Carrel Feeling Grand!

Carrel Feeling Grand!

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Charlie's GUKPT triumph.

The eighth season of the GUKPT finished in some style as Charlie Carrel took a chip lead into the final table then used his stack, held his nerve and showed his style to bank £108,625 in dramatic fashion in London's stunning The Poker Room above the Grosvenor Victoria Casino.

With 212 players taking part in the Grand Final, only 95 made it to Day 2 and as usual on the final day, action was fast and furious as experienced players such as Louise Duffy, Stuart Fox and Abi Khaitan all hit the rail ahead of the final table being reached.

John Bousfield was the unlucky final table Bubble Boy when his pocket nines were all-in pre-flop against Charlie Carrel's[Ac Jc]. It was the start of Carrel's march to the title, and he went into the final table with the lead. Once down to the final nine, the bust-outs started almost immediately, Walid Sawaya busting when his [9d 9h] was crushed pre-flop by Priyan De Mel's [Qd Qs] and couldn't catch up. So, down to eight quickly and it wasn't long before a former WSOP bracelet winner was heading out of the door too. Adrian Mateos saw his stack drop to just 16 big blinds and he shoved over a Carrel opening bet with [As 5d]. Carrel made the call with pocket nines and they held to send Adrian home.

One man who was going for a hattrick of victories was Priyan De Mel, who previously won GUKPT Main Events in Bolton and Blackpool. But his tournament ended abruptly in seventh place in an odd hand. Holding [4d 4c], at first Priyan thought he'd won the hand as the board fell [2h5h3h6c4qs, then looked again and thought he'd chopped it. But Ben Vinson had flopped the flush with [Jh8h] and Priyan's dream was over. His wasn't the only one. Martyn Fuller was the shortest stack of the final six, and he got less than ten big blinds over the line with [Ks9h] which never caught up with the red threes of Paul Vas Nunes, who made a quick call.

Always the most talkative player at the table, Will Kassouf was silenced in fifth after finishing eighth in the previous year's Grand Final. He was all-in on a flop of [Td2dJh] with [KhJd] but was called by Charlie Carrel's [KcQd].

Cries of “Hold!” from Will's rail rang out, but Carrel hit a nine on the river to complete the straight and send crowd favourite Kassouf crashing out.

Tamer Kamel had closed off 2014 with a series of impressive cashes, and so nearly made the tournament his own. Eventually, however, he lost a coin-flip with [KcQh], which again ran into Charlie Carrel, whose pocket fours did the job. Down to three players, Vinson and Vas Nunes clashed with both men knowing they needed to chip up before an inevitable heads-up showdown with Carrel. It was Vas Nunes who landed the knockout blow when he called Vinson's [Ks3c] shove. Vas Nunes held [6s6h] and that pocket pair survived the board to bring the action to a climax. We had a showdown.

As heads-up play started, the chipcounts were very close, with Vas Nunes holding a slight lead courtesy of that Vinson elimination. Once the lead swapped after an hour, Carrel began to take control, and was still leading when the final hand took place.

All the chips went in on a [3s9s6s8hTd] board, with Vas Nunes holding [7s3d] for the straight. But Carrel has rivered an even bigger straight, flipping [Js7h] to take the title and £108,625 in prize money.

As Phil “The Tower” Heald asked him how he felt after winning the GUKPT Grand Final, a clearly delighted Carrel declared his “one for one” record on the tour had left him feeling pretty elated.

A superb result for Carrel and a great end to a year in which Grosvenor has made dreams come true on their flagship tour.


Note: The GUKPT Goliath will take place from Saturday 8 to Sunday 16 August 2015 and not 8-12 April as stated below.


Tags: Charlie Carrel, GUKPT