A RECORD number of players braved the cold and made their way to The Poker Lounge at Manchester235 casino for the Confidential Christmas Tournament last Wednesday, and the action was frantic and festive.
A total of 158 players entered the £25 deepstack freezeout, lured by mulled cider, turkey sandwiches, and a £3,950 prize pool.
Joe Power was hitting everything here, and he had the stack to prove it.
So large was the turnout, the emergency chips had to be called into action. They were rummaged from the back of a cupboard that’d been sealed for some time, from the look of them.
Confidential’s Chris Grimes swiftly ducked out after an hour of mixed fortune. It could have been even earlier, had I not bottled a big chance in Chris’ first hand at the table – my pair was better, but ‘Dirty Money’ had a reputation to fear, and I ran scared.
Reaching the break became the personal goal as my now customary schooling was being handed out by a couple of regulars on the Manchester poker circuit. With six minutes to go I was in danger of falling short, but pocket 10s were good enough to double-up and see me through to the buffet, and I was happy to take a celebratory mince pie.
The players returned to a feast of fast play. Antes and blinds were rising rapidly as the number of contenders plummeted in a crazy couple of hours. I bowed out in 76th before the two million chips in play fell into the hands of the survivors, and things calmed down.
It was after midnight when the bubble burst, and the 18 players that had made the cash could breathe a sigh of relief. As the final table assembled it was anybody’s to win.
Wayne Taylor was the first to fall, his short stack meaning a push with 73 was necessary, but no match for Simon Ward’s pocket kings.
Phil Greenwood followed shortly after. Kings were again the purveyor of elimination, this time held by Kieran Towers. A queen on the turn gave Greenwood a glimmer of hope, but the cowboys held up.
Phillip Collinson picked his moment to push after managing a medium stack well at the final table. 78 was enough to tempt him to spin, but Simon Ward was sitting on AQ. An ace on the flop all-but finished proceedings for Collinson, and he was out in 8th.
Qiyou Zheng had been happy to sit on the smallest stack at the table and watch others fall – a move which doubled his payout. He eventually pushed with 55. Houston Ramm and Joe Power got involved in a pot that saw Ramm benefit most, and Zheng was out in 7th.
Joe Power had been dictating most of the action at the final table, and was involved again as Kieran Towers' tournament came to an end. Both players missed all the community cards with all the chips in the middle, but Power's queen-high proved enough to edge out Towers into 6th.
Michael Macleod was the next victim of Power’s aggression – he could do nothing as Power doubled-up at his expense, a pair of jacks holding against Macleod’s AK. The pair dueled once again on the following hand, this time a cruel river saw Macleod’s pocket 4s get piped, and he was unlucky to be out in 5th. Power was hitting everything here, and he had the stack to prove it.
The field was reduced to three after Joseph Denniss made his move with K10. Power again the caller, Denniss looked in trouble when he flipped over KQ. Both players caught a piece of the board, but Denniss was dominated, and left in 4th.
Power’s luck was running out, and as 3am came and went, the remaining three had leveled the field. With each sitting on just under 700k, a deal looked on the cards. A quick consultation with a calculator was enough to convince the trio, and an even three-way split was agreed.
Final table result:
*The top three players agreed an even split of £670 each.
You can Follow David on Twitter @DavidPMcCourt
For more information about Manchester235 Casino and Poker Lounge, find them on Twitter @MANCH235ER or visit our Manchester235 Poker Lounge pages.
really enjoyed the game , would have liked to be in longer but did manage over 2 hours , And happy…Read more
I really enjoyed the tournament and was a bit gutted to go out 13th, so close yet so far, heres to…Read more
great turn out and immensely enjoyed the day,well done to all organisers and the dealers!!!!Read more
june 5th is my tourney watch out the dukes about!!!!Read more