Duncan McLellan Beats De Melo in UKIPT Isle of Man
Monday, 4 November 2013
After a gruelling 5 days of play, the first ever UKIPT Isle of Man has found its winner - and his name is Duncan McLellan.
McLellan, who is a full-time bricklayer, bested Team PokerStars SportsStar Fatima Moreira De Melo to take the £94,090 first prize after a brief heads-up lasting just 20 minutes. The 49 year-old from Corby went into the final table second in chips, before proceeding to act as something of a wrecking ball - with six players still remaining, he possessed more than half the chips in play, and nobody was able to stop him. De Melo, who won a gold medal in the 2008 Olympics, would have been the first ever female UKIPT winner if she had taken the crown. We doubt she'll be too disappointed, though - the £59,660 she received for 2nd place constitutes the biggest live cash of her career.
The final table got off to a slow start considering the relative shallowness of everyone's stacks, and it was over an hour and a half before the first elimination occurred. This happened when PokerStars qualifier Adam Topping ran his ace-queen into the dominating ace-king of Richard Milne. It was then another 90 minutes before the day's original chip leader Jamie O'Connor joined him on the rail, reeling from being the victim of a brutal three-outer from the monster-stacked McLellan. From this point casualties started coming thick and fast with Daniel Stacey eliminated in sixth, quickly followed by economics student Harry Lodge in fifth, while fourth went to railbirds' favourite, PokerStars employee Chris Jonat.
Jonat used to play as a Supernova Elite before being offered a job by PokerStars, and is the manager of Team Online. Since the Isle of Man is PokerStars' home town, many of his colleagues were generously given the day off work to come down and support him on the rail, but it sadly wasn't meant to be - after a gutsy bluff against McLellan backfired and crippled him, he failed to repair his stack and was knocked out.
At this point play was paused to discuss the possibility of a deal negotiation, with PokerStars Pro and maths wiz Ike Haxton jumping into the fray to assist De Melo with ICM calculations. However, even after receiving some stern words from the tournament director, Haxton's efforts proved fruitless - McLellan refused a deal, stating frankly something to the tune of "I'm a bricklayer, I don't want to hear this".
It didn't take long after three-handed play resumed for Richard Milne to bust after falling foul of De Melo's pocket queens. After a brief break, a speedy heads-up battle commenced. The money went in when De Melo shoved with pocket fives, only to be called by McLellan's ace-ten for a classic race. Railbirds audibly called for the 5 that would keep her alive, but the flop fell K Q J to give McLellan a straight. After the turn bricked, De Melo was drawing dead and then it was all over. While this is undeniably a disappointing result for the legions of fans cheering on De Melo, it must be said that she had an incredible run to get that far; much of the late tournament saw her struggle to cast off her short stack status, even dropping down to less than 8BB at one point near the end of Day 3. So with that in mind, congratulations Fatima!
So concludes the first ever UKIPT Isle of Man, which overcame concerns of inaccessibility for players to be a resounding success. There was undoubtedly a lot riding on what was a flagship event for PokerStars, but now everything is over it should be fairly safe to say that the Isle of Man will become a regular stop on the UKIPT map. Bring on next year!
The full final table results were as follows:
1st - Duncan McLellan (UK), £94,090
2nd - Fatima Moreira De Melo (Netherlands), £59,660
3rd - Richard Milne (UK), £43,120
4th - Chris Jonat (UK), £34,870
5th - Harry Lodge (UK), £27,600
6th - Daniel Stacey (UK), £21,250
7th - Jamie O'Connor (UK), £15,810
8th - Adam Topping (UK), £11,455