Priyan de Mel has become the first back-to-back winner of the GUKPT main event, after beating a field of 146 fellow poker players in Bolton last night.
The north-west is clearly a happy stomping ground for De Mel, who was victorious in Blackpool’s £1,000 main event in November, and came good again at Bolton’s G-Casino to claim the £44,600 first prize. Eh op.
The Londoner, who is only the third player to have secured two main event titles, had to come from behind to seal victory, making the most of a rule change this year which extended the final table from nine to ten players.
De Mel, who later admitted that 10 was his lucky number, took comfort from being in seat No10 and soon turned a short stack into a dominant advantage, doubling up at the earliest possible opportunity. “He was short stacked and played a brilliant game to get heads up,” said the man he pipped to the title, Andrew Purser, who was playing in his first main event final table.
With four players left De Mel already had a commanding chip lead, but after Purser eliminated Harrogate’s Jamie Sykes in third place, the gap narrowed to just just 50,000 chips out of a total of 2.2m. De Mel once again rebuilt his chip lead, after having the better of the early exchanges, and following over an hour of heads-up action, the final hand was played out with Purser moving all in with K-T. De Mel called with A-4 and the board of 8-Q-4-9-9 settled the encounter in favour of the 36-year-old property developer.
De Mel was delighted to have captured his second GUKPT title, but is now eager to complete his hat-trick. “I’m really happy to have done back-to-back titles but three titles is a good target to aim for,” he said. Not that he’s greedy or anything.
GUKPT Leg 1 Bolton results
1. Priyan de Mel £44,600
2. Andrew Purser £30,300
3. James Sykes £19,000
4. Terry Owens £11,700
5. Marc Wright £9,100
6. Justin Devonport £6,900
7. Philip Booth £5,500
8. Jeff Kimber £4,000
9. Aaron Barry £2,900
10. Mark Robinson £2,200