141 players descended on the G Casino in Manchester for the ninth annual Coral European Amateur Poker Championship, the latest leg of the APAT tour.
With 15,000 starting chips and a 45 minute clock, the £110 buy in event afforded keen amateur players plenty of play in the chase for over £14,000 in prize money, coveted APAT medals and a guaranteed entry to the APAT World Amateur Poker Championship at the end of the season.
The profile of the event was matched by the toughness of the field, where several past APAT Champions remained in in contention late on day one. Included amongst them were three who had held this particular title – Andy Kingan (2008), Stuart Ward (2009) and defending champion Mark Sanders. Sanders and Ward went out in the final level of the day, Ward when misjudging his opponent’s strength in the very last hand. While upset at the time, the popular north easterner reflected positively on his bold play, having slept on it.
Kingan was one of 24 players who made it through to the second day, as one of the shorter stacks. Also through was past Irish Amateur Champion Brian Yates, former WSOP finalist Steve Bradbury, 2014 European runner up Bill Sheppard and one of APAT’s highest ranking players of all-time, Steve Roderick.
Play started at midday on day two and within four hours we’d reached our final table. Sheppard, who’d had to rebuild his stack twice the following day couldn’t maintain his momentum, falling early. Kingan fell in 16th, just short of the money. Yates went in 11th with Roderick falling in 10th, one position short of making an incredible eighth final table.
The nine who had survived the proceeding four hours were:-
Carl Fitzpatrick – 73,800
Jacob Anderson – 319,200
Craig Dawson – 549,400
Steve Bradbury – 91,600
Steve Timms – 219,200
Kayode Brown – 102,600
Martin Norbury – 194,000
Harry Zammit – 245,900
Peteris Brambats – 384,000
Play remained brisk on the final table and we lost Fitzpatrick (9th) and Norbury (8th) quickly. Craig Dawson went in 7th, coming unstuck in repeated attempts to dominate the final. Brambat, who had been incredibly short earlier in the day went in 6th, followed shortly by the brash Kayode Brown. With four remaining, play slowed down and it took over an hour for the colourful Harry Zammit to exit on the medal bubble.
At this stage, Jacob Andersen began to dominate proceedings taking a considerable lead over his opponents. Steve Bradbury’s experience was telling and he remained patient, intent on securing second before attacking Andersen. This he achieved when Steve Timms fell in third, the key hand seeing his King Queen fail to improve on Andersen’s Ace Ten.
With a greater than ten to one chip advantage, the Norwegian player started heads up as a very strong favourite. There was to be no dramas, and after ten or so hands of play Bradbury shipped his remaining chips light with a King Four offsuit. Andersen found an Ace and made the obligatory; and tournament ending, call.
Dublin will host APAT next, with the Coral Irish Amateur Poker Championship taking place on October 26th and 27th, as part of the popular IPO poker festival. Full details can be found on the APAT website. www.apat.com.