After a rollercoaster final table, a big call from Simon Brandstrom earned him the 2019 WPT UK Main Event title at Dusk Till Dawn in Nottingham, winning him $330,000 and making him the latest WPT champion.
After an epic battle on the final table, Brandstrom’s victory in the $3,300-entry Main Event earned him the record of being the first person ever to win a WPTDeepStacks title as well as a Main Event win and is his latest success on the tour he must love more than any other.
Brandstrom’s win in Robin Hood country follows on from his victory in Barcelona back in April and he also claimed the WPTDS Europe Player of the Year title, putting some of his WPT Credits to good use, using them to buy into the $3,300-entry Main Event in Europe’s second-largest cardroom behind Rozvadov’s King’s Casino.
When the final nine players convened under the lights and on the live stream, it was high noon on a super Sunday. Unlike the Premier League football on the day, there was drama from the off, as players fought for control of the action.
One man known as ‘Action’ Jackson was Midlands player Paul, who bowed out in ninth place for $36,000. Jackson was short-stacked when he pushed all-in with ace-deuce, but Ryan Mandara won the first of a series of important hands when he called with ace-queen and held to eliminate the dangerous, experienced player.
Next to depart was Leo Worthington-Leese in eight place for $46,000, as his ace-king couldn’t hit in an all-in coinflip against Mandara’s pocket sevens. Mandara was on a roll, and that carried on as Manig Loeser was next to go, busting in seventh place for $58,500 when his ace-queen was unfortunate to be run-out by king-nine.
Down to just six players, the really big money was on the line as well as the title, and the race was on for a deep run to turn into a title-contending crusade. Paul Siddle had only finished runner-up in the $1 million-guaranteed Devilfish Cup just a few days earlier, edged out by Rick Trigg so had hopes of going one better in the Main Event. Sadly for Siddle, he would bust four places earlier, out in sixth place.
Siddle’s ace-queen lost against pocket jacks in a coinflip to see Siddle earn $76,000, and just a couple of hands later, the field was trimmed even further when the former MILLIONS UK champion Maria Lampropulos moved all-in with ace-deuce and couldn’t catch up against pocket eights, cashing for $98,500 on her return to the scene of her career-defining triumph.
Four men remained in the hunt, and the next bust-out would take longer to arrive. Matthew Eardley was in a dominating position with ace-nine against nine-ten, but couldn’t hold, and he took home the first six-figure result of the final, cashing for $128,500.
With Mandara in a dominant position with three players left, it would be James Rann who missed out on the heads-up battle. Rann moved all-in with ace-deuce and Mandara called it off with pocket sevens. He held and would go up against Brandstrom with a decent chip lead.
Heads-up flipped the script, however, as Brandstrom, who suddenly played like a man with nothing to lose and everything to gain, fired from the start, winning hand after hand, in total four of the first five. Within two more, he would have the title.
In the final hand, just the seventh of the heads-up fight, Mandara raised it up with jack-ten and Brandstrom wouldn’t fold nine-seven. The flop of 9-7-3 gave Brandstrom top two pair, and after the four on the turn and king river, Mandara’s bluff-shove saw Brandstrom call to win the tournament.
Mandara, who had started the final table so well, had to settle for second place and $221,650, while Brandstrom, as the winner of the WPT UK Main Event, took home $330,000 and a $15,000-entry into the season-ending Tournament of Champions, which will take place next year.
2019 WPT UK Main Event final table results: