after being eliminated by Hardcastle.
A stack of other well-known players made Day 3 include Lewis Spencer, GUKPT London winner Jonathan McCann, Paul Trotter, GUKPT Player of the Year Matt Davenport, Waheed “Wadey” Ashraf and Andrew Hulme.
All the Day 1 chip leaders were awarded a ticket for the UK Poker Open – Jack Hardcastle, Lukas Peleckis and Paul Trotter who was 12th at GUKPT Manchester two years ago. Hardcastle amassed his impressive end-of-day finish after hitting a Royal Flush versus Aces on Day 1A.
Among the 44 players who made the money were last year’s champion Trevor Reardon, John Eames, Yucel Eminoglu and Chris Da-silva. Paul McTaggart bubbled the Main Event after being eliminated by Ryan Mandara.
Side event results
There were nine different tournaments at GUKPT Manchester which took place February 1 to February 13.
Chris Williams won the £2k High Roller for £46,740 and also snagged himself a UK Poker Open seat into the bargain. Williams started the final day with the chip lead and sustained his lead right through to the end. There were 87 entries in total generating a £156,600 prize pool. Marion Dumitrache won the Mini Main for a lifetime best cash of £38,140. There were a staggering 759 entries creating a £166,980 prize pool.
Jamie Dwan won the first tournament of the festival – the £200 + £200 + £40 Mystery Bounty tournament – for £16,920 while Thomas Middleton[MH1]** , who finished third for £7,240 also snagged the most bounties earning himself an extra £11,800. The GUKPT Cup attracted 211 entries creating a £105,500 prize pool with £29,500 for 1st. Carlo Citrone outlasted a 211-entry field to take down the GUKPT Cup for £29,500. Bobby Ooi won the GUKPT Manchester Turbo Event beating a 110-entry field to win £5,087 after a five-way deal.
UK Poker Open
Next up for Grosvenor fans is the new UK Poker Open event. The festival is taking place from February 19 to March 5 and is being held at the Grosvenor Casino Coventry at the Coventry Building Society Arena, home to the annual Goliath festival.
The UK Open features a £1,500 buy-in and has five different starting flights. In addition to the flagship tournament, there are nearly 20 other events on the UK Poker Open schedule. This includes the popular new £550 GUKPT Cup, a two-day £115 Ladies UK Championship, a £200 + £200 + £40 Mystery Bounty tournament, the Mini UK Open with a £340 buy-in, a £2k UK Open High Roller and a £150 Seniors tournament. The schedule also gives players plenty of opportunities to win their way into tournaments with a bunch of super satellites also running at the venue.
As always, MainEventTravel.com, the GUKPT’s Official Travel Partner, can help players with all their travel needs for the UK Poker Open. Convenient hotels near the Coventry Building Society Arena venue include the DoubleTree and the Novotel.
Grosvenor 2023 schedule
After the UK Poker Open, it’s back to GUKPTs with Blackpool in March, Edinburgh in May, then Luton, London #2, a second trip to Luton, Leg 8 in Leeds, Blackpool #2 and then back to London for the Grand Final. Goliath take places in July and there are at least 16 different 25/25 Series events. That’s a lot going on – but luckily you can start your planning now with MainEventTravel.com!
National Poker League
Don’t forget Grosvenor’s exciting National Poker League Player of the Year contest. Over the course of the year, players can garner points in 100 different events all over the country to win a £40k Player of the Year sponsorship package and a host of other prizes including GUKPT events, the new UK Poker Open event and Goliath in July as well as the 25/25 series, 25/50 series and Deepstack series