Ben Young Becomes First APAT Double Champion

Over the weekend of 23rd-24th April 2011 APAT held the second event in it’s fifth season, sponsored by, with the UK Amateur Poker Championships held at the Aspers Casino, Newcastle consisting of 156 runners playing to win over £3,600 as part of a £11,700 prize pool.

Courtesy of the winner of the Championship wins an entry to a UKIPT main event as part of an overall sponsorship package where APAT members have the chance to win added value throughout a packed season of Live and Online National Championships and leagues. In addition, each of the season’s seventy five amateur, professional and online tournaments are run completely registration free for players.

At the beginning of the tournament Richard Baker doubled up, pocket Queens hitting a set on the flop to outdraw pocket Kings. Ben Young eliminated six times APAT final tablist Darren Shallis and in the early leaders were both gerard Smyth and Dawn Dineen. The pace of early exits was faster than usual.

As play settled down local players Andrew Harrison and Robert Dunbar moved to the head of the counts, though Dunbar was to lose some ground later in the day. Once he gained his stack, APAT veteran Paul Davis maintained his position.

At the end of Day One the five chip leaders, were as follows including reigning APAT WCOAP Champion Ben Young and Nottingham UKIPT Winner Gareth Walker:

Andrew Harrison 156100
Ben Young 151800
Paul Davis 118000
Andres Sanchez 98800
Gareth Walker 97700

Andrew Harrison knocked out two more players early on Day Two, Kings against Steve Lacey’s Ace Jack and then Aces against the Kings of David Pilkington.

Craig Simpson dealt a big blow to Gareth Walker, Pocket Jacks against Pocket Tens in a blind on blind confrontation. Paul Davis lost most of his stack when his Aces were beaten by the Queen-Jack offsuit of Andrew Blair, and Ben Young accounted for Blair when four-bet shoving King Jack to beat Ace-Queen. Andres Sanchez then knocked out Richard Baker on the final table bubble, Ace-Queen against Pocket Tens, Ace on the flop.

The final table line up was as follows:

Andres Sanchez 361,300
Ben Young 301,400
Craig Simpson 204,000
Andrew Harrison 203,300
Robert Dunbar 97,000
JP Round 94,300
Mark Langdale 91,600
Paul Mallett 71,500
Gareth Walker 67,700
Chris Peers 24,700

Blinds on the final began at 3,000-6,000 with an Average stack of 156,000.

In the first exit of the final the short-stacked UKIPT Champion Gareth Walker ran Jacks into JP Round’s Kings to depart in tenth place. In ninth, Paul Mallett exited with pocket Nines against Harrison’s Pocket Queens. By this stage short-stack Peers had trebled up and doubled up to move towards an average stack.

In an unlucky eighth was Mark Langdale. Sanchez shoved the button with Ace-Seven and Langdale found Pocket Jacks in the big blind, he called but Sanchez outdrew him to win the pot and knock him out. On the very next hand Sanchez, playing aggressively with his big stack ,shoves Ace-Eight and JP Round called with Pocket Fours. Ace on the river knocks Round out and ensure that six handed Sanchez had one-third of the chips in play.

The fortunes of Sanchez then reversed, doubling up Simpson (Ace Queen versus Ace King) and Dunbar (Ace King versus Tens) in quick succession.

With the chip lead changing hand several times over a number of hours the next exit was some time coming.It came when Harrison called a raise with eight-nine of diamonds and flopped a pair and flush draw. All-in against Sanchez’s Pocket Aces he missed his draws and was out sixth.

Young then doubled through Sanchez and a rollercoaster of fortunes continued. Blind on blind Young raised, Sanchez then shoved with King Jack and was called for odds by ten-nine. A ten on the river knocked Andres Sanchez out fifth. Young’s commanding position improved when his Ace Nine accounted for Chris Peers who had shoved Ace-Six, Peers out fourth.

Three handed Dunbar was by some distance the short-stack and was knocked out by Craig Simpson, Jack five against Ace Jack.

Heads Up, WCOAP Champion Ben Young began with a three to two chip lead over Craig Simpson. On the final hand, after an hour’s battle, Young trapped Simpson when he slow-played a pair of Jacks and beat Simpson’s flopped top pair.

So Ben Young became the APAT UK Amateur Poker Champion 2011 winning £3,625 and a UKIPT Main Event seat. He also became the first two time APAT National Champion.