Tony Cascarino wins GUKPT Grand Final main event - Tuesday 8th of December 2009

Former professional footballer Tony Cascarino has won the GUKPT Grand Final main event. The former Ireland striker outlasted a field of 183-runners at The Vic to win the showpiece tour event and with it the first prize of £168,800.

Cascarino and eventual heads up opponent Antoine Arnault held the two smallest chip stacks at the start of play on the final table but navigated their way through a tricky field that included World Heads Up Champion Bambos Xanthos and online tournament pro Daniel Millar, to reach the final two. Cascarino’s tournament looked over when he ran his pocket Queens into Danish cash game specialist Albert Iversen’s Kings. A lady on the flop gave Cascarino a new lease of life and he carried that momentum through to heads up play.

The former Millwall man opened up a decisive chip lead early on in heads up play and looked to have the title in the bag holding A-2 to Q-10 on a blank board with only the river to come. A spade on fifth street gave the Frenchman a flush and it was game on again.

A2, this time both hearts, was to be a memorable hand for Cascarino though. He was all in again holding that hand against Arnault’s 10-9 on a 10-J-8 board with just one heart showing. A jack of hearts on the turn and a five of hearts on the river gave Cascarino the flush and with it the title. Arnaut, Head of Communications for fashion house Louis Vuitton, had to settle for £107,100.

The 2009 Grand Final is Cascarino’s second GUKPT title. He took the 2008 Bolton crown and also reached the final table at last year’s Grand Final. This win takes him to the top of the GUKPT All Time Money List.

Speaking on the GUKPT blog, Cascarino said, “I’ve been moaning all year, ‘cos nothing good has really happened to me. I’ve won something (in poker) every year for the last four years, but until now 2009 has been frustrating. I got divorced earlier in the year and I’m delighted that she won’t be getting her hands on any of this. She’s already had enough out of me.”

The GUKPT caravan now heads to Luton for the Champion of Champions series. The side event action gets under way today with the £100,000 invitation only Main Event starting on Saturday.

The final table positions and payouts were as follows:

1st - Tony Cascarino - £168,800

2nd - Antoine Arnault - £107,100

3rd - Philip Patrick - £71,400

4th - Daniel Millar - £43,900

5th - Albert Iversen - £32,900

6th - Charalambos (Bambos) Xanthos - £27,400

7th - Romano Pizzo - £22,000

8th - Mike Hill - £16,500

9th - Stuart Rutter - £11,000

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