Shirley Cole is Coral English Queen in Luton

English Amateur Poker Championship – Grosvenor G Casino, Luton

The English Amateur Poker Championship was held at Grosvenor G Casino, Luton over 6th/7th September 2014 with the £75 Main Event supported by two £25 side events of NLHE on Saturday evening and PLO8 on Sunday afternoon.

The Main Event attracted a field of 172 with APAT’s usual well-structure 15k stack on a 45-minute clock again proving popular – and with the added value of Championship Gold, Silver and Bronze medals, and a seat next April in the Main Event of APAT’s World Championship Of Amateur Poker (WCOAP) at Aspers, London, plus the opportunity to rise up the APAT Player Of The Year Leaderboard – where the player topping the Leaderboard at the end of the Season will win a trip to Las Vegas In June 2015 – truly lots to play for.

Day 1 completed after 12 levels of play and with the field reduced to 35 players to return for a midday start on Sunday.  Leading the pack on Day 2 was Adrian Filiczowski with 150k, closely followed by Dominic Ricepierse on 146k – only 9 players started Day 2 with over 100k chips, the bottom of that list being Shirley Cole with 101k, and with Lee Wyatt sitting in 35th spot with a 7k stack to return to play with blinds 1k/2k/150.

Still ongoing at this time was the APAT English NLHE Side Event, which attracted 73 £25 buyins on Saturday evening for an 8k stack on a 20 minute clock.  Mark Hayter took the honours to become the English NLHE Champion and the £584 payout, beating Chris Clough Heads Up, with Paul Newbury in 3rd.

Returning for the Main Event Day 2, it wasn’t long after play resumed before Lee Wyatt got his 7k stack in with Qh 10d, only to run into Ah Ks and with an A on the flop and no further help for Lee he was the first casualty on Day 2.

Just before the Day 2 first break, having played for 2 hours and with blinds 2k/4k/500 and the average stack 117k, Frazer Bolt pushes all in for 70k pre-flop, called by Phillip Corion, and with Alan McBride with only 4.6k behind he makes the call.  Todd Priest takes a long time to decide, and following chat from Phillip Corion ‘let me know if you want me to call or fold my QQ’, pushes his remaining chips into the pot – an extra 130k for Phillip to make the call, but he folds (and shows QQ).  Frazer Bolt flips over Ah Ad, Todd Priest Kh Kd and Alan McBride Js 5h.  Board runs completely dry and Frazer Bolt takes a huge pot – and Todd Priest pulls back his 130k re-raise – and we lose Alan McBride in 22nd spot.

Shortly after the first break the bubble burst with Dawn Cooke departing when her Ac Jc didn’t improve against a 10c 10d opponent, leaving 18 in the money.

A few players then enjoyed a busy and productive run throughout the next 2 levels where we the event reduced to a Final Table 9, with Benjamin Naylor involved in some big pots and increasing his stack to 450k, and with Shirley Cole getting to 750k, between them they had around 50% of chips.

Shirley disposed of the Final Table bubble, Alan Ellis in 10th spot, when her call to Alan’s all-in and his Ad Kc didn’t improve against Shirley’s Js Jc.  Shirley then proceeded to take out Warren Jones (10c 10d) in 9th and Patrick Costello (Ad Kc) in 8th, in the same hand, when she called both their all-ins pre-flop with her 8c 8s – and hitting 8d on the flop.  Now 7 handed, Shirley Cole is on around 40% of all chips.

Frazer Bolt departed in 7th just before all chips went in between Dominic Ricepierse and Benjamin Naylor on a 9s 2c Jc – Ben showing top pair with 10h Js and Dominic bottom pair with As 2h – turn was 8c before a river 2d sent an unlucky Benjamin out in 6th.

Ant Pickering played solid poker throughout the 2 days and enjoyed his 5th place finish and £774 pay day.  Ant won his entry and expenses for the event from playing in the Live Pub Poker League, and with this being his biggest ever event to play in, with his first baby due in 4 weeks was already counting the benefits of success by the number of nappies they could now afford!

Now on the bubble for the ever-popular APAT Gold, Silver and Bronze medals, we lost APAT-regular Kev O’Driscoll in 4th when he called an all in pre-flop with Jh Jc against Leonard Langridge holding Ac 8h – the inevitable Ac hitting the flop.

Shortly afterwards, Leonard’s Jh 9h hit big time on the flop with Jd Js 5c, which was enough for him to push all in only to be called by Shirley Cole not only holding the Jc, but a gibber kicker with Kc – and with no further help for Leonard he departed in 3rd spot with a £1,419 and delighted to pick up the Bronze Medal for his sterling performance.

Heads Up between Dominic Ricepierse (1.4m) and Shirley Cole (1.1m) was a short-lived affair with Dom raising pre-flop and seeing a board of Jh 7s 10h and betting 125k, only for Shirley to re-raise to 375k, Dom to raise again to 625k – and Shirley pushing all in and Dominic calls.  Shirley shows top pair with Jc Kh and Dominic flips over an over-pair with Qh Qd.  The turn brought no change with 10d before Shirley hit with a river Kd to give her 2 pair and crowned English Amateur Poker Champion and Gold Medalist, with Dominic in high spirits with his Silver Medal.

Shirley also became only the 2nd woman to win an APAT Main Event, the previous being Marie Sherwood becoming the European Amateur Poker Champion in January 2012 – an event in which Shirley Cole took part.

1st £4,063 Shirley Cole, Gold Medal and English Amateur Poker Champion
2nd £2,193 Dominic Ricepierse, Silver Medal
3rd £1,419 Leonard Langridge, Bronze Medal
4th £1,032 Kev O’Driscoll
5th £774 Anthony Pickering
6th £645 Benjamin Naylor
7th £516 Frazer Bolt
8th £451 Patrick Costello
9th £322 Warren Jones
10th £258 Alan Ellis
11th £194 Phillip Corion
12th £194 Angela Bonadies
13th £194 Ian Thompson
14th £129 Todd Priest
15th £129 Tatenda Banda
16th £129 Tom Clark
17th £129 Matt Carter
18th £129 Nikolaos Seretis

Shirley can now look forward to the Added Value for all APAT Season 8 Main Event winners – which is a seat at the World Championship Of Amateur Poker (WCOAP) taking place in Aspers Casino, Stratford, London over Easter 2015, but she hopes to make at least one of the remaining APAT Season 8 events before then.

APAT’s PLO8 Side Event on Sunday afternoon attracted a field of 55 for a 15k stack on a 30 minute clock – which was well received by all players who enjoyed a rare event of this nature and structure.

Paying the final 7, it quickly got to a Final Table 7 with Paul Davies knocking out 2 players in 1 hand, leaving the following players in the money:

Seat 1 – John Murray 49k
Seat 3 – Steve Redfearn 187k
Seat 5 – Paul Davies 126k
Seat 6 – James Mills 43k
Seat 7 – Tom Arthurs 106k
Seat 8 – Nigel Rantor 84k
Seat 9 – Adrian Lovelock 230k

Davies departing in 4th, and Steve Redfern in 3rd, leaving John Murray and Tom Arthurs Heads Up, and after a long battle Tom just gets the better of John to become the English PLO8 Champion.