Scots rule Britannia in the Coral UK Team Championship

Manchester’s Grosvenor G Casino played host this weekend to 33 teams of 8 players each from throughout the UK to do battle to be crowned the Coral APAT UK Team Champions.

On Saturday at 14:30 shuffle up and deal was called for the 264 runners in the 2 day event.  With the £50 buyin per player allocated between team placings and individual performance, the prize fund of £6,600 would be split between the top 3 teams, and the same amount going to the top 20 individuals.

With plenty of early action it brought a steady stream of early departures from the majority of teams, with points allocated for the top 100 players all contributing  towards their team score.  The first team to lose a member were the Newcastle Poker Forum who have competed for many years in this event, only to be quickly followed by The North East Poker Forum – not looking good for the North East contingents at this point!

Further departures came from A World Of Poker, Kracked Kings, Midlands Poker Forum and various others, and it was Sutton Poker who were the first team to lost two members.  APAT legend and Blonde Poker member Richard ‘Tighty’ Prew was unlucky to run his set into a bigger set and depart in 251st position, just seconds before his fellow team mate Dai Llewellyn, before further misery befell Blonde when all but one of their members departed before the team points kicked in at the 100th position.

As it approached the ‘points bubble’ of 101st spot, it was well-known ‘regular poker dealer’ Mel Lofthouse for Yorkshire Poker Club, this time playing the cards, who departed without being able to contribute to the team score, just minutes before Angie Doherty earned her team ‘Angie’s Poker Room’ the first point on the event scoreboard by finishing in the 100th spot.

With thoughts of play ending for Day 1, but with crucial points to be won for every higher position a player could achieve, there were only 8 teams with 4 or more players remaining:


Geordie Poker 5

Voyage In Poker 5

Angie’s Poker Room 4

Live Pub Poker League 4

Scotsquad 4

Sky Hitsquad 4

Team Coral 4

At this point Kracked Kings had been totally eliminated from the event with zero points, but they won the battle for having the most fun!

With play finishing on Day 1 after 13 45-minute levels around 2am, the field had dropped to 50 players and points were now well worth winning – going from 50 and increasing 1 point at a time all the way to 1st place who would win their team 100 points.

Coming back for Day 2 there were 2 teams starting to pull away from the rest – Geordie Poker having 5 players and Scotsquad 4, closely followed by Voyage in Poker with 3, Sky Hitsquad 3 and Degens Poker 3, with the APAT Sponsors Coral sitting in 7th spot with 2 players remaining – with an unfortunate Team FISO having lost 2 members in the final two hands of Day 1, but still in contention for a possible medal (top 3) team position.

However, Day 2 brought a meltdown for Geordie Poker, with them losing 3 players in the first 30 minutes only to be followed by a 4th, and their 7th member eliminated, within the hour – however, they still had Karl Webber JNR left in with a good stack to hopefully take them forward for a medal – which could still be Gold.

With the quick departure of so many Geordie Poker players, Scotsquad became clear favourites with 3 players still left in.  Team FISO eventually saw the departure of their final 8th member in 41st spot, and were still hoping for a Bronze medal finishing position, but they needed Degens Poker and Team Coral to lose players as by this stage they were the only other teams who could take the 3rd spot – apart from Geordie Poker and Scotsquad who were now fighting it out for Gold and Silver medal positions with all other teams not able to score the minimum that these two teams would at least score.

POS TEAM Min Max Left
1 Scotsquad 281 344 3
2 Geordie Poker 297 320 1
3 Degens Poker Tour 220 264 2
4 Team Coral 211 255 2
5 FISO 250 250 0
6 AWOP 199 243 2
7 Voyage In Poker 239 239 0
8 Newcastle Poker Forum 193 237 2
9 Sky Hitsquad 218 218 0
10 Blackbelt Illuminati 155 199 2

With both Degens and Team Coral losing a player each, their maximum points possible would not take them to more than Team FISO’s minimum points possible, so at this stage a delighted Team FISO were awarded 3rd position and bronze medals.

