After such a significant win this year in one of the UK pro tour 'majors' I thought it only right to post on FTP about my 1st Coral British Masters Poker Tour experience. I will try to post the significant pots I played throughout the two days. Enjoy.


I arrive at the casino with my bro (Full Tilit) at about 2.40pm ready for the 3.00pm start. So we walk into the card room and spot lots of NPF members kicking around the casino. They included Teamdobbs, Roscopiko, Juicy Oranges, Madasawasp, Jon Lundy and several others who were less familiar to me.

Now long before the seat numbers are out and I’ve drawn table 2, seat 8. So I take my seat and I instantly recognise Simon Zach (I‘d just been watching him on a 6 handed Party Poker thing on Sky the week before). Only other person I was familiar with was Newcastle 2008 GUKPT main event winner Ganesh Rao. Fortunately I had position on them both with Ganesh occupying seat 10 and Simon Zach in seat 1. Other notables at my table were Greg Hunt and John Littler.

Cards are in the air and after about 30 mins I play my first decisive pot. I pick up QQ and not really wanting to play any big pots early on until I get a good feel for the table I decided to flat a mid position raise from the cut off. We see a 9 high flop. He leads for 600 and I raise to 1,800. He tanks and calls. Brick hit’s the turn and he leads 2,500. It’s a big bet for level 1 so I just flat call this time, my thinking now was that he probably has an overpair to board as there was no draws out. I assumed AA and KK would re-raise me on the flop for info so I’m pretty sure my QQ is still good. Anyway a Q hit’s the river and I now have top set. He checks to me. Now I’m hoping he has AA/KK although I‘m pretty sure he does not. I think about a nice value bet but with almost 9,000 in the middle and only 5,500 left behind I decide to just ship it and go for max value. He tanks and eventually folds. I’m made up as I scoop a nice pot in level 1 and move up to 15,000 in chips, well above the tournament chip average.

I moved through the early levels without being in any major pots and was still floating around the 15,000 mark when I pick up AsKs. There has been a raise from early position and I’m sitting in the big blind. It’s past round to me and again I flat call. The reason I flat called with such a big hand here was for two main reasons. First one being I was out of position after the flop so if he looked me up and I missed it gives me a tricky decision on the flop. The second reason was that since I was last to act pre flop I knew it was going to be a HU pot so I figured if I hit I’m almost certain to be miles ahead. I know if I re-raise pre I have more fold equity with a c-bet even if I do air ball the flop and I can also get more value from hands like JJ/QQ etc if I we see a A or K high flop but for the reasons I’ve already stated above I flat call.

The flop is kind to me as it falls Ah 8h Ts with a heart flush draw to boot. I lead out to protect my hand against the flush draw. Early position villain flat calls and a rag spade hit’s the turn. This gives me the nut flush draw as well as top, top. Again I fire out a second barrel and villain calls. A non spade 9 hit’s the river, I miss my flush and it also puts a potential straight out. Because off the flush board I’m certain he’s not slow playing A10, or any kind of set on me and it’s even more unlikely that he has chased a gut shot with JQ. I figure the only hands he can really play that way are AJ, AQ & AK or a busted heart draw. So I measure out a value bet which is quickly called and he shows AQ. I rake the pot and move up to over the 20,000 mark.

Interestingly with this hand one or two people at the table said they wouldn’t have value bet the river. In fact I even took a little bit of shit of one of the players from doing so. I also remember busting Simon Zach when I cut off raised into his short stack BB with AQ. He 3 bets all in and I make the easy call. He has J6. I hit my Queen and sent Simon to the rail. This was not a big pot but at the same time I was pleased to see a good player heading out the door.

Some time after dinner the cards are dealt and for the 1st time all day I look down and see AA. I put in my standard 2.5 BB raise and then there’s a bit of commotion at the table. A ruling has been asked for as the same player has posted the BB twice. The ruling concludes that as there has been action (my raise) then the hand must be played out in full. Phew. Even better than that, the SB then 3 bets me. BB passes and again I’m in a HU pot and this time I’ve got a monster. I assume his range here is top four/five hands only AA, KK, QQ, AK or JJ. So I’m pretty happy to flat call here knowing 100% he’s C-betting any flop. I’m hoping for a low flop to get max value from my hand. An Ace high flop is bad for me but a picture heavy flop is my work case scenario, but I have position and can hopefully get away from the hand for the minimum if the betting gets real strong and it looks like he’s flopped a set on me.

