Haitao Wu from Dundee has won the £100,000 Grosvenor UK Poker Tour Champion of Champions tournament at the G Casino in Luton.
Haitao, who for reasons only known to him goes by the name of Colin, outlasted a field of 125 players to claim the £25,000 first prize in the invitation only event which rounded off the third year of the GUKPT.
All 125 players in the free-to-enter event had won GUKPT tournaments or associated events to claim their seats in the two-day competition, which the players began with varying starting stacks. The larger the buy-in of the event won to qualify, the greater the starting stack.
Haitao (sorry, Colin) qualified for the tournament after claiming victory in a £500 side event at leg three of the tour in London. The 30-year-old’s heads up opponent was Darren Annis, (who is proud of his name and won’t change it for anyone, not even Colin, or Haitao). Annis clenched, sorry, clinched the first prize in the leg eight main event in Thanet.
The Beijing-born Wu held a 2-1 chip lead after knocking out third place finisher Stephen Spring and dominated his opponent during the course of the 30-minute heads up session. By the time the final hand took place he had increased his lead further, leaving Annis dribbling his stack down to just 100,000 of the 900,000 chips in play. In the final hand, Annis moved all in with A-4 and Wu called with Q-T. A 10 on the flop secured the title and £25,000 first prize.
The 2009 GUKPT has now concluded, but the UK’s largest poker tour will be returning in 2010 with a full schedule of events. Blue Square Poker is now bowing out as the sponsor to be replaced by gcasino.com, another Rank Group Plc owned company.
The 2010 added prize money has been increased to £200,000, with the prize pool for next year’s Champion of Champions’ tournament being increased to £150,000 – the rankings prize money remains at £50,000.