21-year-old Vinny Price from Birmingham has won the GUKPT Summer Series main event at the Grosvenor casino in Walsall.
Price defeated a field of 121 players in the two-day event to scoop the first prize of £19,520. Price, who works for the West Midlands Business Council, was playing his first Grosvenor UK Poker Tour event, but played with maturity beyond his years to take the title and claim a place in the tour’s end of year Champion of Champions tournament.
His heads up opponent was 19-year-old Toby Lewis, a well respected online pro from Southampton. After eliminating Bognor Regis’s Simon Wickenden in third place, Lewis closed the gap on chip leader Price. However, a long and tense heads up session then ensued which saw the chip lead change hands several times. In the final hand Price held 6-4 against Lewis’s K-9, but a 6-4-9 flop put him firmly in command of the hand. A further 4 on the turn gave Price a full house and he remained in front after an 8 fell on the river. There had been betting on every street, but all the remaining chips then went into the middle, settling the encounter in favour of the local player.
The final table also included the reigning GUKPT Newcastle champion Tony Phillips, who had already claimed victory in one of the warm up events at the Walsall festival of poker. A third place finish for Phillips would have taken him to the top of the leader board on the tour’s official rankings, but he fell short, exiting in 6th place. He now moves up to third on the leader board, behind Sunny Chattha and Martin Silke. Former European number one Mickey Wernick also made the final, but was the first player to be eliminated, departing in 9th place. American Jeff Buffenbarger held the chip lead when there were two tables left, but was taken out in 8th place while Richard Connolly from the Isle of Man was 7th. Local Gordon Gainford and Mancunian Abed Eid completed the final table line up, finishing in 5th and 4th places respectively.
The tour now takes a break from live events in July, but gets back on the road again in the first week of August when leg 6 takes place at the G casino in Luton. However, the action continues in July on Blue Square Poker - with the tour’s online festival, which features a $1,000 main event. It takes place from the 20th - 24th July and players can qualify for as little as $2 via daily online satellites.