With Scotsquad having 3 players and Geordie Poker 1 remaining, it would be an uphill struggle for Geordie Poker to claim the crown, but with the departure of Rab McCarroll for Scotsquad in 15th position, it was looking better for them, with of course them needing their one remaining player, Karl Webber JNR, to run very deep into the final 18 positions:

Chip counts:

435,000 – Nick Todd – Blonde Poker

430,000 – Gareth Howard – Black Country Poker Club

340,000 – David Underwood – ILovePlayingPoker

320,000 – Dan Scott – North East Poker Forum

250,000 – James Newman – Bristol & South West Poker Meetup Group

250,000 – Derek Rowland – Team Coral

250,000 – Tony Moores – Hendon Mob Forum

230,000 – Colin Napier – Scotsquad

225,000 – Ky Hutchinson – AWOP

220,000 – William Kerr – Scotsquad

200,000 – Darren Knaggs – Newcastle Poker Forum

190,000 – Karl Webber JNR   – Geordie Poker

130,000 – Paul Lamonby – Blackbelt Illuminati

120,000 – Claire Duffy – Degens Poker

110,000 – Dave Collins – Newcastle Poker Forum

100,000 – John McMahon – Sutton Poker

50,000 – Steve Brooke – Yorkshire Poker Club

32,000 – Rab McCarrol – Scotsquad

The next crucial departure was Rab McCarrol from Scotsquad in 15th position, again giving more and more hope to Geordie Poker.  However, with Karl committing his stack soon after, he was eliminated in 14th spot, meaning their points total was now below the minimum points possible for Scotsquad and therefore the Silver and Gold Medal positions were confirmed – Geordie Poker taking Silver and Scotsquad, captained by Bryan Cameron, taking the coveted Gold Medals and the title of UK Team Champions.

Team Payouts:

1st: Scotsquad – £3,300 and Gold Medals and UK Team Champions
2nd: Geordie Poker – £1,980 and Silver Medals
3rd: FISO – £1,320 and Bronze Medals

From this point onwards it was simply about individual performance – and the £6,600 prize fund with a top prize of £2,010.

William Kerr was the final member of the Team Champions Scotsquad to depart, taking 5th spot and £415, followed by Nick Todd who put in a sterling performance for Blonde Poker and finished in 4th spot for £525 – and helping to inject some ‘pride’ into Blonde by earning their team 97 points and propelling them up the team leaderboard for a respectable finish.

David Underwood from I Love Playing Poker took the 3rd place and Bronze Medal, and £750 to leave Paul Lamonby from Blackbelt Illuminati (1.5m chips) Heads Up with Gareth Howard from Black Country Poker Club (2.4m chips).

A truly epic Heads Up battle ensued with no player ever taking a real commanding lead and it took over 90 minutes until we got to the two crucial hands, which were within minutes of each other – with Paul sitting on 1.7m chips and Gareth on 2.2m the flop came 5h Js 2h – Gareth checked and Paul bet 75k, Gareth re-raised to 190k and Paul called to see a Turn Card of 9h – Gareth bet the Turn with 200k before Paul pushed all in to be snap called by Gareth, who flipped over 7h 8h for the 8-high flush, only for Paul to show 10h 3h for the 10 high flush and the river a brick to earn Paul a huge pot of 3m chips, leaving Gareth with 900k.

Very soon after Gareth pushed all in for 1m chips and was called by Paul – Gareth shows Ac 9h only to be devastated when Paul flips over Jh Jd – and with the Board running out Qh Ks Js on the flop Paul was dead in the water with a 6d Turn followed by a River 4h – Gareth took home the Silver medal and £1,150 and Paul took the individual honours, £2,010 and Gold medal.

The final and complete team finishing positions:

1 Scotsquad 320
2 Geordie Poker 307
3 FISO 250
4 Voyage In Poker 239
5 Degens Poker Tour 236
6 Team Coral 229
7 NPF 219
8 Sky Hitsquad 218
9 AWOP 211
10 ILovePlayingPoker 180
11 Blackbelt Illuminati 177
12 BSWPMG 172
13 BCPC 161
14 Hendon Mob Forum 151
15 APAT Forum 149
16 LivePubPokerLeague 143
17 Angie’s Poker Room 142
18 Sutton Poker 135
19 GNF 134
20 Edgworth Cricket Club 130
21 LBPN 129
22 North East Poker Forum 126
23 Lucky Squad 123
24 Midlands Poker Forum 112
25 Yorkshire Poker Club 111
26 Blonde Poker 97
27 Frome Poker Group 96
= London Poker Meetup 96
29 Blue Blood 95
30 Chezger 88
31 Hetton Social Poker 64
32 In The Muck Podcast 10
33 Kracked Kings 0

Next up for APAT is a ground-breaking 2-day deepstack PLO Main Event in Bewleys Dublin Airport hotel 10-11 January 2015, with a 20k+20k Double Chance on a 30 minute clock.