Wow, hot day in Wigan for our final at The Douglas Bank, but inside there was plenty of room & a nice breeze running through making it easy for the 45 runners who turned up for our May final. Steve, Landlord of the Doug & our host for the day really did us proud by keeping the kitchen open till late, letting us take over his lounge area and letting me plug the lap-top into his huge wall mounted flat screen TV. everyone commented on how good the food was and with really cheap bar prices we were set for a good days poker.
Well it must of been the weather outside getting to people as players started falling thick & fast! We got the cards in the air for 2pm half an hour later than usual because of the last minute venue change, but by 2.15 we had our 1st casualty when Stevie G pushed on a flop of K-8-Q with his K-Q off into pocket Kings and Stevie was our 1st sun-bather! the news of this filled Ian “bingo” Burnett’s heart with joy after being 1st out in the last 2 finals vowed he was NOT going to get the hat-trick! however it wouldn’t be too long before he was in the sunshine.
There was no more exits in level 1 & non in level 2 either, it was just before 3pm we lost Burkey closely followed by Andy Cal, Drew Finney, Bingo & Kristian Thornley. This gave us 39 runners going into level 4 but this also gave Kristian far too much time at the “friendly” table which he owned for about the next 6 hours or so!
During level 4 we lost “mad” Richard, “vicious” Steve, Adam Doyley, Eugean Wilcox, Chris Petcu and about 4.05pm we lost our Blackpool Grand Final winner Lewis Skelhorn.
Level 5 seemed a little tighter as we only lost Dave Griffin Snr. & Dave “tango” Thompson left us about 4.30pm leaving 31 runners left going into Level 6.
This turned out to be the quick fire round! with the blinds at 400 / 800 we lost Lee Taylor & seconds later Chris Lee called for all his chips on a Jack high flop with AJ only to find Kelly holding KK. in the next 10 minutes out go Howard Thompson, Harry Wright, Alan Kinsey & Tom Erentz. and when Carl Norris left us at 5.15pm i just had time to close a table leaving the 24 that were left re-seated before the second break of the day.
Break over and we’re into level 7. Out go Joe Abbott & Pat Harris closely followed by Mark Fraser. I had lost count how many times Mark had been all in pre flop but he finalyleft us around 5.45pm pushing his A-9 into Paul Griffin slow playing AA.
6pm on the clock & the blinds at 800 / 1,600 we lose 4 players in 5 minutes! off to the rail go Billy Boag, Simon Brady, Andy McGuigan& Paul Field. only 10 minutes later sees Les Harrison join them followed by Dave Erentz & Gary Bunbury. Only 14 players left and we haven’t had the food break yet! at this point i was thinking i would be back in my local for last orders with time to spare!
with the blinds now at 1,000 / 2,000 we only lost John Mortimer & Mike Morris, the clock ticks round to 7pm and we break for 45 mins with 12 players left.
We return on level 10, a repeat of the 1,000 / 2,000 but now with a 200 ante and next to go is Steve O,D. i have now officially lost count of how many times i’ve known Steve bust out with pocket Aces and it wasn’t any different here! with his chips all in against the J Q of Kelly Milward the board came out King high but unfortunately for Steve this gave the Gorton girl the straight & Steve was out.
Mark Shonick was next to leaveat around 8pm when he pushed all in on a bluff / draw hand into Paul Griffin holding top pair who made the call after a long time in the tank. 10 left in and it’s bubble time!
It’s 8.50pm the blinds are 1,500 / 3,000 – 300Ante. and table 2 folds round to Andy “fluffy feet” Winning in the small blind, he looks down at 2 7 off, takes a moment then in his best-ist poker style moves ALL IN!!! Paul Griffin in the big blind is having non of it, with a stack of well over 100k he wakes up with Ad 9d and quickly calls the 42k shove, a 9 hits the flop and with no help on the turn Fluffy is drawing dead. in a couple of races earlier Andy would hit the table shouting “BANG BABY” when his card came down on the flop or river but this time “BYE BYE BABY” would be the shout from the rest of the room lol lol. we’re off to the final table………
The last 9 players drew for seat numbers with the chip leader having 1st pick the so on according to chip stacks….