The flop is 9 high and as expected he c-bets (who doesn‘t after a 3-bet pre?). I tank and decide my action. I’m 100% raising him. I think a flat call now just looks super strong. I think about a min raise to give him irresistible pot odds and extract a bit more value from my holdings. In the end I elect to ship it. I done this for a couple of reasons. The first being I felt it would make me look weaker vs. my other options ( flat call or min raise) I know that sounds weird but you know what I mean. I assume he’s stacking off with KK and a good chance with QQ. The other reason I shipped is if I do flat or min raise him and he has a hand like QQ and an over card hit’s the turn I’ve pretty much killed the rest of the action I’m likely to get in the hand. The 3rd and final reason I shipped was I was already happy with what was in the middle of the pot and I didn’t want him to out draw on the turn or river because I’d offered him such good odds. Anyway, the villain tanks for a long time and eventually released his holdings. I scoop my 3rd really significant pot and move to the 30,000-35,000 mark.

I didn’t really play any more big pots until the last couple of hours before the end of the day. The blinds were getting bigger and there was a lot of action around the tables. There’s been a late position raise and for the second time today I have AA. I flat call assuming he’s on the rob and won’t give my hand any action if I re-raise. The BB also comes along. The flop comes down K,10 high and the BB moves all in. The late position raiser mucks and I call. I think K10 would probably check raise but I’m still worried about it, but not enough to put me off the quick call. He tables A10 and doesn’t improve and I’m gifted a nice pot.

This gave me one of the bigger stacks on the table and with the increasing blinds I decided to use this to my advantage. I started to open up a lot of pots with a wide range towards the end of the night and getting pretty much everything through. I’d played so solid and only shown down big hands so I was getting a lot of respect on the table. If I was getting looked up all my c-bets were getting through.

Anyway I open another pot, this time from mid position with Ac 5c. The BB who is short ish looks me up. This guy has been getting a bit frustrated with me as I’ve been opening loads of pots. The flop comes down 2,5,7 and he checks to me. I don’t mind the flop and put in my usual c-bet. This time it doesn’t get through and he ships it on me. My thinking now was that I could be against some kind of funky draw and my 5 might be good. Coupled with this I was getting 3-1 on the call and I have an over card and back door flush possibilities so with my big stack I can’t resist the pot odds and give him action. I delighted to see him table K2o for bottom pair. Neither of us improve and I take out another player right at the end of the night to put my chip stack over the 60,000 mark.

That was pretty much all of the important hands I played and or key pots during day 1.So 108 runners sat down for day 1 and in the end there was only 26 players who made it back for day 2. I ended day two as one of the chip leaders on 66,100 and was very satisfied with my days work. Coincidently I was also 2nd in chips going into day 2 of the GUKPT main event in May.


I take the drive down for day 2 by myself and head into the card room for about 2.50pm. I sit down again at table 2 seat 8, tear open my bag and begin to stack all my chips up. Cards are in the air and the very 1st hand of day 2 produced one of the two decisive hands of my entire tournament. UTG mucks, and I’m UTG +1, I look down at two red Aces on the very first hand of the day. With the blinds at 800/1600 I make a raise to 4,000. George Garfoot who I’d been sitting beside for the back end of day 1 is in seat 3 beside me. He takes a peek at his cards then sits there tanking it for a while. Looking at his body language I can tell he is strong and it looks like he it getting ready to move in on me. After about a minute sure enough he slides he entire stack over the line. I’ve opened for 4,000 and he ships on me for 40,000 more. The table folds rounds past the blinds until it’s back onto Greg Hunt who is UTG. He has a small stack -20,000 and I sit there patiently waiting to see if he’s going to come along with his last 15,000-20,000. After about 3 minutes of staring at Greg Hunt I suddenly realise that Greg was UTG and has already passed his cards. Basically everyone, including George Garfoot was waiting for me to make a decision and George was probably assuming his holding were good and he was taking down the pot pre flop. I say “oh my god I’m so sorry I thought Greg had not acted, I call”. I table AA and George mutters something under his breath and tables AKo. The boards falls 7-Q-5-6-K. George is walking before the K hit’s the river without saying goodbye and good luck.

