The final table of this weekend’s Genting APAT United Kingdom Amateur Poker Championship brought with it a strong sense of deja vu, as familiar names took their seats in front of a large rail at Stoke’s Genting Casino.
Amongst them were Manchester Pro Am Champion George Downey, recently crowed European Amateur Champion Carl Pilgrim and serial final tablists Mark Donnelly, Paul Davis and Anthony Williams. Polish international Ian Szerlowski was also there as was Scottish international Tom Clark; fresh from winning team Gold at the Home International Championship two days earlier, a tournament that both Pilgrim and Davis represented England in.
The final itself was streamed live to a large and raucous online audience and the players lined up as follows:-
Ross Hibbert went in 9th, his Ace Six no match for Mark Donnelly’s Ace King in a hand that saw Ant Williams fold pocket Jacks and Ian Szerlowski fold pocket Queens. Szerlowski went a short while later, his Ace Queen failing to improve against Paul Davis’ Ace King. George Downie went in 7th, the victim of consecutive bad beats.
Play continued six handed for close to two hours before we lost Tom Clark, the damage done in a mis-timed push that found a call from Anthony Williams with pocket Nines. Mark Donnelly failed to improve on two previous Championship runner up spots when exiting in fifth to Carl Pilgrim, when both hit the flop with Pilgrim holding the better kicker.
The chip lead continued to fluctuate amongst the remaining players until Anthony Williams exited in fourth, just outside the medal positions, when outkicked by Ben Russell. Paul Davis went in the Bronze medal position, a mistimed move against Carl Pilgrim putting paid to his chances.
Carl Pilgrim held a 2:1 chip lead over Ben Russell when heads up started and a little over ten minutes later he secured the United Kingdom Amateur title, when his pocket Kings held against Russell’s Ace Five; the chips going in pre flop. The win sealed an amazing double for Pilgrim, who had won the 276 runner European Amateur Poker Championship three months earlier at Nottingham’s Dusk Til Dawn. The Ipswich man took a first prize of £4,250, the APAT Gold Medal and a seat at a Genting Poker Series event.
The aforementioned Genting APAT Home International Championship had featured 8 international team selections from Engand, Scotand, Wales and Ireand and it was the Scottish B side, captained by Davie Blacklaw, who took Gold, beating England C in a heads off playoff after a pulsating day of play. Engand B took the Bronze medal.