Over the weekend of 15th-16th January 2011 APAT held the final national championship event in its fourth season, sponsored by Betfair, with the Southern European Amateur Poker Championships held at the Gran Casino, Costa Brava consisting of 140 runners playing to win €3,400 as part of a €12,600 prize pool.
Courtesy of Betfair the winner of the Championship wins an entry to a GUKPT main event as part of an overall sponsorship package where APAT members have the chance to win thirty three seats to GUKPT main events and twenty three seats to APAT Professional League tournaments. In addition, each of the season’s seventy five amateur, professional and online tournaments are run completely registration free for players.
In addition, the winners of the Online and National Amateur Rankings will join the 17 Amateur Champions from season four and the player with the most points finishes across Amateur and Online events, to compete in the APAT Champions Final, to play for a second APAT £20,000 sponsorship package in 2011.
Approximately 50 of the field were UK players who travelled to the event, but the majority of those encountered tough tournaments at the hands of the aggressive local players. Exceptions were Dublin’s Robbie Lakes who amassed a stack early and kept it throughout the day and the steadier Glenn Laming from England who slowly chipped up in the later stages. As a measure of the aggressive play seen Joan Valls gained a 60,000 stack in the third level by winning with Pocket Fours against Ace-King, in a big pre-flop confrontation.
Elsewhere Spanish lady player Chicarro Sanchez knocked out several players on her way to a mid-first day chip lead, which sadly was to wane as play continued
All three of the players vie-ing for the APAT Season Four Rankings title, Steve Roderick, Jack Prime and Darren Shallis were eliminated on the first day, ensuring that Roderick won the Rankings Title. Shallis was the last of the three to depart, and needed to cash to pip Roderick, but could not do so.
At the end of the first day 21 players remained, with the chip leaders as follows:
Robbie Lakes 137200
Feliz Santos 130600
Glenn Laming 108500
Joan Pou Valls 103200
Beth MacInnes 99700
The run to the final took over four levels and it was two players that dominated. Glenn Laming won the pot of the tournament with pocket fours against pocket eights against Juan Lopez. Check-raising Lopez all in on a Ace high turn board Lopez made a great call with an under-pair, only for Laming to river a set to gain the chip lead. MacInnes eliminated three players just before the final table, most notably with pocket Queens against Nikolay Nikolaev.
The final table Line up was as follows
1 Beth MacInnes (USA) 202600
2 Ferran Muntoz Recasens (Spain) 79700
3 Armando Martelli (Spain) 201500
4 Glenn Laming (UK) 236000
5 Javier De Unzueta (Spain) 166700
6 Oriol Sanchez Hidalgo (Spain) 80200
7 Felix Santos (Spain) 78200
8 Joan Pou Valls (Spain) 100200
9 Gabriela Herranz (Spain) 126100
10 Robbie Lakes (Ireland) 128800
Blinds on the final began at 5000-10000 with a 140,000 average stack.
First out, in 10th, was Recasens losing with King-Jack against Sanchez’s Ace-King. Sanchez then eliminated Valls in 9th, pocket sixes against Ace-Nine.
Sanchez then knocked out his third player in succession with Ace-King against Herranz’s Queens, Ace on the flop with stacks all in pre-flop.
Robbie Lakes from Dublin had become a short-stack through lack of opportunities and pushed an unopened pot with Queen-three. Martelli called him with a suited Ace, and held to knock Lakes out 7th. Laming then outdrew Santos with Ace-ten versus Ace-King, s ten on the flop knocking Santos out 6th.
In a big three way pot five handed Laming took Ace-King agaisnt Martelli’s Ace-Jack and Sanchez’s pocket tens. He spiked a King on the flop to treble up and knock Martelli out in 5th place
Four handed Laming lost a big confrontation with Ace-King against De Unzueta’s pocket twos, and Sanchez knocked him out soon after.
With Oriel Sanchez a big chip leader the two smaller stacks clashed with the previously quiet Beth MacInnes knocking out Javier De Unzueta in 3rd, Ace-four versus King-Eight blind on blind.
Heads Up Sanchez began with a six-to-one chip lead. The battle lasted only a few hands, when MacInnes with Queen-ten could not outdraw Sanchez with Ace-Jack, meaning MacInnnes finished runner up.
So Oriel Sanchez became the APAT Southern European Amateur Poker Champion 2011 winning €3,400 and a GUKPT Main Event seat. APAT now moves to the UK Team Championships at the G Casino Bolton at the end of January.