I’m a bit embarrassed and feel really, really bad on George Garfoot (for the slow roll) as he’s such a nice guy and we had been getting on well together on day 1. Anyway, I scooped a huge pot and all of a sudden I’m the tournament chip leader with over 110,000. I said to myself before day 2 started that if I made the FT with 130,000 I’d be more than happy and first hand in and I’m almost on that already. With my big stack I just sit back and watch how the table is playing. I open a few pots with baby & medium pairs and get them all through. At the 1,000/2,000 level, the blinds pass through me for a few orbits and I lose a little pot, then Rick Gilby moves his last 5,000+ over the line from mid position. Passed to me in the SB and I have KK. I re-raise to 20,000 and the BB folds. Rick tables AQ and the boards comes down 3-8-5-7-10. Not a huge pot but adds another 10,000 or so to my stack and keep me moving in the right direction. I’m back to about 105,000 as another good player goes broke and it’s down to the last 20 players. Alan McClean exits in 20th place and a short while later Dave Maudlin busts Danny Willmott in 19th place and moves up to about 100,000 and we are down to the final 18 players and the final 2 tables. A couple of players go broke before my next big hand comes along. It’s the 1,500/3,000 level and Lorraine Hulse moves all in from late position and G Jones re-shoves from the cut off. Both players were short stacked and had about 25,000 each. I’m on the button with KK and re-shove all in for 100,000 or so to push the blinds out. Lorraine tables KQ and G Jones tables AQ. I’m pleased to hear that Ash Hussain in the BB says he passed AQ and the board falls 3-5-10-7-5. I pick up another 55,000 or so and bust two players as the field thins to 14 players. Another player on the other table goes bust and are down to our last 13 players with 11 getting paid.

At this point it is agreed to take £1,000 off the £55,000 prize pool and create two more prizes of £500 each for 12th and 13th place. With blinds still at 1,500/3,000 I raise in late position to 7,500 with 9c 10c. The player to my left, George Brown, moves all in for his last 27,500 chips. The table folds back round to me and it another 20,000 more to me to win another 55,000. So I’m getting almost 3-1 on the call. With the FTW mentality and the right price I call off the other 20,000. George Brown shows AJ. The flop comes down 10,4,9 and I flop 2 pair. Deuce on the turn and George is drawing dead and hit’s the rail in 13th place. I’m now sitting on over 200,000 and very close to double what the FT chip average will be with only 12 players left. Dave Maudlin busts Sean Benett AA vs. AJ and we move down to 11 players. It’s short handed now and the blinds and antes are pretty high so I stick in the occasional raise to stop my stack from dwindling. I do this a few times and only get looked up once. Raise from cut off to 7,500 and get looked up by button and BB. C-bet a J high flop with air which gets through and take down a nice little pot to keep me going. With the blinds now at 2,000/4,000 and still short handed I raise from late position with Jd10d, Dave Maudlin looks me up from the BB and we see a AK high flop with 2 hearts out. Dave checks to me and with middle pin broadway I decide to let the turn peel off without c-betting and potentially facing a check raise. Another heart hit’s the turn and Dave fires 26,000. I don’t think for long before folding my gutter ball. The very next hand the tables passes round again to Dave Maudlin in the SB, he limps into my BB and I knuckle it with 10d 6d. The flops comes down 3-4-6. Dave checks to me and I fire out 10,000 with top pair. Dave calls and an Ace hit’s the turn and also puts 3 hearts on the board. Dave again checks to me and I check behind. A none heart 6 hit’s the river and again Dave checks to me. With about 30,000 in the middle I fire 20,000 on the river and again Dave calls. I table trip 6’s and Dave folds face down. On the other table Dom Mahoney busts John Clark with KK vs. A5 and we are down to 10 players. Two tables of five. It was when it was 5 handed that the 2nd decisive pot of my tournament came along. The tables passes round to me in the SB and I look down at AcKc. I raise to 10,000 into Dave Gardens BB. He insti ships on me. At this point I felt sure I had him crushed. He moved in on me so quick and it felt I probably had him dominated and he was re-shipping with Ax. No way he’d play AA/KK that strong so worst case scenario I’m up against a pocket pair and racing. AK suited 5 handed is such a big hand and with his insti shove and the FTW mentality I make a pretty quick call. I can’t remember the exact stack sizes before this hand but I had him roughly 2-1 in chips. Dave Garden tables 88 and I don’t like to see that I’m now flipping for about 50% of my stack. I had felt sure he was crushed. The flop comes down Q-6-10 and I’ve picked up middle pin broadway and still have my two overs to Dave’s snowmen. The turns brings an Ace and I’ve moved ahead in the hand and Dave Garden is drawing to two outs on the river. A brick 3 falls on the river and I take a monster pot and bust Dave Garden in 10th place to secure my place on the final table. I was running like god on day 2 never seemed to lose a pot. Anyway, we broke for the FT and I left the card room as the dealer stacked my chips and moved them to the FT. From eighteen players in down to the final nine and I had bust four of them personally. I couldn’t believe it. I was about to sit down at my first major FT and I had over one third of the chips in play.

