Tangerine dream for Astley in Blackpool

25/25 winner Justin Astley picked up more than five times his Bolton score when he took down the Blackpool GUKPT from 14-16 November.

Astley pocketed a career-best scoop of £59,000 after outlasting a final-day line-up that included defending champion Rick Trigg and former Irish Open winner James Mitchell.

From 171 entries, 17 players returned for the third and final day at the G Casino to battle it out for the £200,000 GTD prizepool, with Mitchell the chip leader on 372,000, Carl Harris second in chips on 321,000 and Trigg and Astley both comfortably placed in the chasing pack on 249,000 and 204,500 respectively. All 17 players returned safe in the knowledge they were guaranteed a minimum cash of £2,600.

Last year's champion Trigg was on the wrong side of the flop when his AC-KS was pitted against Dan Kneafsey's KC-JS with 11 players remaining. Kneafsey flopping and turning a jack to make trips to send the defending champion to the rail.

Two-time Sunday Million-winner Kev Steele was the first player to exit the final table after he moved all-in with pocket nines only to find himself dominated by Mitchell's pocket queens.

Martin Paul crashed out in eighth place, with Harris - who had a rollercoaster of a day - unlucky to finish in seventh place, after four-betting all-in with queens over a Mitchell three bet with AH-6D, which improved to a pair of aces.

Alan Barnacle busted out in sixth place, with his conqueror Fabian Towers the next to depart in fifth place for £11,000, when his pocket eights couldn’t beat the jacks of Mitchell.

Mitchell's hopes of adding a GUKPT title to his 2010 Irish Open crown were dashed by Kneafsey, who was on the right side of a flip with AD-QC against Mitchell's pocket eights.

Astley then eliminated Phil Walker in third place to set up a heads-up battle with Kneafsey for the title.

The latter started with a three to one chip lead but an early double up sent the momentum Astley's way. The end came about an hour into the two-handed duel when Kneafsey made a stand with KD-9C against Astley's AH-8S, which held to give him the title and the biggest score of his career.

GUKPT Blackpool
1 Justin Astley £59,000
2 Dan Kneafsey £38,800
3 Phil Walker £24,400
4 James Mitchell £16,600
5 Fabian Towers £11,000
6 Alan Barnacle £8,200
7 Carl Harris £6,600
8 Martin Paul £5,600
9 Kev Steele £4,800