Massive congrats to Lin Chen who has just taken down the GUKPT Blackpool Main Event for £65,310. It was a chop for the final three with runner-up Greg King from Ireland snagging £57,855 and third-placed Peter Charalambous winning £53,915. Chen’s victory awards him a further 39.96 points in the Grosvenor National Poker League, which moves him from fifth place to second! A £40k Grosvenor sponsorship deal awaits the end-of-the-year winner.
Chen has thrived on the Grosvenor UK Poker Tour this year. He kicked off the 16th season in spectacular fashion with a runner-up finish in the GUKPT London Mini Main event. That was his previous biggest cash but he has already eclipsed it just two months later. He also had a deep run in the UK Poker Open Mystery Bounty event and was fourth in the Manchester GUKPT Cup. Only last December he had another big cash in London when he was runner-up in the GUKPT London Grand Final Mystery Bounty.
Steve Warburton finished fourth in the £1,100 buy-in Main Event with Brighton player Leo Worthington-Leese sixth for £11,270. Veteran GUKPT player and northwest legend Ali Mallu was a massive chip leader at the end of Day 1b and had the chip lead for much of Day 2 but imploded late in the day after going all-in with a massive 88 big blinds. Steve Warburton snapped called with aces and, despite flopping a gut shot with his 10-5 off-suit, Mallu was out in 14th for £4,030. The hand was pivotal in giving Warburton a big chip lead for the final day. (GUKPT Main Event Final Table pictured above)
Grime wins Mini Main
British player Barry Grime (pictured below with a number of Poker legends!) came very close to “doing an O’Dwyer” after knocking out seven of the eight players in the GUKPT Blackpool Mini Main final. It was a bravura performance from the Bolton native and not far off Steve O’Dwyer’s incredible run at last year’s Irish Open when he bust all of his final table opponents. Grime has now accrued nearly $200,000 in live poker tournament winnings but the £28,825 Mini Main cash was one of his biggest scores to date. It also won him his first ever GUKPT trophy. Cristian Popescu was runner-up for £20,585 after losing a huge pot holding A-Q to Grime’s Q-10. A ten on the flop secured the victory for Grime. GUKPT regular John Bousfield, who was lying tenth in this year’s Grosvenor Player of the Year National Poker League, was third for £12,940. There were 557 entries in all.
Chris Williams secures back-to-back High Roller win
Chris Williams (pictured below) saw off some stiff competition to take down the GUKPT Blackpool High Roller for £41,100. It was a back-to-back victory for Williams who shipped the GUKPT Manchester High Roller last month – and then came fifth in the GUKPT Manchester Main Event. There were 72 entries in all creating a £129,600 prize pool. Williams beat GUKPT London champion Jonathan McCann heads-up to secure his win. Others who made Day 2 included Cal Morreale, who is currently leading the Grosvenor Player of the Year race, Trevor Reardon and 2022 GUKPT London winner Tim Chung.
Runner-up turbo finish for Katie Swift
Grosvenor Ambassador Katie Swift was delighted with her runner-up finish in the GUKPT Blackpool turbo event (pictured with Final Table below). Swifty has had a tricky year and had to miss out on a lot of live poker. GUKPT Blackpool was her first time back at the felt and she was thrilled to make a sensational comeback in the £180 buy-in Turbo from just one big blind when there were around 50 players left. She said: “I played the Mini Main, but Blackpool was my first festival back after surgery and a car accident, so it’s a nice result and a great return back to live poker after a long absence since the Grand Final!” Katie won £3,560 while Dan Whitbread took £5,465 for his second victory of the week. Whitbread also won the Mystery Bounty for £7,400 after beating GUKPT Manchester champion Cal Morreale heads-up and finished 11th in the Main Event, wrapping up a pretty successful trip to Blackpool!
Fresh from his runner-up finish in the High Roller, GUKPT London champion Jonathan McCann (pictured below) took down the GUKPT Blackpool Cup for £23,650 – a victory that will give him another load of points in the Player of the Year National Poker LeagueWilliam Reynolds won the GUKPT Blackpool Seniors Event, outlasting the 104-entry field to win £3,600.
The Kav Cup charity tournament is another event which makes GUKPT Blackpool pretty special. The annual fund-raiser is held in memory of popular player Derek Kavanagh (pictured below) who died of cancer in 2017. This year’s £60 buy-in tournament raised £12,751.06 for three charities: the Carers Trust, Andy Mans Club and the Sick Children’s Trust. Brynn Cooper won the tournament for £5,370 after beating a 257-entry field. Former Irish Open champion Ian Simpson, who nominated The Sick Children’s Trust after his daughter Adeline was at The Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle, min-cashed. He finished 22nd (out of 23 cashers) for £170. There were 257 entries in all and the total raised so far is now more than £62,000.
The GUKPT has visited Blackpool every single year of the tour with the Main Event awarding many millions in prize money. Lin Chen follows in the footsteps of illustrious previous winners such as Grosvenor Ambassador Richard Trigg (2013, £53,000), Tom Middleton (2016, £56,255), Jonny Gray (2015, £69,050) and Simon Deadman (2012, £49,200). The last GUKPT Blackpool in November 2022 was won by fishing podcaster Jamie Clossickfounder of fishing podcast CarpCast, who secured victory in his home town for a bumper prize of £109,000.
Next up: GUKPT Edinburgh
This year’s GUKPT Edinburgh Main Event – Leg 4 of the 2023 tour – gets underway on May 11. The £900 + £100 tournament features three start flights (including a Day 1c turbo), with two re-entries permitted per flight. All players sit down to a 20,000 starting stack with 60-minute levels on Days 1a and 1b.
The festival is taking place from May 3-16 with a total of 15 different live tournaments. The festival features a £100,000 guaranteed Main Event and £25,000 guaranteed Mini Main as well as other popular fixtures such as the £250 + £250 + £50 buy-in Mystery Bounty (with two starting flights), a £1k PLO High Roller and a £2k NLH High Roller, the new £500 GUKPT Cup, a £150 Seniors tournament and a £150 + £150 + £30 PLO 4/5/6 Bounty.