Seat 1 ….. Paul Griffin 161,600
Seat 2 ….. Kelly Milward 85,700
Seat 3 ….. Donna Long 20,900
Seat 4 ….. Nick Evans 27,000
Seat 5 ….. Paul Taylor 155,100
Seat 6 ….. Dave Griffin 8,100
Seat 7 ….. Andy Bell 36,600
Seat 8 ….. Aston Wiggans 114,000
Seat 9 ….. Graham Richardson 61,900
The clock was re-started and at 9.15pm we lost our short stack at the table Dave Griffin, with the blinds at 2,000 / 4,000 – 400Ante. Dave looks down at A-4 off and makes the move, Kelly isolates the pot by going all in herself with A-Q off but no player hit anything so her Queen played.
9.45pm level 13 we see Graham Richardson bow out, Graham wakes up with pocket Aces & raises up. Paul Griffin from the big blind makes the call with J-Q off and the flop comes J-Q-8. all the chips end up in the pot at this point and Graham needs help but a King turns then a 9 on the river sees Paul’s2 pair stand up.
Next to go was Kelly Milward. Kelly had been card dead since her AQ for about an hour when she looked down at A-10 clubs in early position, she makes the move & sends Donna into the tank for a long time. Donna said later she was holding A-K but was sure Kelly had a pocket pair and in the end decided not to race. next to act was Paul Taylor who made the call with pocket 5′s, Andy Bell in the small blind quickly folded A-9 as did Aston Wiggans in the big blind with AQ! a big fold with the blinds at 4,000 / 8,000 posted along with the ante’s of 800. the flop came 4-6-7 and an 8 on the turn makes Kelly dead to a 9, but the 6 on the river sees Paul take the pot & Kelly out in 7th.
Another hour goes by before Aston Wiggans bowed out, he makes his move with A-6 off pre flop but Donna wakes up with A-J off and makes the call. A Jack hits the flop putting Aston futher behind and with no help from the turn & river he was gone.
At this point i was torn between 2 plyers left as to who would be my M.V.P. for the day, remembering that Donna came to the final table 8th in chips with just over 20k there was only 5 players left and the blinds were now 10,000 / 20,000 – 2,000 Ante, Donna had played really well to get this far.
Midnight rolled around and any thoughts i had earlier of an early bath had now long since gone. 1st time at a TPL final, Andy Bell was faced with Nick Evans raising his BB, Andy holding A-7 off re-raises all in & Nick makes the call with K-J off, still live after a flop of 3-10-4 Nick sees a Queen turn giving him the up & down draw as well, he then hits the draw with a 9 on the river.
Just before the blinds go up Paul Taylor has his 10k SB posted and only has 14k back, he puts them in and it’s only another 4k for Nick to call which he does holding Q-9 off, he’s up against the 8-3 off in Paul’s hand but a Queen on the turn gives Nick 2 pair after hitting his 9 on the flop and we’re down to the last 3.
With the blinds at 15,000 / 30,000 – 3,000 ante & coming thick & fast Paul Griffin decides he has no choice but to go all in with his 9-2 off, Nick has to make the call with his pocket 9′s and Paul takes our Bronze medal leaving Nick & Donna to fight it out.
An epic heads-up battle takes place lasting well over an hour! Donna just about had the chip lead on the 1st show down when she moved all in after a flop of 7-Q-3 with J-Q. Nick had raised pre flop and quickly called with Q-10, a harmless 2 on the turn sees Donna with one hand on the title until a 10 floats on the river! The next show down sees Nick push his massive chip lead with K-Q, Donna makes the call with A-6 and although Nick finds a King on the river Donna had already nailed an Ace on the flop to make the chip lead swing back in her favour.
After a few small pot wins without showing, the chip lead was just with Nick when the end came, a raise, an all in…. a call from Donna with K-Q! Nick flips over 10d 10c and the race is on! flop.. 9d-3s-2d the turn is 3d taking away 2 of Donna’s outs & the final card of the day was 4d and Nicks pocket 10′s make the flush and the title is his! i’m also giving him the M.V.P. on the day because with 12 runners left at the food break he was back on his starting stack of exactly 15,000 with the closest to him over 30k. this was also his 1st ever TPL final just giving him the edge for the M.V.P. for which he won a very nice pair of Tango sunglsses! lol lol
3rd place Paul Griffin
2nd Place Donna Long
The Winner & May Champ 2010 Nick Evans
well done to all who played, we’ll do it all again at The Smithy on Fathers Day 20th June at 1 o’clock….. see you there… T1L.