For the first time in 2 days and 18 hours of poker I was moved from my original seat of table 2 seat 8 and took my place at the FT. This seat had been so good to me I kind of wanted to pick it up and move it to the FT. Anyway, I didn’t but I was given a great seat draw for the FT. Chips stacks and seating positions were as follows :-

SEAT 1 : Lee Danaher 28,400
SEAT 2 : Mark Trett 357,000
SEAT 3 : Dave Hudson 62,500
SEAT 4 : Dom Mahoney 215,100
SEAT 5 : James ‘Jambo’ Gray 93,500
SEAT 6 : Dave Maudlin 133,000
SEAT 7 : Jimmy McColloch 81,500
SEAT 8 : Dave Swan 50,100
SEAT 9 : Ash Hussian 56,400

The first significant pot of the FT was between Ash Hussian and Lee Danaher. With the blinds currently at 3000/6000 Ash moves all in from the cut off and Lee moves all in on the button. Blinds fold and Ash shows 66 to Lee’s AA. No miracle 6 for Ash and he down to the felt. This was good pot for me in respect that Ash Hussian, former European no1 and GUKPT Champions of Champions winner was crippled and all but out of the tournament. IMO the most dangerous player at the FT. Ash doesn’t last much longer as he shoves with 22 for 14,000 after Jimmy McColloch opened the pot for 24000. I also make the call for 24,000. The flop falls J high and Jimmy moves AI. I fold my AQ and Jimmy shows AJ for top top. A queen hit’s the turn improving my now mucked hand -sigh- and no miracle on the river sends Ash Hussian to the rail in 9th place for £1,150. That was the last hand I played for a while as the action became fast and furious as the blinds crept up. Jimmy McColloch is next to hit the rail as his QQ is no good on a 9c3x8c flop. He calls for all his chips on the flop vs. Dom Mahoney’s flopped set of 8’s and does not improve and Jimmy leaves in 8th place for £1,400 and Dom scoops a 100,000+ pot. Next to hit the rail was Dave Hudson open shoving from the BTN with Q3 to keep his head above water only to be called again by Dom Mahoney in the BB with AK. No help from the board for Dave and he exits in 7th place for £1,850 as Dom now takes the tournament chip lead. Next out was Lee Danaher as he moves his short stack AI from the cut off. I make the call on the BTN with AJ. He tables A2 and does not improve and hit’s the rail in 6th place for £2,500. I then play a blind on blind pot (4000/8000/800a) with Dom Mahoney as I limp into his BB with 56s. The flop falls 47J giving me an up and down straight draw. I check to Dom who fires out a min bet of 8,000. I call and miss the turn which is an Ace. Dom again fires out 18,000. I again make the call and miss my straight draw on the river but pair my 5’s. Again I check to Dom who this time gives up and checks behind with K high and I scoop a nice pot adding about 35,000 to my stack. Whilst were still 5 handed we have a quick break and chip count :-

