Victor Ilyukhin Sr. wins the Grosvenor United Kingdom Poker Tour opener in London after defeating the Sky Poker UK Poker Championships Main Event Champion, Alex Spencer, in heads-up action.
It’s not often that I am happy to see a larger than life Russian staring out of my computer screen, whilst I chow down on my scrambled eggs, but I’ll make an exception for Victor Ilyukhin Sr.
I absolutely adore the fella.
But it wasn’t always like that.
At first I thought he was a right pain in the ass.
I had seen Ilyukhin on the World Poker Tour (WPT) on many occasions. He stood out because my wife owns Revive Touch and Ilyukhin would hire a masseuse to work on him most of the day.
After Ilyukhin was eliminated he would pull up a pew, next to his son, and watch him play until he was also eliminated. I never had the need to place either of them into my chip counts. Then, one day, Ilyukhin started to grow a stack worthy of mention. Then his son did likewise. As I went to enter them into the back-end of the WPT blog I realized that they both have the same first and last names: Victor Ilyukhin.
I’ll use their middle name to distinguish them.
They both had the same middle name.
Victor Ilyukhin Sr. was born.
It was obvious that Ilyukhin Sr. was only playing poker as a hobby. Each time I passed his table he would be checking his stocks on his iPad. But he always had time to rise to his feet and shake my hand. A man with a big heart is always welcome in my space.
Back then I never thought the back end system name problem would develop into anything serious. As much as I had heartfelt hugs for the man, I didn’t think he would win anything. I’m so glad he has proven me wrong.
289 of the finest British beef entered the first Grosvenor United Kingdom & Ireland (GUKPT) Main Event of Season 9. The £1,090 buy-in attracted a wealth of talent. This wasn’t any old victory. He had to work for it.
The Poker Mob (I still can’t get used to that name) was in full attendance, and all three of them made the money. Joe Beevers finished in 20th place, Barny Boatman fell in 11th, and Ross Boatman made it all the way to the final table, where he was three-outered to fall in eighth.
One of the other final table stars was Charlie Combes. The online poker perfectionist fell to the Sky Poker UK Poker Championships Main Event Champion, Alex Spencer, after his pocket queens were sunk by an AKdd that found its flush on the river.
Ilyukhin started the final table as one of the shortest stacks, but he made headway with the elimination of Adrian Memed (6th), Vladimir Swaton (5th); and set up a heads-up encounter with Spencer after the elimination of Zahari Petrov (3rd).
It was an exciting heads-up encounter with youth taking on maturity. It would end in spectacular fashion. Spencer happy to get it in with AJ, Ilyukhin happy to do likewise with QQ, and a JJ2 flop getting everyone up on their feet. Everyone that is except for Ilyukhin Jr., but that would change when a third queen emerged from the deck on fourth-street, to turn the hand on its head. The river didn’t contain the one-outer Spencer needed and a Russian was declared the winner of the 2015 GUKPT London.
GUKPT Main Event Final Table Results
1st. Victor Ilyukhin – £82,600
2nd. Alex Spencer – £54,050
3rd. Zahari Petrov – £33,800
4th. Niall Murray – £21,950
5th. Vladimir Swaton – £15,050
6th. Adrian Memed – £11,250
7th. Charlie Combes – £8,950
8th. Ross Boatman – £7,250
9th. Jerome O’Shea – £6,050
The next stop for the GUKPT will be the Grosvenor G Casino in Manchester 8th Mar – 15th Mar where the £1,090 buy-in Main Event will carry a £200,000 guarantee.