The 2015 Grosvenor United Kingdom Poker Tour broke the live tournament attendance record for an event held outside Las Vegas. Finnish player Miikka Toikka earning the top prize.
The Grosvenor United Kingdom Poker Tour (GUKPT) understands the utopian vision of the grassroots UK based poker player. Offer up a working class buy-in, stack the odds heavily against everyone, but create a first prize capable of carving credit cards to shards of nothingness.
The GUKPT Goliath is a monster. It gets bigger each year. This year was no exception. It was the largest live tournament ever held outside of the World Series of Poker (WSOP) in the history of the sport. There were 2,764 unique players and 1,446 re-entries morphing into a field of 4,120 entrants.
The tournament carried a £250,000 guarantee. It hit £421,000. 470 players were paid a minimum of £250 each, and the winner walked away with £70,800.
That’s the Goliath out of the way, who was cast in the role of David?
Miika Toikka, a Finnish player based in Liverpool, walked away with the first prize after beating Katie Swift in heads-up action. Swift was one of only two final table players with any real live tournament form to speak of. She was making her second GUKPT final table of her career, finishing ninth in the Manchester Main Event in Season 9. Shane Mossop was the other player with previous after finishing runner-up to Lance Gordia at The Wynn Summer Classic in 2014 for $55,000. Interestingly, Gordia went on to win the largest tournament in history the year after when he took first in the WSOP Goliath.
The only way everyone could be squeezed into the Ricoh Arena, Coventry, was to create seven starting flights. Toikka came into the final table with a chunky chip lead; Swift was the third lowest stack at the table.
Here is the Speedy Gonzalez version of events courtesy of Yorkshire Pudding over at PokerNews Towers:
Toikka came in with the chip lead, and it ballooned over 30 million before bums had even got settled on seats. The Fin opened the action, Grant Ferguson moved all-in for 2.7m; Ben Boulden made the call, as did Toikka.
The flop was [Kc] [Kd] [7h] and Boulden check-called a 1m Toikka bet. The turn was the [8d]; both players checked. The river was the [Jh], Boulden bet 2m and Toikka called. Boulden showed pocket aces, Ferguson had nothing but the skin from a rice pudding, and Toikka took the pot with [Ks] [Td] for trips. Ferguson was out.
Mossop was the next player eliminated QQ
Phil Bain was out in fifth after losing a flip against Meager KQhh<88, and then the final four players decided to change the pay structure by taking £5,000 from the first place prize in order to beef up fourth place. Sunil Moti was the benefactor after his all-in bet holding [Ts] [7s], on a board of [7h] [3h] [2s] [xx], was called by Toikka holding a set of treys.
Swift and Toikka were left to fight it out after Meager was eliminated in third. It was a cooler with Meager making his move holding AQ and Toikka waking up with the cowboys. The ace stayed in the deck and heads-up was reached with Toikka holding a 95m v 9.5m chip lead.
It took two hands for the end to come with Swift moving all-in with [Kh] [Jc] and Toikka calling with [Ad] [4s]. There was a slight sweat on a [As] [Ks] [Ts] flop, but the turn and river were kinder to the Fin to hand him the title.
Final Table Results
1st. Miikka Toikka – £70,800
2nd. Katie Swift – £46,300
3rd. Ryan Meager – £29,050
4th. Sunil Moti – £25,200
5th. Philip Bain – £12,650
6th. Andrew James – £8,400
7th. Ben Boulden – £5,900
8th. Shane Mossop – £3,800
9th. Grand Ferguson – £3,100