Mark Trett 400,000
Dom Mahoney 420,000
James Gray 85,000
Dave Maudlin 95,000
David Swan 110,000

After the break I play one pot with David Swan, moving AI after he’s opened 24,000. After a short tank David Swan lets it go. Then still at (4000/8000/800a) I play a key pot with Dave Maudlin. I opened for 20,000 with KQ and Dave moved all in from the BB for 65,000 move. I eventually call and Dave tables AQ. I’m in a bad spot but the miracle looks on as the flop comes down K high. The turn brings the Ace of hearts and a massive roar for the rail for the Teesside local. The river blanks to another big roar from the rail and I double Dave Maudlin up to 175,000 and take a 85,000 hit to my stack. I then lost another little pot to Dom Mahoney again blind on blind. I raise his BB with 22 to 20,000 and Dom calls. We check down a Q65-8-K board and Dom shows 44 for a big pair and scoops a 44,000. We break for 15 minutes and get another chip count as the blinds increase to 6,000/12,000/1,000a.

Mark Trett 338,500
Dom Mahoney 354,500
James Gray 105,100
Dave Maudlin 132,000
David Swan 147,500

During the next level I open the first few pots for 30,000 and get them through. The first big pot played during this level was as Dave Maudlin raises to 30,000. David Swan calls behind and Jambo moves all in from the BB for 80,000. Dave calls then surprisingly David Swan moves all in behind for another 65,000 more. Dave Maudlin make a tough fold as David Swan’s shows pocket Kings only to run into Jambo’s Aces for a 250,000 pot. James ‘Jambo’ Gray’s hand holds and he scoops a huge pot leaving David Swan and David Maudlin with 65,000 and 30,000 respectively. Not surprisingly the next player to hit the rail was Dave Maudlin. He shoves AI from UTG with his last 27,000 with K8 and is called by Jambo in the BB with 99. Jambo’s hand holds and we lose Dave Maudlin in 5th place taking home £3,400 for his efforts. I then double through David Swan when he pushes his last 28,000 from the SB. With another 16,000 more to win about 60,000 I make the call with 63o and David Swan tables KJ. No help from the board for me and I double David Swan to 60,000. A few hands later Dom bets 35,000 into David Swan’s BB. David means to move all in stands up and says “call”. The flop falls Ks8s3x and David Swan moves AI for another 57,000. Dom makes the quick call and shows Qs3s for a FD. The turn brings a 10 and the river 3 doubles David Swan up again to about 180,000. With David Swan now back from the dead we take a unscheduled break to discuss a deal. The chips count at this point was :-

