Mark Sanders Lands Coral European Poker Title

Coventry’s Ricoh Arena played host to the season 8 Coral European Amateur Poker Championship. With all seats sold out and a 30 player alternate list, players were competing for a prize pool of £16,300, on top of national Gold and the coveted European amateur title.

The two day event started at 2.30pm on Saturday and it found its first casualty within the opening hour when mixed game specialist Derek Rowland pushed his chips across the line on a flush draw that didn’t deliver, losing to season 7 APAT player of the year Chris Webber.

Day 1 completed at 1am, and 41 players would return for a midday start on Sunday:

Table 1
Mark Sanders 53100
Steve Roderick 72700
Jason Patrick 42300
Chris Salmon 64500
Peter Wigglesworth 57800
Jonathan Walker 28000
Sharon Roberts 22100
Jon Laight 38400

Table 2
Lewis Bennett 36100
Warren Marsh 21400
Mark Morris 31400
Tony Trippier 44900
Adam Smith 106500
Linda Iwaniak 33900
Subin Sen 74500
Scott Berridge 145000

Table 3
Tom Clark 179600
Scott Williams 61000
Amit Patel 38600
Sean Priest 64400
Brian Frew 25800
Allan Ellis 55400
James Edwards 104300
Dave Howard 53300
Dipesl Mistry 18400

Table 4
Jarrod Heald 86000
Paul Bond 80300
George Liperas 55300
Nick Withenshaw 94300
Todd Priest 75600
Chris Webber 57300
Simon Lawlor 51200
Marc Wilkinson 91700

Table 5
Tony Coles 103800
M Ramsay 34300
Michelle Gascoine 27400
Anthony Williams 48500
Joseph Cockburn 56000
Bill Sheppard 29300
John Ripley 45100
Debjani Duncan 34700

Two players had the early momentum – Bill Sheppard and Tom Clark – both APAT tour stalwarts, and on separate tables, they were slowly building impressive stacks and taking scalps along the way, especially Tom who has been selected to Captain Team Scotland at the upcoming World Championship Of Amateur Poker (WCOAP) in Aspers, Stratford over the APAT 10-day, 20 event festival during the Easter holiday fortnight.

With 19 remaining, George Liperis was the unlucky bubble when happy to get it in with pocket Queens and find Sean Priest, equally short, holding King Jack off. George faded the flop and turn, but a King on the river sent him to the rail in 19th.

1 4750 + APAT National Gold + WCOAP Main Event Seat
2 3110 + APAT National Silver
3 1950 + APAT National Bronze
4 1320
5 880
6 655
7 540
8 455
9 395
10 340
11 295
12 260
13 260
14 230
15 230
16 210
17 210
18 210

Final Table:
Tom Clark – 465000
Marc Wilkinson – 248000
James Edwards – 229000
Sean Priest – 265000
Scott Williams – 88500
Bill Sheppard – 375000
Jonathan Walker – 510500
Jason Patrick – 192000
Mark Sanders – 114500

On the Final Table 9 it was Marc Williamson who departed first. He found a pair of Sevens and got it in against Jonathan Walker’s pocket Jacks, without improving.

Following in 8th was Jason Patrick getting it in with J 9 suited against Mark Sanders’ A Q off. The flop came down 9 K 10 to put Jason into the lead, only for the Turn to be a killer J to give Mark the straight and pot with a River a blank.

Interesting action followed with Scott Williamson all in for 113k with Jc Jh, called by Jonathan Walker with As Qc and then Tom Clark going all in with Ks Kc (Jonathan making the call) – on a Board 7d 10c 8h 3h and a cruel 9h River to give Scott a straight and deny Tom taking the lot – but with Tom getting the consolation of the side pot. Scott doubled to around 250k, with Tom and Jonathan both on around 320k.

Tom Clark had seen plenty of action all day, but eventually departed in 7th holding K Q against James Edwards’ pocket Tens. The action flop brought a Queen and a Ten. The Queen in the turn brought oohs from the spectators, but there wasn’t a miracle river.

Scott Williamson was crippled when his Jd Js got busted by Bill Sheppard’s Ah Kh and Board 10s 7s 3d Ks 7c – Bill up to circa 1m and Scott down to circa 50k, with his inevitable departure in 6th – on a flop of 2 2 4, Scott pushes all in for his last 50k with 5s 6s to be called by James Edwards with pocked Sevens, with the Turn and River cards being no further help.

Bill Shepherd – 880k
James Edwards – 830k
Sean Priest – 270k
Jonathan Walker – 250k
Mark Sanders – 187k

Resuming after a short break and 5 handed with blinds 15k / 30k (3k ante) at Level 22, Jonathan Walker left in 5th after pushing short and failing to improve against Mark Sanders’ AQ.

On the medal bubble, James Edwards finished fourth at an APAT national final table, for the fourth time. Previously losing a key hand, he shoved his last 90k in and found his Q2 dominated by Mark Sanders’ Q6 with no help on the board – taking home a consolation four figure sum of £1320.

Bill Shepherd doubled to just under 1m chips, his pocket fours holding up against Mark Sanders A7, but not before Sean Priest revealed he folded pocket fours giving Bill a proper sweat.

Chips passed back and forth for around two hours and it needed a special hand to determine the next exit – and that’s what arrived. Sean Priest got it in with A10 against Mark Sanders’ pocket Queens. The flop came 4 J 10 to offer Priest hope. The 10 on the turn seemed to get him over the line….but then a Queen on the river knocked the Midlander out in cruel fashion but secured him 3rd spot, £1950 and a Bronze Medal.

Mark Sanders entered Heads Up with a significant lead over Bill Shepherd, and it was only a matter of time until Mark had Bill in trouble, and it didn’t take long. Bill pushed Q3 and Sanders woke up with Ace Jack. A Jack on the flop sealed the deal to secure Bill the runner-up spot, £3110 and his first APAT medal – Silver. Mark took down the Coral European Amateur Poker Championship with a £4,750 payday, an added value seat at the forthcoming WCOAP Main Event, and of course the highly coveted APAT National Gold Medal.

Side event action completed as follows:

Saturday NLHE Side Event:

Steve Kearns £485
Dwayne Stacey £320
Koroush Anisi £215
Sundeep Vaid £150
L Ali £105
Carl Thompson £85
Mohamed Diab £65

Sunday PLO8 (High/Low) Side Event:

Dwayne Stacey £445
John Murray £305
David Green £205
Paul Davis £140
Brian Yates £105

The next adventure for APAT is the Scottish Amateur Poker Championship in Edinburgh on 28th February, following by the end of season finale, and flagship event – the World Championship Of Amateur Poker (WCOAP) at Aspers Stratford Casino in East London starting on Saturday 28th March and running for 10 days.