The 2009 APAT Scottish Amateur Poker Championship; in association with Blue Square, was held at the Gala Maybury Casino in Edinburgh and attracted a sell out field of 130 players from the United Kingdom and further afield.
Included amongst the runners were seven past APAT National Champions, including previous Scottish Amateur Champions Phil Starrs and Jason Jones.
Early play was cautious and unusually no players were eliminated during the first two levels, ruling out alternate entries. Phil Starrs, who would proceed to day two, was the early chipleader, notably helped by beating the pocket Queens of Louis Manson and the Ace King of Rob Swindells with pocket Tens, all-in pre-flop, thanks to a Ten on the flop.
Also at the head of affairs was Thomas Stanfield, who eliminated several players including the highly ranked Will Young. Former Gala Tour winner Rupinder Bedi recovered from a slow start to make considerable progress through day one. Meanwhile Dean Whittaker moved to the head of the chip counts when eliminating two players in the last level.
At the end of day one, with 24 players remaining, the leading chip positions were as follows:
Dean Whitaker 122,700
Thomas Stanfield 117,300
Gareth Derbyshire 112,600
Mark Wright 100,500
Rupinder Bedi 85,100
Blinds began day two at 2,000/4,000 with a 300 ante, so for a number of the short stacks it was a case of pushing and attempting to double up early to get in a position to reach the final. Indeed eight players exited in the day and the final was reached within three levels. During this period, George Dickson became a big chip leader, his Ace Jack winning an all-in race with Phil Starrs’ pocket Tens, the Jack falling on the river. Dean Whitaker and Thomas Stanfield were also doing well, but the majority of players remained under pressure from the blinds.
The final table line up was as follows:
1 Derek Murdie from Hawick 92100
2 Alan Mower from Suffolk 203000
3 Gareth Derbyshire from Edinburgh 120900
4 Glen Laming from Surrey 82300
5 Dean Whitaker from Edinburgh 117400
6 Thomas Stanfield from Dunfermline 74100
7 David Blane from Edinburgh 229400
8 George Dickson from Edinburgh 261700
9 Mark Wright from Middlesbrough 120200
First to depart on the final table was Thomas Stanfield losing a race with pocket Sevens against Whitaker’s King Queen suited. Shortly afterwards Alan Mower also fell to Whitaker. His Kings being cracked by Ace Jack. This gave Whitaker a third of the chips in play seven handed.
Mark Wright exited in seventh, his pocket Nines losing to Derek Murdie’s Ace King combination. Then Dean Whitaker again moved into action. This time his Kings were too good for the Ace Jack of Gareth Derbyshire, sending the local player to the rail in 6th.
Five handed Glen Laming suffered an unavoidable exit, running Ace King into Blane’s Aces, the case Ace falling on the flop for good measure. By now all four remaining participants had opportunities to win as play moved to a short-handed but deep-stacked phase.
Four handed momentum swung away from Dean Whitaker. Taking King Queen against Murdie’s pocket Kings all in pre-flop, he moved well ahead on a Queen Queen Seven flop only for the case King to fall on the river, doubling Murdie up. Whitaker then lost out to Blane, his pocket Tens losing to Ace Jack and he departed in fourth.
Three handed play lasted for nearly two hours as the participants sparred. George Dickson was the first player to lose out, when both he and Murdie flopped a pair in a limped pot in the blinds, with Murdie’s kicker deciding the outcome.
Heads up play was short, and concluded when David Blane bluffed all in on the turn of a Six Five Jack Jack board and Murdie called with Eight Six against his opponent’s Seven Three to triumph.
Derek Murdie from Hawick thus became the APAT Scottish Amateur Poker Champion for 2009, winning £3,000 and a GUKPT seat courtesy of tour sponsor Blue Square.
APAT now moves to the centrepiece of its 2009 season, the 450 seat World Amateur Poker Championship festival, at Dusk Till Dawn in Nottingham at the end of August. The festival will include Omaha and HORSE Championships alongside the prestigious World Amateur Poker Championship main event.