Mark Trett 363,500
Dom Mahoney 237,500
James Gray 272,100
David Swan 205,500

With £40,650 remaining in the prize pool the players suggest we all take £9,000 each and play out for the remaining £4,650. I refuse this deal and point out that I still have a significant CL and won’t deal for less than £10,000. It’s decided that I will take £10,000 and the other 3 lads will take £9,000 each and we all play it out for the remaining £3,650, the title, the trophy and the glory. I sit back down a very happy man having secured my first ever five figure pay day from poker. Everyone appeared to loosen up a bit after the deal and the action was thick and fast. I open the next few pots with my standard PFR of 30,000. I open the BTN and I’m called by Dom and Jambo out of the blinds. Dom pots a Q44 flop and we both fold. David Swan then opens another pot and I move AI OTT and he folds. I open another pot a few obits later again for 30,000 only to see Dom re-raise me pre to 90,000. I let it go. Just before the next blind increase I get into another blind on blind battle with Dom. This time I raise pre with AJ from the SB and Dom calls. We check down a 457-4-Q board and my AJ high is good as Dom passes A2 at showdown. Blinds now up to 8,000/16,000/1,500a. Very soon into this level James ‘Jambo’ Gray and Dom Mahoney got involved in a couple of blind on blind battles for some big pots. Jambo lost the first big pot when he raised to 45,000 pre and barrelled a 60,000 c-bet only to see Dom move AI on a J7T board and Jambo lets it go having had over 100,000 of his stack invested. The next orbit the both get it all in pre as Dom opens from the SB and Jambo moves AI from the BB. Dom calls and tables A5o vs. Jambo’s JQo. No help for James and he hit’s the rail in 4th place with a very healthy £9,000 for his efforts. When we went to 3 handed the action slowed down a bit. I raise folded to AI shoves a few times with my big stack and lost a few small pots here and there and before I knew it I was now the short stack of the 3 players remaining sitting on around 200,000. It was at about this point when I played on of the most decisive pots of my entire tournament. I raised pre flop with A8 from the BTN to 40,000 only to see Dom Mahoney re-raise all in from the SB. David Swan folds and I go into the tank and then eventually make the call. Dom tables KQ and the board falls 273-T-4 I find a huge double up and rake in a huge pot putting my stack back up to 390,000. I see one set of blinds go through me and raise fold to a shove from David Swan before going to a break and chip count :-

Mark Trett 300,000
Dom Mahoney 350,000
David Swan 400,000

We sit back down I’m having a tough time of it as I raise fold to a shove from David Swan yet again. Dom Mahoney then open from the BTN to 56,000 and David Swan makes the call from the SB. I look down at 99 and ship it all in for 222,500. Both Dom and David fold and I take a nice pot. We have another break as the blinds move up to 10,000/20,000/2000a. The chip counts at this stage were as follows :-

Mark Trett 339,000
Dom Mahoney 301,000
David Swan 440,000

At this point another deal is done and we both take another £1,000 each of the prize money. This now gives me £11,000 GTD, Dom Mahoney £10,000 and David Swan £10,000 and we battle it out for the last £1,650 the trophy, the title and the glory. Shortly after the deal David Swan doubles up Dom Mahoney when they get it all in pre with Dom’s AA vs. David’s AJ. No help for David Swan and he’s down to less than 150,000. I then open into Dom’s BB again for 50,000 and Dom calls. The flop falls AK2 and I fire 100,000 into the middle. Dom passes showing bottom pair. A few orbits pass and David Swan moves all in from the SB into my BB. I make the call with Ah5h and David Swan tables 89. He flops a 9 and turns trips as I double David Swan back up to about 300,000. The chips just keep going round and round and I find myself again as the short stack with 280,000. I get busy with my stack and pick up a round of blinds and antes before again raising pre flop to 50,000 with QQ into Dom Mahoney’s BB. Dom moves all in and I snap call. Dom shows up with A9. The flop is 3Q6 rainbow and I flop top set and Dom is drawing dead. I find another huge double and now have a big chip lead again with 640,000. Almost two thirds of the chips in play. A few hands later and David Swan moves AI from the SB into my BB. I tank for a little while and eventually make the call with K10 and David Swan shows A5. The board falls in my favour as I flop a pair of 10’s and make Kings up on the river to send David Swan to the rail in 3rd place for a very respectable £10,000. We have a quick break before the heads up begins and a chip count :-

