Stuart Ward Wins European Amateur Title

The 2009 APAT European Amateur Poker Championships, in association with Blue Square Poker, was held at the G Casino Luton and attracted a field of 195 players from twelve countries including Poland, Hungary and Italy. At stake was a first prize of £3,500, ranking points towards the APAT National Amateur Rankings and, for the winner, added value of a seat into a GUKPT Main Event.

First out was Warren Jackman with pocket Kings up against Hugh Nairnie’s pocket Aces whilst through the early levels John Miller from Accrington, an experienced festival player was the chip leader. Soon current APAT Welsh Amateur Champion Simon Auckland ran Ace-King into French International Franck Viollett’s Aces on a King high board.

Meanwhile Stuart Ward took Queen-Six to knock out Michael Pemplomiak with Aces and reversed roles when he himself found Aces against Robyn O’Neille’s Queens, the combined effect of which was to propel Stuart towards the chip lead, alongside Derrick Andrews, regular APAT player John Murray and German International Silke Burghardt.

The end of day one chip leaders, with 32 remaining and average stack 60,000 blinds 2000/4000 ante 300 were as follows:

Derrick Andrews 177,500
John Murray 143,000
Stuart Ward 130,000
Paul Townsend 82,900
Silke Burghardt 80,000

These chip leaders would all final, with Derrick Andrews making significant progress through the first part of day two. Also at the head of the field, Stuart Ward won a key pot with twelve players left. Leigh Wiltshire raised in the cut-off and Stuart moved all in from the small blind. Leigh called with Ace-King offsuit and Stuart turned over Ace-King of Spades. The flop brought Stuart the nut flush to eliminate Leigh and set Stuart up for what was to follow. Phil Cooklin then bubbled the final table shortly after his Ace-Queen was outdrawn by Silke Burghardt’s King-Ten all-in pre-flop.

The final table line up was as follows:

1 Stuart Ward from Middlesborough 350,000
2 Derrick Andrews from Wellingborough 577,000
3 Richard Baker from Gerrards Cross 108,000
4 Silke Burghardt from Munich, Germany 183,500
5 Alan McBride from ChorleyWood 183,000
6 Matt McKinlay from Birmingham 107,500
7 Stuart Fordham from Sandy 81,000
8 John Murray from Portsmouth 183,500
9 Paul Townsend from Witney 187,500

Blinds began the final at 6,000/12,000. Stuart Fordham knocked out Richard Baker in 9th, limping with pocket Jacks and calling after Baker pushed in the blinds with pocket Twos which received no help from the board. Fellow short-stack Matt McKinlay then pushed King-Queen offsuit and Paul Townsend was waiting with Aces in the big blind to send Matt out in 8th.

Silke Burghardt finished seventh, exiting unluckily after flopping a set, and rivering a full house, losing to Stuart Fordham’s bigger full House. By this stage Ward and Andrews had the majority of the chips in play with the other four remaining players short-stacked. John Murray was knocked out in 6th, having achieved his sixth cash in an APAT National Championship on his third final table. He took Ace-Queen suited against Townsend’s Pocket Eights, flopped an Ace but an eight also fell on the flop. Stuart Ward then knocked out Alan McBride, Ace-Queen against Ace-Jack following McBride’s push into Ward’s big blind.

In fourth Stuart Fordham was eliminated running pocket sixes into Andrews’ Pocket Queens, followed by Paul Townsend leaving in third. King-Jack against Andrews’ Ace-Queen.

Derrick Andrews began Heads Up with a 1.2m to 800,000 chip advantage over Ward. This was not to last long however as both players saw an unraised flop of 8-7-3. Andrews bet, Ward raised and Andrews then announced all-in. With by now roughly even chip stacks Ward faced a huge decision holding 9-7. He made a big call, and was rewarded when Andrews revealed a bluff with Ace-Five. Second pair held through the turn and the river and Andrews was reduced to a micro-stack which he lost in the next hand. Thus Stuart Ward became the 2009 APAT European Amateur Poker Champion.

Meanwhile Steve Redfern took the 2009 APAT National Amateur Rankings title by virtue of his performances throughout the season and will now represent APAT at a GUKPT main event. Amongst his other achievements during the season, Steve won the UK Amateur Championship and represented England who took third place at the European Amateur Team Championship.

APAT now moves on to the UK Team Championship in Manchester in January 2010. For full details of APAT tournaments sign up for a free membership at