The GUKPT Grand Final has wrapped up at the Poker Room in London’s iconic Grosvenor Victoria Casino with British player Paul Vas Nunes (pictured) scooping the top honours in the £2k Main Event. Sporting a fetching Christmas jumper, the Guildford-based pro told the Tower he’d been hoping for some gifts – and he was rewarded handsomely with a first prize of £140,000 and the GUKPT Grand Final trophy.
Vas Nunes’s victory came nine years after he won GUKPT Reading and was runner-up in the 2014 Grand Final. Now 34, Nunes has racked up more than $1.9 million in live tournament winnings. Runner-up Alex Montgomery satellited into the event and put in a very creditable performance to scoop a career-best cash of £100,000. His best result prior to the Grand Final was finishing third at GUKPT Manchester in 2018 for £28,200.
GUKPT Luton champion Tom Hall, who has well over $3 million in live tournament winnings, finished fourth for £39,440 while well-known Brit Mathew Frankland, who has notched up $700k in live tournament winnings, achieved his best GUKPT result to date with an eighth place finish for £12,000.
Cal Morreale’s 10th place (pictured below) in the Main Event – and winning the £500 4-card PLO event earlier in the week – secured his place at the top of the Grosvenor’s National Poker League leaderboard. Morreale, who has dominated the Player of the Year race this year, wins a £40,000 Grosvenor Sponsorship Package along with the coveted Grosvenor Casinos PoY Trophy. Based in Bedfordshire, Morreale has cashed at every single GUKPT held in 2023 including winning the GUKPT Manchester Main Event for £106,700 and finishing 2nd in the GUKPT London Main Event at the start of the year for £65,950. Other stellar achievements at Grosvenor tournaments this year include winning the Mini Main at the Grosvenor UK Poker Open in February for £58,480, a third place at GUKPT Blackpool, runner-up in the GUKPT Edinburgh Cup and winning the Mystery Bounty at 888poker LIVE Coventry in October. In fact, his winnings at Grosvenor live events this year total more than £330,000.
Morreale faced strong competition for this year’s Player of the Year title and had to fight hard to stay ahead of the likes of Robbie Bull, GUKPT Blackpool winner Lin Chen and Brandon Sheils. The 2023 Player of the Year Matt Davenport was also in the mix after winning the GUKPT Main Event at July’s Goliath and a string of cashes later in the year.
There were 325 entries in this year’s Grand Final creating a £55,600 prize pool. A total of 32 players got paid with a min cash worth £4,170. A host of big names made the money in the Grand Final including Ludovic GeilichGUKPT Coventry champion Joe Hindry and French November Niner Antoine Labat.
Sheils wins GUKPT Grand Final Cup
Brandon Sheils (pictured below) cemented a spectacular year at Grosvenor events by taking down the GUKPT Grand Final Cup for £30,730. Sheils made a deal heads up with runner-up Fraser Bellamy who cashed for £29,360. Arian Kashani, another strong contender for Player of the Year, was third for £15,430. There were 282 entries creating a £135,360 prize pool with 28 players cashing.
Woodhead beats star-studded final table to take down £1,250 Midi Main
Morreale triumphs in 4-card PLO event
Despite telling pals before the event that he can’t play PLO, Cal Morreale (pictured below) took down the £500 4-card PLO event at the start of the Grand Final. He cashed for £12,860 and added another 20.9 points to his Grosvenor Player of the Year tally. There were 87 entries generating a £41,760 prize pool. It was his fifth National Poker League tournament win of the year.
Shan Jiang took down the £200 Turbo Side Event for £7,880 after beating a 152-entry field. WSOP bracelet winner and GUKPT Coventry runner-up Richard 'Chufty' Ashby won the £900 PLO 4/5/6 High Roller after cutting a heads-up deal with GUKPT London Super High Roller winner Arthur Conan. Both players cashed for £18,600. Ashby, 51, has multiple WSOP final table appearances to his name and is currently ranked 43 in the UK all-time money list. There were 58 entries with eight players paid from the £68,260 prize pool.
The GUKPT Grand Final ran from November 23 to December 3 at the iconic Poker Room at the Grosvenor Victoria Casino. The 12-day end-of-season extravaganza is one of the biggest UK festivals of the year and a highlight of the GUKPT 17th season. There were more than 20 different tournaments on the schedule.
Grosvenor has already announced the dates for next year’s GUKPT, the tour’s 18th season. Next year’s calendar follows slightly different dates to 2023 but everyone’s favourite GUKPT stops are all featured! Leg 1 in London takes place from January 4-14 and then it will be off to GUKPT Manchester in February. Following that, it’s Blackpool in March, Leeds from April 4 to 14 and Luton starting April 25, London in May, then Edinburgh in June, a second trip to Luton in September, Blackpool #2 in October and then back to London for the Grand Final. Not to mention the return of the Grosvenor UK Poker Open event starting February 22 in Coventry. The flagship Goliath takes place in July and there are also at least 60 different 25/50 Series events. That’s a lot going on – but luckily you can start your planning now with MainEventTravel.com!
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Photo Credit - Grosvenor Poker