Mark Trett 840,000
Dom Mahoney 240,000

So I’m now facing Dom Mahoney heads up for the right to be the Coral British Masters Poker Tour Teesside champion 2009. I can’t remember exactly how long heads up lasted but I think it was only about 9 or 10 hands or so. The first hand HU he raised my blind and I have 74 off suit and fold. The very next hand I have 73 and give him a walk. The next hand he again raises into my BB. This time I have 84 and decide to call. The boards falls 10 high. I’ve flopped air but I know Dom will likely shove on any flop given his small stack so I beat him into the pot and move in on him with 8 high. He tanks for a little while and says “I’m up and down I might call” before folding his cards. Ironically if he was up and down he probably didn’t need to hit and could have won the pot with 9 high. Moving on a few hand and its the penultimate hand of the tournament and I now have 83 off suit in the SB. With the blinds at 10,000/20,000 I’ve got Dom down to about 10 BB’s. I’ve so far not seen better than 8 high during HU play. I’ve just won the previous pot after Dom has won the first couple and I wanted to keep the momentum in my favour. I have four options open to me now. 1. Limp into his BB and probably face a raise. 2. Raise myself and potentially face a re-ship. 3. Fold and give him another walk and hand him another pot. 4. Take the re-steal away from Dom and move in on him, effectively stopping him from betting me off a pot with air and forcing him to call off his tournament with his current holdings. I’m determined not to let Dom push me around and elect to move in on him, trying to keep the pressure on him and maintain my big chip lead. I’m insti called by Dom’s Ah5h. I have a real ugly hand to go to showdown but don’t mind it to much. Dom says to me “I didn’t think you had that move in you, you better not outdraw me with that”. I can afford to double him and still have a chip lead or end this right now with my live cards. Anyway Dom flops the Ace and I don’t improve on 8 high and double him up. Soon after, maybe even the next hand, I don’t remember now I am dealt Jh5h. This time, for the first time in HU Dom limps into my pot. I’d been playing back at him a bit and moving in light so I guessed he’d decided to slow down a bit with me and play more post flop poker. This suited me down to the ground. The flop comes down A-10-9 I check to Dom and he checks behind. The turn card brings the Jack of spades. I love this card as it is effectively top pair. Although it did complete a couple of straight draws (7,8 & KQ) I felt Dom would bet his draws on the flop so they didn’t concern me to much. Even though the ace was out I was 90% certain that Dom didn’t have it. He had been very aggressive and AX was 100% in his pre flop raising range. With a diamond flush draw out on the flop and no bet from Dom this made me feel very confident that Dom was not holding an Ace. So I now have top pair HU and feel very happy that I have the best hand. I again check to Dom knowing that with his aggro style he will go for the money in the middle. He leads for 60,000 and I insti move in on him. I moved in here for a couple of reasons. Firstly I’m 99% certain I have the best hand and the board was very dangerous with a straight and two flush draws and I didn’t want to give him an attractive price to see a river card and secondly the last time I moved in on him I had junk (83) and I figured given that information he may call my shove light and stack off with bottom/middle pair. Dom says “I have to many outs, I call” and tables 8s2s for a up and down straight draw and a spade flush draw. Dom has 15 outs and I’m a 70% favourite to take the title, the money, the trophy and the glory. I ask the dealer (and pray) for a brick on the river. He very slowly and very dramatically peels off the brick that was the 5c missing Dom and giving me Jacks up. At this point I’m bursting with excitement inside as I wait for the dealer and tournament director to do a chip count and confirm that I have him covered. The chip count comes back and with 1,000,080,000 chips in play I have him covered by a cool 7,000. Not even a small blind. “YES” I shout as I do the double fist clench & congratulated by madasawasp who throughout the final table was the best railer I could ask for competing against double figure Teessiders cheering for Dom but still with chants like “GO ON THE TRETT” was no less vocal, Nice1 Waspy.

OMG I’d done it. After the toughest FT of my entire life lasting almost 6 hours I was both physically and mentally exhausted. Already standing up I wrapped my ipod up and left the table to a lots of congratulations from the rail. The next 30 minutes were totally surreal as I was quickly pulled to one side by the Tower from A World Of Poker (AWOP) for a live interview. This was quickly followed by an interview with Dave Cromton from Sky. This was for a Sky poker (channel 865) programme called ‘In poker’. I was then presented with the trophy before sitting back down at the FT to do a photo with the 1 million chips, the winning hand and the trophy. I was then handed my pay out slip. I left my trophy in the card room and walked to the cash desk to pick up my winnings. The cashier counted out £12,650 and handed it over. I stuck it in my hoodie and went back to the card room for trophy. I was then approached by the Coral manager Mark English who tells me he’ll be in touch with me regards a press release.

I left the casino, got in the car and called my brother and fellow FTPers Daniel who had 50% of my action. I made the 1 hour drive north with the trophy and money on my passenger seat before dropping into see Daniel and proudly handing over his cut.

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