Three days of tough, No-Limit Hold’em Poker here at the Grosvenor Casino saw the 288 entries from the two starting days shorn, trimmed and busted down to just a single table – just nine combatants remaining to contest the MPNPT Manchester final table.
The players returned for the final day with Yiannis Liperis the man holding much of the chip cheddar. Poker Pro Liperis had guided himself adeptly through Day 2, maintaining a big stack throughout and was many people’s choice for title favourite. Meanwhile, at the other end of the spectrum, seasoned campaigner Alex Kong had squeezed into the final table with a handful of chips – shortstacked and looking down the barrel, few gave him any chance of surviving more than a few hands once the final commenced.
What did they know?
The final proved to be full of suprising twists and turns. The opening exchanges were a portent of the carnage that was to follow – Sebastian Gruszczynski swiftly doubling up both Timothy Chung and Cieran Tighe in the first few hands – slipping down the chip ranks in the process.
With Alex “King” Kong folding down to under two big blinds, it seemed inevitable he would be our first faller, but a handy quintuple up with pocket aces saw him survive the first level and would prove to be the first of many huge hands Kong would see during the final table.
Andreas Olympios, not Kong, was surprisingly the first man to succumb – 9th for £2,800 when his late position steal with suited connectors ran into Cieran Tighe’s pocket kings.
Cieran Tighe also delivered the next dismissal, quad-mining his pocket nines to great effect versus Cody Wagner who had committed too many chips preflop to ever fold his aces on a Q-9-9 board. Wagner dropped out in 8th for £3,650, and Alex Kong looked delighted at having laddered another spot up the payout rankings.
He wasn’t done yet though. Far from it.
Next to face the executioner’s axe was Colin Guthrie, who did very well to parlay his tiny stack into a 7th place finish for £5,100. A toothy grin suggested he was happy with his performance, and it wasn’t long before Finnish MPNPT regular Jari Hurri, cheered on by his loyal group of friends, followed Guthrie to the cash desk. Hurri was a victim of Tim Chung in a bvb battle – his out-kicked ace seeing Chung eliminate him in 6th for £6,500.
Chung was on the rise – his ascent cemented as he snatched the chip lead by eliminating Sebastian Gruszczynski in 5th place (£8,350) – his ace-king suited besting the Pole’s pocket threes.
Liperis spent the first half of the table steadily accumulating chips, abusing the ICM pressure on the other players, but the second half of the final was less successful for him and the ascendant Chung delivered the death blow – picking his K-T steal off with A-T and sending him packing in 4th place. £12,350 was Liperis’ reward. The King-in-waiting had been dethroned!
If you are wondering why the shortstacked Alex Kong hasn’t featured in any of these eliminations, it’s because he had been kept alive by an almost endless sequence of massive hands. Aces, Kings, Queens, Ace-King…you name it, Kong had it multiple times. He was aided in maintaining his presence at the final table by winning every single all-in. Few begrudged Kong his good fortune though. This is a man with a list of cashes stretching across decades, who’d even featured in the first series of the influential “Late Night Poker” on terrestrial UK television. His granite will would not be eroded easily.
Cieran Tighe had a final table to remember. Twice busting aces with quad nines was fortunate, but his generally watertight decision-making and control of his stack were the main reasons he nearly won the title. Eventually he fell in similar fashion to his brother on day 2, losing out in a coin flip vs Tim Chung to collect a well-merited £16,350.
His elimination left Chung battling Kong for the title, but Kong’s fairytale rise from shortstack to potential champion was to end here – the heads-up lasting just one hand as Kong’s semi-bluff with a draw couldn’t topple Chung’s top pair. £21,800 for Kong, a figure that probably far exceeded his expectations at the start of the day. He looked pleased as punch!
But the talented Tim Chung was the man destined to be champion – collecting £29,900, the trophy and all the plaudits for what was a well-controlled final table. “All my final tables are really really quick – and heads ups, less than 5 mins. This one, one hand!” he enthused at the finish. His broad grin said it all.
And that was that! MPNPT Manchester’s been loads of fun and we think players will remember their trip for a long time to come. Thanks to all the lovely staff here at the Grosvenor who have made our stay and the players time here so fantastic. We’re sad that the Main Event has come to a close but we’ll be back October 19th-22nd in Tallinn, Estonia for the next event.
Get qualifying or budget away and come and join us. We know you’ll have a great time. For now though thanks for following the coverage, take care and enjoy the rest of the summer!
Full Results for MPNPT Manchester:
|14||Pekka Samuli Ikonen||£1,950|
|15||Chun Hao Man||£1,950|
|25||Miguel Hernandez Mora||£1,250|
|33||Leo Nik-vor Fung||£1,100|