Colourful Carrel crowned GUKPT champ

Colourful Irishman Charlie Carrel is the new GUKPT Grand Final champion after surviving a field of of 212 entrants at The Poker Room at the Victoria Casino to earn himself a £108,625 payday.

The final nine included 2010 GUKPT Bolton winner Priyan De Mel, 2013 World Series of Poker Europe winner Adrian Mateos, 2013 GUKPT Grand Finalist Will Kassouf, WPT Nottingham third-place finisher Tamer Kamel, GUKPT Reading winner Paul Vas Nunes and 2009 Irish Open finalist Ben Vinson.

Carrel, who started playing poker a couple of years ago and famously turned a US$15 deposit into US$500,000, can now brag about being a champion in the live arena after beating Vas Nunes heads-up to take the title.

Van Nunes held a 3m to 2.3m chip lead over Carrel at the start of heads-up play and soon extended that after wining the first few confrontations. But Carrel then clawed back a large pot after hitting a diamond flush on the river to draw almost level, before moving in front.

During the next break, the players agreed a deal that saw Carrel secure £100,005 with Vas Nunes picking up £94,775, with £8,620 and the trophy left to play for.

The final hand saw Carrel bet 100,000 on the 3S-9S-6C flop with JC-7H and Vas Nunes called with 7C-3D. Carrel raised 185,000 after the 8H on the turn gave him a straight draw, with Vas Nunes once again calling with a worse straight draw.

The 10D on the river meant both players had hit their card and Carrel moved all-in before Vas Nunes called off his last 700,000 chips only to see Carrel holding a bigger straight than his.

When play began on the final table Carrel was already a big chip leader on 1.1m, with Kamel second on 810,500, De Mel third with 733k and Kassouf third on 617,000.

Next came Mateos on 530k, just ahead of Vas Nunes on 527k and Vinson with 417k. Martyn Fuller was in eighth place on 338,500, with Walid Sawayathe short stack with 140,000.

Walid Sawaya was the first to exit the final table after he three-bet all-in for 100,000 with pocket nines but found himself in terrible shape against the queens of De Mel, which improved to a full house by the river of the QH-8H-4S-JD-4H board.

Mateos was the next casualty after he re-raised all-in for 300,000 after Carrel had limped into the pot and called. Mateos tabled AS-5H and needed help from the board with Carrel holding pocket nines. But the 7H-2H-2D-9D-2C brought no assistance for Mateos and he left in eighth place.

De Mel was the next player to bust out after Vinson led for 55,000 on the 2H-5H-3H flop and De Mel raising to120,000 only to see Vinson make it 202,000 to continue, which De Mel did.

With the 6C on the turn Vinson moved all-in and De Mel called off his last 260,000 chips with pocket fours but no hearts. Vinson flipped over JH-8H and had De Mel drawing stone dead.

Six-handed play ended with the exit of Fuller, who re-raised all-in for 200,000 with initial raiser Vas Nunes calling.

Fuller holding KS-9H was behind Vas Nunes' pocket threes and that's how it stayedon the 6H-QD-JC-QS-AH board.

Kassouf, who finished eighth in the tournament in 2013, exited in fifth place after his raise to 62,000 from the button saw Carrel three-bet to 100,000 from the small blind.

Kassouf called and it was heads-up to the 10D-2D-JH flop, Carrel holding KC-QD and Kassouf KH-JD for second pair.

Carrel led for 160,000 and called when Kassouf raised all-in for 360,000 but the 9H on the river gave Carrel a straight to send Kassouf to the rail.

Kamel was the next to fall after the action folded to Carrel in the small blind and he raised all-in to put Kamel to the test for his 320,000 stack.

Kamel called with the KC-QH and was in a flip with Carrel tabling pocket fours, which improved to a set on the the 7D-4S-6S and spelled the end for Kamel.

A few hands after Kamel's demise Vinson busted in third place when he moved all-in from the button with KS-3D and Vas Nunes called from the small blind with pocket sixes, the board bringing no salvation for Vinson.

GUKPT Grand Final
1 Charlie Carrel £108,625
2 Paul Vas Nunes £94,775
3 Ben Vinson £50,500
4 Tamer Kamel £33,100
5 Will Kassouf £22,900
6 Martyn Fuller £16,500
7 Priyan de Mel £13,600
8 Adrian Mateos £11,400
9 Walid Sawaya £9,800