The 2009 APAT English Amateur Poker Championship, in association with Blue Square Poker, was held at the G Casino in Bolton and attracted a sell out field of 205 players from the United Kingdom and further afield. At stake was a first prize of £3,500, APAT National Ranking points and the added value of an entry to the prestigious GUKPT Champion of Champions tournament at the end of the year.
In the early levels, Simon Auckland had to recover to make day two when his Aces were beaten by Ducan Hodgkins Five-Six suited. Both Paul Turnstill and Gerard Smyth led the way only to fall by the wayside before the end of the day. Meanwhile local favourite John Kay had a flying start that was to leave him well positioned all day alongside Tony Trippier and Ben Dixon, whilst Ian Burnett leapt towards the top of the chip counts when his pocket Eights hit a set to eliminate a player with Aces, in a big pre-flop confrontation.
End of Day One chip leaders, with thirty players remaining, were as follows:
Tony Trippier 164,100
John Kay 142,100
Steven Wild 138,200
Ben Dixon 127,900
Ian Burnett 119,500
Blinds began day two at 2,000/4,000 with the majority of the field needing to make significant progress from short-stacked positions. After three hours of intense play, the final table lined up as follows:
Martin Hanney England – 411,000
Ian Burnett, Scotland – 320,000
John Kay, England – 262,500
Andrew Macleod, Russia – 241,500
Tony Trippier, England – 200,000
Andrew Duncan, England – 158,500
Joe Carr-Hill, England – 152,000
Brian Frew, Northern Ireland – 146,000
Gary Phillips, Wales – 113,000
Blinds began at 8,000-16,000 with a 1,600 running ante.
Tony Trippier exited in 9th when his Ace-Jack failed to overcome Brian Frew’s Queens. In eighth, shortstacked Gary Phillips pushed with Ace-Deuce and lost to John Kay’s pocket sevens.
Andrew Duncan was knocked out in seventh, holding King-Ten versus Andrew Macleod’s Ace-Queen, followed by Joe Carr-Hill in sixth, his pocket Nines losing to Ian Burnett’s Ace-King, with an Ace on the flop.
Martin Hanney pushed pocket five’s and John Kay found pocket Kings in the blinds to eliminate Hanney in fifth. Four handed, in a key hand Andrew Macleod raised, and John Kay pushed all in, a big over-bet. Macleod made a fine call with Ace-Jack, well ahead of Kay’s Ace-Seven, but a seven on the flop accounted for Macleod in fourth.
Three handed the title could still have gone to England, Scotland or Wales, but it was English man Kay who used his dominating chip stack to put his opponents to decisions, beating Burnett with King Ten versus Ace-Four to take a four to one chip lead in to a Heads Up battle with Brian Frew.
This lasted one hand, Kay taking nine-ten suited against Frew’s Ace-Four, and hitting a nine on the river. This was Brian Frew’s first ever live tournament, so a wonderful achievement for the Irish man.
Congratulations to John Kay who was crowned the APAT English Amateur Poker Champion 2009, and who will be one of several APAT National Champions who will make an assault on the GUKPT Champion of Champions event in December.
APAT now moves to the sold out European Amateur Poker Individual and Team Championships at the G Casino in Luton on 19th-22nd November 2009.