Alan Horsburgh Wins Scottish Amateur Title

The 2012 APAT Scottish Amateur Poker Championship was played at Glasgow’s Alea Casino over the weekend of October 13th & 14th.

The event was sold out weeks earlier and the excellent structure saw players start with 15,000 chips on a 45 minute clock, with the prestigious Scottish Amateur title up for grabs.

Defending Champion and Scottish International Grant Spiers exited late on day one, when his pocket Sevens failed to improve against the pocket Aces of Jonathan Bannerman. It was sweet revenge for Bannerman, who finished just outside the medal positions in last year’s Championship.

Among those making the final twenty seven who would make day two were Internationals Shug Carnie (59k), Steve Roderick (82k), James Eccles (49k), John Murray (36k), David Blacklaw (36k), alongside strongly fancied Scottish players Ben Burnhill (99k), Alan Horsburgh (62k), the last remaining lady player Helen Godfrey (26k) and chipleader Grant Mushet (151k).

The action was fast and furious at the start of day two. 2010 UK Champion Murray was the first of the leading runners to exit, his Jacks no match for Neil Rankin’s trip Kings. Overnight chipleader Mushet somehow found himself out after a mere hour of play, losing several key pots, particularly to Steven Tracey.  Shortly after Burnhill and Russell Skimington got involved in a raising war, only to find Horsburgh behind holding pocket Aces to knock them both out.

The exits continued at pace and a little over three hours into day two, we had reached the Championship Final Table:-

Alan Horsbrough – 280k
Neil Rankin – 158k
Neil Winston – 80k
Craig Dawson – 220k
Peter Guild – 340k
Helen Godfrey – 110k
Steve Roderick – 390k
Mathew Lind – 105k
Steve Tracey – 185k

Matthew Lind exited in Ninth, his straight draw failing to hit against Steven Tracey’s pocket Tens. Craig Dawson went in Eighth, his Ace Jack failing to improve against Steve Roderick’s pocket Eights.

Neil Rankin went in Seventh, a mistimed shove finding Alan Horsburgh with pocket Fives. Chipleader Horsburgh knocked Helen Godfrey out in Sixth, his pocket Tens too good for pocket Sixes.

Roderick then knocked out Neil Winston in Fifth, his pocket Sevens staying ahead of Ace Four, despite a Four on the flop. Horsburgh continued to bludgeon the field, knocking Steve Tracey out on the medal bubble, his King Queen offsuit surpassing Ace Five, a King on the river doing the damage.

As the final three commenced battle, Horsburgh and Roderick each held around 800k, with Peter Guild sitting on 250k. This was an amazing achievement for Roderick, securing his fourth APAT National Amateur Championship medal in four final tables.

The good news ended there for Roderick however, when an hour into three handed play he pushed speculatively with Ace Three suited to find Horsburgh prepared to take him on and indeed knock him out with pocket Eights.

Heads up only lasted a few hands.

Peter Guild raised to 140k and Alan Horsburgh pushed all in over the top. Guild called and tabled Ace King off suit, but he was behind Horsburgh’s pocket Fives. The board failed to help Guild and we had our Champion – long time APAT member Alan Horsburgh.

The Glasgow player, who took £2,800 and a Genting Poker Series seat commented after the event: “It’s a bit of a cliché and I’m not saying the money isn’t nice but as someone who has followed APAT from the start and played in a number of these (events), the Gold Medal means so much more than any sterling!

The Amateur Poker Association & Tour returns with the United Kingdom Home International Championship and the United Kingdom Amateur Poker Championship, both taking place at the Genting Casino in Stoke between November 30th and December 2nd. For more details, see