Two more big winners felt the warm embrace of both success and the man with the greatest good-luck bear-hug in poker, Chris Moneymaker, as they celebrated winning PSPC tickets and two more fantastically fun Moneymaker’s Road to PSPC Main Events.
London Aspers Casino PSPC Battle sees Dos Santos smiling
Another capital winner on Chris Moneymaker’s Road to the PSPC saw Brazilian player Valdir Cordeiro dos Santos reign supreme in the stunning setting of Aspers Casino in East London.
With a final table that played out in the afternoon across less than five hours of poker, there were plenty of smiles and a lot of laughs as players embraced the spirit with which Chris Moneymaker has kept his Road to the PSPC rolling around Europe and the world. The tour, which now comes to a close in December with the late January leg at Stones Gambling Hall now off the menu, cooked up another feast of frantic poker action in the capital.
Dan Spaturu was the first player to leave the final table, as his conservative play saw his stack drift down to a less-than-damaging total and he went in 9th place. Robert Buky would bust in 8th place when his slightly bolder move all-in with king-nine was called by Justin Bateson’s ace-ten and couldn’t catch up. Bateson was wielding the scythe, and he played Grim Reaper to Duncan Mackie’s chances, too.
Leaving in sixth place was Sinead Priestley, who won £3,000 when her all-in with ten-nine met no fortune after Rungarun Thongnonsung had made the call with pocket-sixes. Bateson would be next to leave when his efforts to go one better than his runner-up performance in the previous London leg of the Road to PSPC hit the wall. He may have won £3,700, but surely PokerStars can put him in – the man can’t help getting to the final table!
Gary Miller proved it wasn’t his time when he crashed out in 4th place, his three-bet shove with ace-nine meeting with disaster as dos Santos called with pocket-jacks. Rungarun Thongnonsung made a gutsy move with a draw and failed to hit against Kamal Ahmed to leave the latter locked in a heads-up duel for the PSPC ticket worth around $30,000 with entry to the PSPC, six nights of luxury, five-star accommodation and €1,250 in expenses plus PSPC experiences throughout the event… and the top prize in London.
In the final hand, both players hit a flush on the river, but while Ahmed’s draw was with two cards no higher than a ten, dos Santos had queen-nine of spades in his hand, and he rode it home to victory. He will undoubtedly be fun to watch in action in Barcelona.
Aspers London Road to PSPC Main Event results:
|1st||Valdir Cordeiro dos Santos||£11,200*|
*as well as a Platinum Pass
Stancer Top of the Toon in Newcastle
Daniel Stancer took down the Newcastle leg of the Road to PSPC and in doing so, also won £7,989 as the cash game professional turned tournament title winner just for the day in the North-East.
With a bumper field of 436 entries, Stancer outlasted a final table of players who seemed desperate to get their chips into the middle across a final table that lasted barely 150 minutes. With 71 players making the money, including Moneymaker himself, who finished 50th for £267 – easily covering the first couple of rounds in a Newcastle nightclub.
The final table kicked off with an early bust-out, with Kyle Soakell running pocket jacks into pocket aces to leave in 10th place. Ali Ahmed then busted Paul Herbertson in 9th, before Daniel Stancer got involved for the first time, ending Ryan Kilbey’s hopes in 8th place, Chun Lu’s dreams in 7th place and Thomas Peggs’ wishes in 6th place in the space of 30 frantic minutes.
Five-handed, Stancer showed no signs of letting up, managing to spike Jed Turnbull’s pocket kings with ace-six to vault into a big lead. After Konstantinos Patsourakis went out in 4th place, Liam McMurray missed out on the heads-up duel for the dimes as he lost a coin flip with pocket tens, Stancer’s ace-king hitting to go into the heads-up with the chip lead.
Ali Ahmed was playing small ball, while Stancer’s play concentrated on the pre-flop push/fold ranges and eventually, it was the latter tactic that paid dividends. Stancer was all-in and covering Ahmed’s stack with pocket three, Ahmed’s queen-jack suited unable to improve across the five community cards. With that, Stancer’s raucous rail celebrated, as well they might, since they’ll all be joining their man on holiday in Barcelona.
Just imagine if the Newcastle rail were celebrating in the Catalan capital come the PSPC itself. Now that would be a story to write home about.
Newcastle Road to PSPC Main Event results:
*as well as a Platinum Pass