GUKPT Goliath Wrap Up

Published On August 27, 2013 |

Skidmore Slays Goliath to Take Down Europe’s Largest Ever Tournament

Jake Skidmore has beaten the biggest tournament field in European poker history to win the Goliath at Grosvenor G Casino Coventry at the Ricoh Arena.

Two records were actually broken, with largest total entries of 2,570, and largest individual runners of 1,822.

Originally first prize was £56,540, but with such riches on offer for such a small buy-in, the final four made a deal.

Skidmore, from Redditch, topped the event to turn his £100 +£20 buy-in into a first prize of £29,690, beating Jiri Sladkovsky heads up.

The final hand saw Jake call Jiri’s four-bet shove with A-T. The Tipton-based Czech’s K-Q flopped best on a Q-2-J board, and he stayed ahead when a three hit the turn.

A king on the river changed everything however, with Jake rivering the nuts to take down this mammoth six-day long event.

Local student Dan Cullen who finished third secured £38,710 in the deal, with Jiri taking £31,535 and fourth-placed Birmingham lorry driver Steven Winstanley pocketing £17,605.

Champion Jake, 22, was almost lost for words. After his victory he said: “A dream has become reality. It was a gruelling 34 hours of poker but I’m feeling great!”

The massive field gathered at the sumptuous Grosvenor G Casino Coventry over four starting days, with 1,139 runners on day 1D alone.

The remaining 370 came together for day two, when the bubble burst after just 10 minutes, with 360 players making the money of at least £180.

Day three lasted just three hours, with 18 players departing in double quick time as the 27 remaining played down to the following final table:

Seat One – Nishid Pnadipleuman – 5,125,000
Seat Two – Steven Winstanley – 4,350,000
Seat Three – Daniel Arbon – 8,660,000
Seat Four – Luke Vinnicombe – 4,355,000
Seat Five – Jiri Sladkovsky – 18,025,000
Seat Six – Robert Trueman – 4,515,000
Seat Seven – Daniel Cullen – 13,380,000
Seat Eight – Kevin Stevens – 2,305,000
Seat Nine – Jake Skidmore – 3,330,000

Reaching the final table meant each player was now guaranteed at least £2,400, but with over £50k up top, a slow start was expected. As it happened, the reality was the complete opposite, with the first bust out in the first hand.

It was a classic coin flip, with Dan Arbon’s A-K up against the pocket queens of Dan Cullen. A queen-high flop was the nail in the coffin for Arbon, who departed in ninth place with £2,400 reward for his week’s work.

Moments later another coin flip and another departure. Kevin Stevens, who had gone into the final as the short stack, found big slick but he couldn’t find any help against Robert Trueman’s pocket tens and he had to settle for eighth place and £3,200.

His performance, alongside cashes from Robert Topp and Leo Worthington-Leese, was enough to see his team, The Brighton Boys, take down the Team Challenge which ran alongside the Goliath.

There were 87 teams in the Team Challenge, with 47 of them registering cashes. Local team Why Would You Fold The Nuts finished runners-up.

Kevin wins a £1,000 GUKPT Main Event seat and all members of The Brighton Boys get free buy-ins to next year’s Goliath, all prizes added by Grosvenor.

Back to the final table, and despite that boost to his stack, it was Trueman who was next out, picking up £4,800 for seventh. In a battle of the blinds, Rob shoved over Jiri’s raise with nothing more than 9-4 offsuit. Jiri made a good call with A-T and was rewarded with an ace-high flop that left Rob heading for the exit.

Nishid Pnadipleuman went in sixth in similar circumstances, shoving in the blinds with K-4 and being looked up by Steven Winstanley’s A-K. No four on board and Nishid had to head to the cash desk to receive his £6,100.

Luke Vinnicombe shoved his short stack from the button with J-5 but ran into chipleader Dan Cullen, whose dominating Q-J stayed ahead. Luke had to settle for £8,000 for fifth.

Four-handed play was fast and furious, with the chip lead changing hands and some fine play belying the huge stakes the players were playing for, a factor which helped the players decide to the chop detailed earlier.

Eventually it came down to another classic coin flip, Steven’s A-K running into Jiri’s pocket queens, again the pocket pair coming out on top. Steven had to settle for a post-deal £17,605 payday.

Chip leader Dan started to run cold at exactly the wrong time, and three-handed play saw him suffer a succession of bad beats and coolers.

Eventually he shoved his short stack with J-6 and ran into Jake’s A-K, the ace-high holding. The law student had put up a fine showing, and took £38,710 after the deal for his week’s work.

After eliminating Dan, Jake had run up a massive chip stack, and started heads up with a big chip lead which he pressed home to seal his biggest payday and victory in the biggest poker tournament ever held in Europe.

Russell Tamplin, Head of Poker at Grosvenor Casinos, said: “The Goliath has been running for three years now and it just goes from strength to strength. The success of this competition is testament to our customers, their loyalty to us and what we are trying to achieve.

“We plan to continue to offer great value poker competitions to our customers and to break more records in the future – watch this space!”

This was the third running of the Goliath at the Grosvenor G Casino at the Ricoh Arena, and it’s grown in size every year.

Last year, St Albans architect Les Fenton won the £35,800 first prize, topping a field of 1,954 players. Doncaster poker pro Lee Rawson won the first Goliath in 2011, taking home nearly £33,000 for besting the 1,765 field.

The Goliath was the Main Event in a week-long festival in Coventry that saw plenty of action both on and off the poker tables.

Of the side events, the biggest was the first 25/25 tournament outside of the north west, the first in a national roll out of this hugely successful series that guarantees £25k and has beaten that by at least double every time.

That run was continued in Coventry, with 289 runners paying the £200 + £20 entry to create a £57,800 prize pool.

Wei Wang took the honours, pocketing £15,620 for first place, defeating Neil McCulloch heads up.

For more information, contact sharky@gukpt.com.

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